Hi, my name is Ratched Jones. Nine months ago I decided to move to Africa, Tamale in the Northern part of Ghana to be exact. I embraced the idea of getting “closer to my roots” even though the only roots I knew were in the United States of America. I was ready to live a simpler life, no more wondering the isles of Whole Foods, no more “grande cafe mochas” from Starbucks. This city girl was ready for a simpler more authentic life, a life with meaning in Ghana! I’m side eyeing me too, lol…I didn’t know how things would unfold but I prayed and leaped and here’s what happened…
I arrived in Ghana at the beginning of the dry season, better known as Harmattan. During Harmattan trade winds blow from the Sahara, The air becomes desiccating, reservoirs dry up, the grasses are brown and the dust and sand hangs like curtains in the air around you. Little did I know that Harmattan would dry me out as well. Yeah my heels cracked and collected some dust too, but it penetrated deeper and began to change me as well. Some days the winds would blow in bringing a deep sense of longing with them. It took me a while to see that there was something I needed to get, a lesson to learn.
I was a stubborn student at first but longing was a loyal and a dedicated teacher. He would post up in a dusty corner of the room and hang there until I was ready. Longing had come to teach me a lesson in being and remaining present.
I am six months into my new life in Tamale and I have learned quite a bit in this short time that I want to share with you… things like there are more tribes in Ghana than Asante and Fante. And yes I said tribes. It’s not a bad thing. Ask someone what “Tribe” they are from, and with great pride they will say Frafra, Sisaala, Dagomba, Ga, Mamprosi, Nanumba, Hausa, Fulani and so on and so on. I now give a silent solute to all Banku make’n sisters. It’s more than a food, It’s an art form that will lay you out if you ain’t got the guns to go into battle. No Lights, no problem; Tap not flowing, no problem – errrmmm actually yeah THAT IS A PROBLEM!!
Oyinbo, Obroni, Salminga…WT#!! I AM NOT A WHITE MAN! These are just a few snippets of the stories I’ll share with you in the coming weeks. I hope you’ll join me.
Until next time….