On Sunday, I made the 6-hour bus ride from Accra to Kumasi where I was picked up by a friend at “last stop,” not so conveniently located in the center of a busy intersection just above Kumasi’s largest tro-tro station. Since February, construction on a new divided road has been finished, complete with an impressive row of street lights decorated with the requisite Ghanaian flags. Not surprisingly, the divided road does nothing to reduce congestion since taxis and tro-tros continue to drive both ways on both sides of the divide.
On Sundays, everything shuts down in Ghana and extended families and friends gather to eat and chat—it was the perfect evening to spend with my host family in Kumasi. I’m not sure what was more adorable, a three-year calling me “auntie Emma” and bringing me sips of her malta, the baby that burst into tears whenever I got too close, or my host brother chasing Emma (my canine namesake) around with a mop when she tried to grab the top off the pot of stew.
Sitting in the cozy living room, removed from the bustle of central Kumasi by an especially bumpy dirt road, I was once again reminded of how interconnected the world is becoming.
Akwesi was working on a PowerPoint presentation on the role of social media in mobile phone advertising for one of his business courses while Gaby showed me photos of his recent trip to Morocco as the Ghana Projects Abroad representative at a conference on volunteerism. In the background, Ben chatted to his brother Simon (who is in his final year of an engineering degree in China) in a rapid mix of English and Twi, peppered with a few words of Mandarin. All the while, reruns of American talk shows and Jimmy Fallon standup played on the TV.