As you all know, I am somewhat of an environmentalist. I reuse all my plastic bags, make recycled art, have a compost heap, and even try to buy clothes made out of sustainable fabric. So you can imagine how horrible it feels every time I have to litter in this country. Unfortunately, like India, Ghana has a severe lack of garbage cans. Because of the scarcity of bins and abundance of rubbish, large mounds of trash accumulate in all of the open sewers I described in earlier posts.
For the first two weeks I was here I still couldn't bring myself to throw my trash in the gutter, but after 14 days of stashing trash in my purse I finally began to give in to this disgusting habit. I figured when in Ghana do as the Ghanaians do... but that was not my best idea. Apparently even though every single person partakes in polluting this country, it is in fact illegal to litter. Who knew? I sure didn't.
This didn't bode well for me when I was caught littering outside of Makola market in downtown Accra. I was stopped by five officers who proceeded to tell me that I had offended the law and now was in their custody. That's Ghanaian-English for "We're arresting you." Luckily, my roommate had the foresight to call the director of our international program (a Ghanaian man) who could talk some sense into the cops that so clearly were just looking to get a nice meaty bribe from some rich Obrunis. While Mr. Kwasi was saving my ass on the phone I decided to play into the Ghanaian fetish for surprisingly friendly Obrunis and sweet talk them into letting me go. I put on the fakest smile I have in my arsenal and attempted to charm them in my very broken TWI. It somehow miraculously worked! Within an hour I was free to go and had two invitations to two officers' homes, and a marriage proposal.
Oh ya I forgot to mention how common marriage proposals are here, they've become a regular part of my daily routine. So much so that I've begun to tell people I'm engaged to ward off all the taxi drivers, tro tro mates, and apparently police officers that attempt to take me as their wife. But I don't think I'm fooling anyone with the peace sign ring on my finger, I'm currently on the market for a cubic zirconium engagement ring to make it look more believable. I've also tried telling the men here I was gay but that just went way over their heads. I don't even want to know what they would say if I said I was transgender, I guess there's only one way to find out!