by
on September 1, 2016 on 9/1/16 from ,

A Foreign Country I’m In

A short poem about how I am adjusting to Ghana so far.

Slumber interrupted by “coos” and “caws”,
My eyes flutter open
to the soft rustling of leaves.
Laughter and music echo through the halls
as I beg for one more second of sleep.

From under my mosquito-netted canopy, I emerge.
A lukewarm (cold) shower nudges me awake.
Hopping off on the orange dirt path to class,
All I see passing me are
Ghanaians with dark skin and bright eyes.
Prolonged stares either punctuated
with toothy smiles and hellos
Or not-so-discrete side glances.
Oh, yes.
I’m different.
A foreign country I’m in.

On my way to class

On my way to class

Sweat streaming through the humidity,
I rush off to class.
A lecture hall rumbling with chatter
greets my hurried mind.
Everyone is Ghanaian.
Trendy outfits with loud patterns.
Girls with long shiny braids.
Out of place I am.
A foreign country I’m in.

 

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University of Ghana, Legon campus with the Balm Library in the background

Over half an hour passes
when our professor strolls in.
The next hour and a half
are jokes and chuckles sprinkled
throughout an informative lecture.
The humor flies right past me
as I strain my ears making sense of
his lilting Ghanaian voice.
A foreign country I’m in.

Even so,
I skip off to my drum circle.
Traditional drumming I’m ready to learn.
The class: half obruni, half Ghanaian.
Together, a community.
Drum beats dancing through the air
Singing:
“Where are you, my friend?”
“I am here!”
“Wherever you are, beat your drum!”
A synthesis of beats
woven together like kente.
A culture so full of meaning,
friendship, and love.
A foreign country I’m in.

 

My friend Tesha from my Intro to Traditional Drumming class (Tesha Morris)

My friend Tesha from my Intro to Traditional Drumming class (Tesha Morris)

Despite the hardships I might endure
as I adjust,
I take comfort in my friends
And experiences so pure.
A foreign country I’m in.
A country I hope to soon call
Home.

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Tracy, a friend I met in Cape Coast

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Tracy and her younger sister Erica posing for a photo