Beginning, again

Hey everyone,

It’s good to speak with you again. I’ve been out of touch for too long, but I’m back—back to begin the task of beginning, again.

Piñata

If this post (and every subsequent post) feels like a dizzying blur of thoughts, mixed metaphors, and emotions, think of a piñata full to bursting. We have waited long enough for candy: let the flogging commence. In all seriousness (and less comic morbidity), finding the right tone has been a challenge this whole summer. I want to be funny in my writing, to share laughter, and to showcase everything that is wonderful, fun and exciting about Ghana, but I’m also cognizant of the fact that there is much to discuss that is serious and somber, with all the weight of consideration that it requires.

Further complicating matters is that the good and the bad are both ever-present. In some moments, in some places, one outweighs the other, but both persist. To only focus on either good or bad is to oversimplify, but so would it be to insist both exist in equal measure, and somehow less useful still to attempt some kind of overall net assessment, e.g. (“4 good and 3 bad makes 1 good”).

Point of view

Even the words “good” and “bad” are oversimplifications, borne out of the fact that I’m a) speaking in the broadest sense possible b) speaking from my own limited perspective, shaped by my cultural, political, racial and social background, and the accompanying privilege, as a white, western person, foreign to the country that I’ve been so lucky to live in during these past three months.

I said in my first post that I would do my best to showcase and reflect all the unique perspectives and thoughts I have heard during my placement. I would like to, but I fear that statement came somewhat out of naiveté. In a continent of over a billion people, a country of 27 million, a city of 2 million, even in a venture of 50 colleagues, there are too many people, too many lives so full of rich experience for me to represent accurately and completely. I uphold my promise to relate what I experience to you, as accurately as I am capable, but to describe it completely exceeds the boundaries of my ability.

The only story I have to tell is my own, but I’ve come to realize over the years that the most interesting parts of stories happen when they intersect with other stories, when the characters of each interact, when each learns from and changes because of the other. Those are the moments that stick with me, and those are the moments I hope to share.

I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot, during my time here in Ghana. My biggest worry at this point is that I haven’t done the best job at fulfilling my promise of sharing my learning with you, but I hope to remedy that now—here’s to failing forward.

Yours faithfully,

Alex

–Very nifty post-credits scene–

long_story
long_story.jpg

*record scratch; freeze frame* Yep, that’s me. You may be wondering how I got h—*loud clang as author is hit with frying pan and reprimanded for tired and unfunny narrative meme*

–End of very nifty post-credits scene–

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Beginning, again

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s