Last night it rained. A lot. Our house leaked, but we mostly stayed dry. Dumsor cut our power, but our trusty generator brought it back. Thunder woke up our toddler and scared the crap out of our dog, but our bed was big enough for the four of us. Last night’s challenges were not insurmountable.
Getting into work I heard of this house flooding, that family without power overnight, flight delays as people get ready for vacation. Any inconveniences or lack of sleep I was grumbling about already seemed trivial.
Then the Hubs asked if I’d seen the news.
There’s something funny that happens when you feel like something belongs to you. It’s yours to beat up, but no one else’s. I can talk about my dog being terrible because he’s my dog, but I’ll throw two tons of shade at you if you’ve got a bad word to say about him. It was just my last post when I threw a tantrum about Ghana. Painfully detailing now seemingly trite hardships: potholes, traffic, heat. The truth is this isn’t a hardship post. From swank brunch spots and cocktail lounges to in-home pedicures and massage to grocery stores that carry Cheerios and Coca-Cola. We’re in a nice, safe neighborhood close to our embassy. We surrounded by expats. We could live in a bubble and never really live in Ghana.
But we do. And that’s what makes it a hardship post.
Recent visitors have reminded me that Ghana can be a bit shocking on first look. I’ve moved past it. But then you take your friend to a crowded, aggressive market or your in-laws accidentally wander through a fishing village and you remember that third world livin’ isn’t always a comfortable reality for outsiders. I’ve come to love street hawkers and hustlers, crowded and colorful neighborhoods, for who and what they are. But third world problems are very real, and, we saw last night, have very dangerous consequences.
And as a friend pointed out, this is barely news on a global scale.
Tonight I am once again lucky enough to go to bed in my dry house with electricity, internet, and air conditioning. But others are out there, many with no homes, others who’ve lost family, most without power, wondering what the next few days of rain will bring.
Keep Accra in your thoughts.