Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Finding My Fellow Anarchists!

I recently realized that although I've painted an accurate picture of the very conservative values shared by most Ghanaian, I have yet to portray any of the more progressive ideas that some people posses here. To do so I'll share with all of you some interesting photos I've taken... enjoy!This was a feminist section in the only book store I've found here. When I saw it I got so excited I jumped and down, I scared the cashier a little, but I just couldn't contain myself!
This might be my favorite... totally inappropriate here, but hilarious!
A homeopathic medicine stand at the Trades Fair... this ones not progressive, just very strange and inappropriate.
Finally! Someone who has some clarity!!!!
Yes... she is sitting on the crapper. This one's not particularly liberal either... but it is improper!
Seeing as the word "vegetarian" doesn't exist here (in English or Twi) this poster took me by surprise... then again I was at the only vegetarian restaurant in Accra.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks Ghana’s 53rd year of independence from British rule, and my two-month anniversary of being here. In honor of Ghana’s liberation the National stadium hosted a celebratory Reggae concert last night, which I of course had to attend. Not surprisingly, this place was filled to the brim with Rastas. I’ve never seen so much weed in my life! The arena was literally filled with smoke. There was absolutely no security and everyone was free to smoke their ganja out in the open; which is crazy because technically weed is not only illegal here, but according to the rule books you get a ten year sentence in prison if caught in possession… clearly this law is not enforced.

My favorite part of the night was meeting my new friend “Shepherd.” We met because I couldn’t stop staring at his large plate of weed balanced precariously on his lap as he rolled some joints and bounced along to the beat. We hit it off instantly, better than my new friend “Bush Doctor,” and yes that is his name. “Bush Doctor” is an herbalist, and a self proclaimed Nazir, that I managed to thoroughly scare. After a brief conversation about my own proclivity to homeopathic, holistic, and herbal medicine, I somehow mentioned my interest in voodoo and palmistry, and a million other things that are seen as very dangerous by devout Christians like “Bush Doctor.” As if I hadn’t already scared him enough, we started discussing the biblical story of Samson (the most famous Nazir), and the feminist that I am, I defended Delilah, the character in the story that like many other biblical tales is portrayed as a wicked being that uses her sexuality to seduce Samson into breaking his pact with God. Needless to say, he steered clear of me the rest of the night.

I’m hoping to celebrate the holiday tonight at one of the many raves happening around Accra. I’ve never actually been to a rave before, but it could be pretty hilarious here, especially considering the fact that ecstasy and techno (the two key ingredients for a rave) are basically nonexistent here from what I can tell, so this should be interesting!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Purim in Ghana!

As someone who wanted to be a costume designer almost her entire life, I take Purim very seriously. My costume must incorporate 3 out of the major 5 elements of a good costume. It must be witty, fear-invoking, somehow involving body paint, made from recycled (non-fabric) materials, or relevant to the occasion it is worn to.

It was clear that I had to be a Juju man. For those of you that don’t know, Juju men are voodoo witch doctors found throughout West Africa. This was the perfect costume for me for many reasons. 1. I love all things magical and mysterious, especially voodoo, considering its’ strong link to New Orleans 2. I wish I was a Juju man and I’m currently desperately trying to find out how I become one 3. I get to wear lipstick on my face and tell everyone it’s blood (that would be the fear-invoking aspect) 5. Juju man sounds strangely close to jewjew man, which is just very ironic considering voodoo falls into the category of hedonistic idol worship, a big no-no in Judaism 6. I got to run around with my mini tambourine gragger on a drum-stick shaking it like Rafiki in the Lion King! In case you were wondering, Rafiki was the baboon version of a Juju man, one more reason why he was my favorite character (not to mention the blue butt)!

Clearly my Purim was a huge success. Aside from an awesome costume, I got to celebrate with all my Ghanaian dorm-mates at our lovely Purim party hosted by the always wonderful "jew-unit," (three amazing girls who help me not disappoint my grandparents)… we even made Hamantashen and reenacted the Purim story… I was Vashti of course. Who knew being Jewish in Ghana could be so fun??