Trying to write this in between the hectic schedule I have at the moment in Ghana.
Ghana is definitely not what I expected at all. Neither is Ramadan for me here. I have been so busy working and meeting people that the fact that I am fasting seems to have passed me by. Except the fact that I really really need some sleep.
Other then that it is an amazing experience.
Firstly, we all know that fasting is hard in the first week no matter what we do or say or think. The change in the body obliterates our senses. Hunger pangs, mood swings and the idea that we have to stay at peace with the next person. Sure thing I did not have to fast since I am a traveller, but I chose to and I will live with my decision as being the right choice I made in ages.
Alhamdulillah it has been so far so good and reaching the end of the second day has passed me by. The difficulty though is waking up after only about two to three hours of sleep. Mission is an understatement.
Leaving the airport after two hours waiting for the shuttle to the hotel, I got my first real glimpse of Accra. Accra is what my travelling companion labelled as “typically African”. She insisted that it also had the “African smell which is missing in Cape Town and Johannesburg”. I’m sure she would know more then me as Ghana is only my third African country apart from Madagascar and Egypt (which according to the UN it forms part of the Middle East – if you confused let me know will explain it better).
So Sunday passed by in a whirlwind of work and seeing Accra come to life. And just because its Sunday does not for one minute mean that people are scarce or the roads are quiet. Busy is the way of life here and I love the people. All smiles no matter what. The first thing though that hit me was the poverty. Poverty in the middle of town, outside town just everywhere. Driving into the city we passed areas that would maybe resemble Alexandra township in Johannesburg. (will try and get the pics uploaded soon).
Driving back to the hotel I heard the Azaan. I was a little surprised as it was eminating from the middle of no where – in other words no minarets present for me to identify where the masjid was. This was the call for Esha and the first Taraweeh of the month. I wished right at that moment I could get off the shuttle and hunt the masjid down. But seeing as it was my first night I decided against it.
Instead I got back to the hotel and made sure I ordered food that would be good enough to keep for sehri the next morning. Getting up for sehri is hard in a different country and its harder when you alone with out your room-mates or family but I some how dragged myself out of bed.
Iftar was not that different actually. I sat on the stairs outside the forum hall watched the sunset and waited for my alarm to go off so I knew it was time. Unfortunately where the conference and forums are being held its in central town and no masjid is close by to hear azaan.
So far the days go on…
Will explain more about what I am doing here in the next post hopefully.
Full winded posts soon.