In the boxing world, when the corner man throws in the towel it is an indication to the bout’s referee that his man, his fighter, can no longer on. That he wants out. That he’s done for, done in. He is giving up. Surrendering.
That is me. I am surrendering. I have had enough. I’m done for and done in. I am going home.
We have lived in Ghana for more than 12 years.
In those 12 years, we’ve raised our children I think well, given them a good education, let them see what life is like in a world less developed than the one from which they came. We have and seen one of them leave the nest for the U.S. to attend college, where he is well and sorely missed every single day.
In those 12 years we had started building what was to be our “dream home” but which never was completed to the point where we felt safe or comfortable moving into it. We still have high hopes for its completion, though I don’t envision moving into it any time soon.
In those 12 years, we have had one child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes which we’ve managed to manage as best we can with the help of friends around the world.
In those 12 years we’ve endured agonizing periods of lights off and pipe closed. Right now, despite a “Better Ghana Agenda” we are undergoing load shedding yet again. I am writing this after having suffered through 12 hours of lights off overnight, a surprise to us because the newspaper printed a schedule which indicated we’d have lights off for only 6 hours in the overnight hours. “Surprise, surprise,” says ECG/VRA/Gridco/NDC (pick one), “Eff you.”
In those 12 years we’ve seen the cedi’s value move up, down and sideways. At one point, and it’s hard to believe this, it was nearly at parity with the U.S. Dollar. Now, though, not so much with an exchange rate that is fast approaching 3 cedis to the dollar. But the government says that despite the media reports, the economy is in pretty good shape. I guess 14% inflation isn’t really a problem, is it? Oh well, I am not an economist so what do I know. The government, they must know something I don’t, right?
Those 12 years haven’t been easy and yes I’ve done my fair share of complaining. But I’m done. No more complaining because it doesn’t get me anywhere; just gets my blood boiling. And actions speak louder than words anyway.
So we’re leaving.
I am throwing in the towel. I surrender.
I am tired and there are too many things I am missing and I am tired of missing them.
I miss constant power and running water. I miss traffic lights and stop signs. I miss drivers who (mostly) exercise patience, compassion and common sense. I miss radios that play 70s music. I miss snow. I miss suntan lotion. I miss libraries and bookstores. I miss car washes and self serve gas stations. I miss supermarkets and fast food joints. I miss shopping malls and movie theaters which overcharge at the concessions. I miss museums and zoos. I miss parks. I miss clean beaches. I miss garbage pickup and mail delivery. I miss buses and trains and subways. I miss skyscrapers. I miss friendly store clerks.
But mostly, I miss my son and my mom and my family and my friends.
I miss home and all of the things that make it home.
So this will probably be my last post; we’re getting our ducks in order for our departure and hopefully by the end of June we will be home.
Because there’s no place like it, anywhere in the world.