Where thou art – that – is Home.

Yesterday I chose to do little. I took a shower for the sake of cleanliness, but that was it for constructive. Today I go back to the old list and change my bed and do laundry then I’ll need a new list. I’m not all that enthused about doing anything so the new list will be short. Outside might just be the only item. I have chairs to clean and lights to fix, and being outside might make doing work a bit easier.

It’s noisy right now. I hear hammering and wood being piled. I suppose in the scheme of things they aren’t very loud, but this is generally a quiet place. Dogs do bark and kids do yell but that’s it. The bird songs tend to be the loudest.

Usually all three animals are here with me when taking their morning naps. The only one here now is Maddie and she is roaming. Fern is in the living room and Gracie is in her crate. I can hear her snoring. If I move around, Gracie sticks her head out to see where I’m going. She’ll follow me if it looks interesting enough. Gracie is never far from where I am.

When I went to Ghana, it was the first time I ever lived alone. It took time to be comfortable living alone because I couldn’t just pick up the phone and chat or drop over to visit. Here I was trying to adjust to a new culture and a new country so being lonely and homesick at the same time felt crushing. I had to figure ways to deal with it. I wrote letters, some of which were never sent. They were filled with my feelings, my sense of failure and my wondering if Ghana was right for me. I ached for letters from home and ran to the staff room to check my box at least twice a day. I also concentrated on figuring out how to speak English so I could be understood by my students. I gave myself until Christmas. Come to find out, that was more than enough time. I adjusted to speaking English slowly with an emphasis on letters like t in better or letter. My students were catching on as well. The more they heard, the more they understood. I started going to the market and shopping for food. It connected me to the town and the people. They stopped seeing me as simply the white lady. Now I was madam, the teacher at the training college. I used Hausa, the language Peace Corps had taught me. The Ghanians were delighted.

I began to feel I was home, a different home but still home. I stopped running to check the mail. Sometimes I ever forgot for a day or two. I read in the evenings or wrote letters about my day to day life. Every one of those got sent. I loved being in Ghana.

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10 Comments on “Where thou art – that – is Home.”

  1. olof1 Says:

    A really nice day again here and tomorrow will be much the same but after that they predict rather cold temperatures, below for Friday. That is however a very long time when it comes to predictions, they have problems to get it right just one day ahead 🙂 Unfortunately they also predict rain so I guess it will be back to mowing again. Too bad I’ve gotten used to not doing that 🙂

    Not a single animal is close to me right now. I know Sune sleeps just beside the stairs upstairs, I think Nova is in the livingroom but she can just as well be sleeping outside too. The cats are most likely out somewhere. I know however that as soon as Sune hears that I’m moving he will stand next to me 🙂

    I think there are starlings in the cow pasture, they are very noisy as always, yesterday it was gulls and jackdaws. Lots of insects and larvae to eat in cow dung I guess 🙂

    I’ve never longed for homé when I’ve been away for a long time, the opposite actually because I have always wanted to continue further away 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Today is lovely here as well. It is sunny and warm without being humid. I was out on the deck cleaning the table and decided that was it. I wasn’t in the mood to do any work.

      Gracie also moves with me. I am in the den and she is in her crate, but if I move, she’ll move with me.

      The loud birds are gone now. I did see a cardinal earlier but he’s moved on now.

      I missed home for a bit then made Ghana my home. I hated it when I had to leave. Now it is still in my heart.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  2. Richard Says:

    A. May. Zing! I usually choose to do little every day. Today was Shower Day ‘cos I didn’t do one yesterday, so now I smell all nice ’n stuff and I’m also shaved again. I really hate shaving, but I’m not about to go the androgynous ‘electrolysis’ route.

    In lieu of the usual commentary, let’s take a look at random headlines from around the ol’ internet and see why life is in such a death spiral these days compared to what are generally called the ‘good old days’ … to wit:

    — Why We Can’t Have Nice Things —

    Woman Trashes Store After Food Stamps Refused

    Losing Weight Best Way To Fight Cancer

    Sanders defiant, refuses to quit, ignores party leaders

    Kanye pop-up concert turns NYC chaos

    Computing power isn’t yielding economic gains

    Arabic fastest growing language in American homes

    CADILLAC Bets On Virtual Dealerships

    Driverless pods for transport in city

    Worker vs. Robot debate

    Human organs grown in pigs

    See what I mean … ? In all those ledes, where’s the positive stuff … ? It. Ain’t. There. That’s why I choose to watch, read, and listen to only the things worth watching, reading, and listening to, It’s also why I appreciate the Theatre of the Absurd.

    What’s not absurd is today’s Musical Offering by one Mr Bix Beiderbecke … he and his wonderful assemblage of players will forthwith perform one of his trademark tunes, namely the one titled ‘Royal Garden Blues’ … and now, to begin:

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      The local paper always has interesting articles about what’s going on. Their international news is a page or at the most two, the same with national news. The big front page story today was about Eastham and its history and a man wanting to make a trail of long ago places with pictures.

      I always read the sports pages as well.

      Love this music.

  3. Hedley Says:

    I am a homebody – I know it and I am comfortable with it. After three days of travel I am already thinking about getting home, I went on an exchange program for three weeks to France as a 15 year old and was miserably home sick.

    The English National Team flew in to Paris this morning ahead of their match with the Russians on Saturday – I follow in about four weeks hoping somehow that they are in the Final – its only been 50 years since that happened. I will be gone for a week – quite long enough.

    • Richard Says:

      Hedley, we are brother homebodies … I’m never so happy or comfortable as I am when I’m home. Other people seem to have a ‘need’ to always ‘go and do,’ but I lack that gene. Home is where I’m happiest and most relaxed. ‘Only’ 50 years, you say … ? Dang.

      • Hedley Says:

        Richard – It was July 30th 1966 – I was 11 and forced to attend a wedding on the day of the Final – I made my way in to the kitchen and sat down with the cooks and helpers to watch England beat West Germany 4–2

        Still considering that my club team Tottenham Hotspur have not won the league since 1961 (don’t remember it) and my Detroit Lions have never appeared in the Superbowl and have one win in the playoffs (yes I was there) – I should have little or no basis for expectation.

        When I travel, I am a notorious over-planner, to the extent that I have been accused of being able to plan the fun out of everything. There is no downtime for our 5 1/2 days on the ground in Paris next month

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      You have all those trips to England though I suppose that can be called home as well for you.

      The time in Ghana was my longest time away. College didn’t count. I could get a bus from Boston and be home in a couple of hours if I wanted to go.

      I’m hoping you get that miracle. It seems after 50 years they are due.

      My longest trip was 8 weeks in South America making my way from Venezuela to Brazil. I wasn’t homesick-it was post Africa.

      • Hedley Says:

        Kat – I am not saying I don’t travel as I have drifted from Lhasa to Madrid and a few stops in-between. Having Mrs MDH onboard makes a very big difference, but generally after 3 days I am thinking about getting home to Michigan.

        England is very much the old country, usually a trip steeped in nostalgia of a time gone by, a visit with the world famous Uncle Paulie and some of the stuff I want to bring home.

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        I always envy your trips to England as they are filled with family and familiar places.

        I’m okay traveling alone, but I’d prefer company. My last three trips were alone so I am really looking to this one. Bill and Peg are the best people with whom to see Ghana again. We all have a great love for Ghana.


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