Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back in Ghana: Home, Sweet Home?

After 4+ months of nonstop travel, I'm finally back in Ghana for more than a week at a time. Home, sweet home, eh? It's a strange feeling being back. It's strange to be anywhere for more than a few days, but strange here especially. I remember when I left back in mid-November. I went out to a local jazz club the night before and met a few new expat friends. "Will be you be my insta-friend?" one girl asked who was still new to Ghana. That's how it had been. In the months leading up to this massive trip, I had met so many people from all around the world, and none of us knowing anyone else all became fast friends. Some of those friendships became full relationships and others remained fleeting acquaintances, but when I left, I left a life behind. Settling in again some 19 weeks later, I realize the life I left no longer exists.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Black Waters of Makoko

The waters of Makoko ran black, luminous, like oil. Large swaths of the land were littered with trash, and the ground sank beneath you with each step. We were in one of Lagos’s notorious water slums, built on stilts above the Lagos Lagoon and populated by the poor and desperate. Some eighty or ninety thousand people live this way.

When I had told my friends in Ghana that I was planning to visit Nigeria, the reactions I got were almost the same. “Good luck, man; I hope you come back,” one said, only half-jokingly. I had been living in Ghana a few months already; how different could Nigeria really be?