Small Talk and the Weather

During the week and a half I’ve been here, I’ve been struck by the difference in the weather. Last year, when Sonya and I were here in June, the weather was significantly hotter and I remember getting overwhelmed by the heat repeatedly. This year, aside from the day I arrived (where my perception of the heat was probably due more to my lugging around my 40 pound bag than the actual temperature), I’ve hardly felt hot at all. In contrast, most days I feel quite comfortable and Monday I even felt almost cold. Which brings to me my second observation about the weather- rain. Monday was the first day it’s rained since I’ve been here, even though it’s currently supposed to be the rainy season. Combined with a slight wind, it was enough to make me feel chilled in my short sleeves as I sat outside working. Last year we had sporadic thunderstorms and then torrential downpours and cloudy weather for my last week in Accra. Although I find it unfamiliar, I consider this year’s weather much more enjoyable.

Most of my conversations so far have either been with someone associated with the Ministry of Health or a series of taxi drivers. The conversation in taxis often follows a similar pattern once the destination and price are agreed upon:

“You are welcome! How do you find Ghana?”

“Are you American?” (Or this morning—“Are you British?” and when I responded, “No, I’m American,” the driver shouted “Oh, the world power!”)

“What part of the States are you from?”

“Oh! North Carolina—that is nice!”

“How is the weather in North Carolina? Is it like here?” (And when I respond that its actually hotter back home than it is here or list the temperatures)

“Oh that is very hot! Very hot!”

And then the conversation either ends or diverges into politics or religion, interestingly enough. I appreciate the conversations and the warm welcome that is almost always offered once someone discovers you are foreign. But you can see how the weather stays on my mind…

Taxi rides, sunshine, and small talk

Taxi rides, sunshine, and small talk