June 23rd, 2017
I had heard stories of the 13 hour bus ride from Mompomg to Mole, and therefore I had prepared for the worst. I packed ample snacks, downloaded 500 new songs to my phone, and saved 9 books to my kindle. To my surprise, time flew as it tends to do on road trips with good friends. Driving up to Mole might have been my favorite part of the tourism aspect of this trip so far, which is ironic since I had the worst attitude about it in the beginning. I loved looking out the windows and seeing how not only the scenery, but also the people, changed from village to village. Religions faded from Christianity to Muslim, people's clothing changed from the traditional kente cloth and smocks to more westernized t-shirts and dresses, and homes changed from mansions to mud huts and back again. Just as Georgia is not homogenous in its demographics or architecture, neither is Ghana. Just as Atlanta does not contain people of just one socioeconomic status or religious background, Accra is the same. I wish that everyone could experience this bus ride. It provided what should be an obvious lesson in that Ghana is neither solely safaris nor desert, neither wholly poor nor rich. We come to see the poverty stricken images of malnourished African kids on our tv screens as the complete representation of a whole continent. This is about as true as saying Texas is filled with New Yorkers and looks like Maine. My place of serenity back home normally comes from driving around with friends listening to music. I got to enjoy this calm place here on a run-down bus in Africa, the last place I pictured having any experience remotely similar to back home. I now know that Ghana is more similar to America than I ever thought before. It is filled with people of all backgrounds whose main goal is to provide safety and a better future for their children. Just as I thought I could never love a 13 hour carride going over a hundred speed bumps, I never thought I could love Africa and learn so much in a week. Lucky for me both of those prejudgements were proven beautifully untrue.
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