All the debris from exhilarating travel is finally starting to settle, and the routine of school and real life is starting to begin. This semester, I am taking Community Psychology, Seminar (based on assistance in developing countries), Creative Writing and Documenting the African City. I also secured an internship at City of Refuge this past Monday, which I am very excited about.
City of Refuge is a grassroots organization in Ghana that rescues and houses victims of child trafficking and runs a school for them and other economically challenged children in the surrounding community. For Fall Break, I may actually get to travel to the Volta region in Northern Ghana, where the children are actually negotiated out of their labor services. In many cases, the children were not stolen; they were sold by their parents for indefinite periods of time to local fisherman and chiefs. We watched a documentary on the organization that was actually made by a previous intern who participated in the documentary class in which I am currently enrolled.
Beyond my scholastic/community service pursuits, I am also trying to personally expand my knowledge of Accra and the local industries. Now that I am settled, I feel that I may explore the city more confidently for both academic and leisurely purposes. Three yards of beautiful fabric have already been purchased from the market for a handmade dress by the seamstress. The price of her services? About 15-20 cedis, or $10-$14. Though my budget is dwindling, so is my wardrobe. And judging by the "Ghana Gut" I have grown, an umbrella term for both nausea and weight gain, looking pretty may be more important that food.
I travel to the Cape Coast this weekend again. However, this time, I go with NYU. We are visiting the slave castles, so the tone of this trip will be quite different than our little excursion to Turtle Lodge (though arguably more comfortable). I imagine it will have a similar emotional impact as when I visited the concentration camp outside Prague, but we shall see.