It's time to for a special Christmas blogebration! Yayyyy!
A little background--my parents are always telling me that they like to visualize what I’m doing. And this doesn’t just apply to travelling. When I was in college my Dad would copy down my class schedule so he could visualize what class I was in at any given time. (Hey Dad..loooove you!) SO. To help them get a better sense of what my days here are like, I’ve compiled a series of short video clips taken at different points throughout my day!
I couldn't get the videos to upload directly to blogger, so I embedded links that will take you to the videos on youtube.
Disclaimer: Now before you watch these, I need to apologize for the awkward narration, and the random outbursts of song. I will not be offended if you watch these on mute...well…actually…I’ll never know the difference, will I? Do whatchoo gotta do.
Part 1-The Homestead
The first stop on our journey is a quick tour of my apartment, situated in a neighborhood called South Labadi. I’ve lived here for over a month now, but don’t judge me (mairo!) for its emptiness. I have made ZERO effort to decorate it, or make it homey. The reason for this is not entirely that I’m stingy and lazy, but because I am going to be moving in the next month or so to a different part of town. Well, I was actually supposed to move last week, but it’s been delayed, so who knows if I’ll actually move...maybe I should just suck it up and decorate, but I digress.
Back to the point. In Accra, you are supposed to pay rent for the entire amount of time you will be renting in full the day you move in (which I think is so so silly), but since I might be moving and don’t know how long I’m going to be here, they’re letting me pay monthly. The apartment is owned by the Aunt of one of my coworkers, so they have been especially tolerant of my noncommittal ways. Water and electricity are a little spotty, but all in all, it’s a decent place to live!
To watch part one CLICK HERE
Part 2-The Crossroads
The second video is taken on the main road that runs East-West up the coast of Accra, called Labadi Road. This is where I walk to pick up a tro-tro on the way to work, and where the tro-tro drops me off on the way home.
To watch part two CLICK HERE
Part 3-The Commute
Step three in my day takes place on the tro-tro to work! Now, not all tro-tros take the same route, so I usually have to wait a little for the one I need (which goes to Teshie-Nunguo, an area East of downtown Accra). Now this video is not the greatest quality, so sorry about that. It’s another example of me pretending I’m on the phone, while I’m actually taking a video.
To watch part three CLICK HERE
Part 4-The Junction
The fourth leg of this journey brings us to First Junction, which is the intersection in Teshie where I get off the tro-tro and switch to a flat-rate taxi that takes me to the office. It is a pretty commercial area—lots of little businesses, a huge filling station, and people selling things on the street. It’s also a major transit area where you can get a car/taxi to pretty much anywhere in Accra. There’s a great shot of my shoes in the beginning…I’m a fantastic cinematographer.
To watch part four CLICK HERE
Part 5-The Return
Fifth in this delightful journey, after fast forwarding through the work day, is taken from the tro-tro on the way home. The front seat of the tro-tro, which is the vantage point of this video, is coveted by most passengers because it provides a little extra room that is not afforded elsewhere in the tro-tro. A lot of time, as a white-girl, the tro-tro stewards, or mates as they’re called, like to have me sit in the front. This is nice in theory, but I also have visions of myself flying through the windshield, because as you can see in the video, the tro-tros stop and go pretty quickly..and there ain’t no seatbelts (yes, Nathan, I punch myself in the arm).
In this video, you can also here the mate yelling “Accra, Labadi,” which is telling people in the street where the tro-tro is heading. You can also see, when the tro-tro starts to stop, a couple of girls with containers of water on their heads approach the car. Whenever a car stops, especially outside of the city, it is bombarded with people selling things. These girls are way more passive than most.
To watch part five CLICK HERE
Part 6-The Bottleneck
This rather mundane video (of me...crossing the street…?) is just showing how ridiculous traffic can be in Accra. It’s taken at the stop where I get off the tro-tro from work.
To watch part six CLICK HERE
Part 7- The Hood
The seventh tier of our journey brings us back to my neighborhood, South La. You can see a bunch of little stores and things where I can get basics that I might need throughout the week. Larger grocery runs are made at the market. But the market is a whole different ballgame. Anyway, it’s a nice, fairly quiet neighborhood, right by the beach.
To watch part seven CLICK HERE
Part 8- Three Heel Clicks Later
The final leg of the trip was taken on the street where my apartment is located. The first shot you see is of a church, and I’m NOT going to go into detail about this church because that will turn into a ten page rant, but you can hear a guy start to yell at me in the background, trying to get me to come back and talk to him, which I have done before and regretted. The short version of this story is the people who run this church are convinced that it’s their mission to save my soul and bring me back to Jesus. (Yet after professing this, the dude asked me out…I’ll tell THAT whole story at a different time.)
To watch part eight CLICK HERE
And this is where our journey ends. Back at my apartment. Roll credits.