Wow. I owe a whole lot of you a big apology. I logged onto WordPress this week for the first time in ages to update/backfill this blog of mine for the first time in three months. Out of habit, I went straight to my stats page, and expected to find a flatline of next-to-no page views stretching back weeks, if not months. Instead I found that an average of four people have popped into this barren wasteland of a blog every day for the last month. Your faith in me based on absolutely no supporting evidence is mind-boggling and flattering. I’m honoured, and a complete bum for making you check in without recompense for the last three months.
Today I’m uploading a big pile of my unposted GO columns (including one from November 14 that was never put on the Ghanaian Observer site). In the next few weeks I will do my very best to do some retrospectives of some of my travels (Amedzofe, my mum’s visit, Mole National Park), and start putting some kind of regular updates on this thing. As we all know, though, I’m not necessarily all that good at keeping this thing afloat, so please don’t hold it against me if I start slipping through the cracks.
Briefly, though, let me fill you in on where I’m at these days—and have been lately. Those of you who knew my schedule, will know that I was supposed to finish in Ghana on the 15th of February. I am, however, still here. This is due to a number of reasons. Initially, the plan was to finish on the 15th, and take off with my friend and colleague Kevin for a six week African adventure, sampling Mali, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, and Addis Ababa (we were flying Ethiopian Airlines), and squeezing in as many trains, ferries, festivals, markets, and giraffes as possible into a jam-packed but awesome itinerary. I would then have landed back in Vancouver just in time for my first Passover on the west coast in eight years.
Our trip was not to be, though. After returning from my Christmas with the elephants at Mole National Park (if it’s the last thing I do, I promise you’ll get a post on that), I slipped in my shower and dislocated my right shoulder. This immediately threw our travel plans into question, because, since it had been eight years since the first and last time I dislocated it, I had no memory of how I would be feeling seven weeks later when we were scheduled to take off on our trip.
It ended up being a moot point. While my arm was still immobilized in a sling, Kevin applied for and was offered another JHR position in Sierra Leone, and therefore had to resign as my future travel companion. Since the one thing I knew was that I didn’t want to do the whole trip alone, it was canceled. I re-booked my ticket for February 25th so that I could at least take the ferry down Lake Volta before coming home, and started psyching myself up for winter, a season I thought I would be avoiding this year.
Turns out that was a little premature. About a week after I changed my ticket, a colleague of mine who was part of the two-person team that co-ordinates JHR’s regional workshops resigned. Since he left at about the same time I was supposed to, I was offered the opportunity to fill out the rest of his contract so that his partner wasn’t left with a two-person workload to complete on her own. Having made up my mind to going home, I was quite torn, but eventually realized that a person only gets one chance to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, so I accepted the position.
What followed was a whirlwind of finding new housing (that’s another post, but allow me to quickly mention my mango tree: I have a mango tree!), changing flights, extending travel insurance, and figuring out exactly what my new job entails (also another post). Suffice it to say for now (because I’m tired and want to hit publish so I can go to bed), that I am extremely happy: my job is interesting and challenging, my new living situation is bliss, and I’m loving this little gift of time to enjoy Ghana further. I am now scheduled to leave May 19th, and will spend my first month in North America crisscrossing the eastern seaboard (Boston, DC, Philly, NYC) for bar mitzvahs, convocations, reunions, and just general catching up before heading back to Vancouver. So, if you’re in one of my old eastern haunts, I hope I’ll see you in late May/early June, and if you’re out west, I’m coming to join your ranks mid-June! In the meantime, stay tuned for some more Ghanaian hijinks.
Thanks again for your loyalty and patience! I’ll try to deserve them more henceforth.