It’s interesting how sometimes the very things you need are given to you when you need them the most. After I had sat at my computer and written my last blog post about feeling a bit sad and lonely, I found encouragement in one of my daily routines. Each morning in Ghana, so far, I have woken up earlier than I need to and have made myself a promise that I will read 5 chapters in the book of Psalms until I am finished and one new section of a book on living simply and happily my dear friend Allie Chen gave me as a graduation present. They have both been very great sources of peace in the morning. So that morning, I sat down to read my chapters and I came across this verse: Though sorrow may last through the night, joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5.
Sadness, you see, is temporary, when we make room for joy to find us. That day I spent laughing and having fun with Ekua and Renee, watching TV and chatting about life. And then in the afternoon, Emma and Evans surprised me with a visit, even though it was raining. (Note: I should point out before people wonder why a guy is named Emma that Emma is short for Emmanuel and is pronounced like ee-Ma). I texted the guys the next day to let them know how much their visit was timed perfect to make me feel better, since I had wanted to go to Adenta that day.
My lovely day translated into a wonderful weekend. On Saturday I traveled with Ekua, her fiancé Qwesi—a very wonderful gentleman, I will write more on the both of them at a later time—Renee, and two of Ekua’s cousins, on a three hour journey to a mountain region town for a wedding. Only about half of the road was paved, and the rest of the time we were on an extremely bumpy and pot-holed filled dirt road in which bouncing off of my seat does not quite describe the experience.
It was the wedding of George’s sister’s husband’s niece. Apparently in Ghana, anyone can show up for a wedding most of the time, without even being invited. Can you imagine feeding whoever showed up to your wedding? That was my first thought, although, the gesture seems normal here in Ghana. Ekua had given me a dress as a present on one of my first few days in Ghana, and it remarkably fit exactly. In fact, it fit tighter on Saturday, and Ekua noted that she thought I had already gained weight in my first week. There’s really no surprise there, when I am basically force fed whenever I’m around a Ghanaian woman, and the food here is much heavier than the food I am used to. I honestly cannot recall the actual wedding part, but I do remember the reception. There were mounds of delicious food, drinks, and lots of singing and dancing. At first I felt a bit shy, but the love of dance in me took over, and I was soon also out on the dance floor with everyone else. And yes, I did bust my moves out. They worked in my favor as everyone came up to me afterwards and acted really shocked that an American had rhythm and could dance and they wanted to take me out to the clubs. Then Renee told me that she was especially surprised because other Harvard people she had met (Renee’s American, and has only lived in Ghana the past three years to finish school, but her parents were born and raised in Ghana) were not the dancing type. I told her that I wasn’t your average Harvard student. I knew good dancing was universal, just like good times with good people.