Wednesday, October 26, 2016

9. On heat, hearts, and habits of segregation

January 28, 2007

Sorry for my lack of blog yesterday, but Kelvin left the camera card reader in Dansuman. And the lab here closes soon, so I'll have to post photographs later!! (ARRG!) Okay, so first here is a pen sketch I made sittng at my favorite spot in Accra by the ocean. (Recognize this, Mitsch?) It's quiet and I can sit there with my Coke and simply enjoy the view! (Those stick-people on the left are guys playing soccer on the beach)

My first few weeks here I honestly was avoiding other white people. After all, I came here to meet locals, not other obrunis. But this effort of mine proved problematic for a lone independent white girl to attempt in this culture. So as a result I was left feeling lonely, isolated, sad, and without any friends besides Kelvin. On the verge of desperation, I happened to befriend some South Africans in Accra when I'm here on the weekends. African, yes. Black, no. I then immediately felt guilty for enjoying their company so much, even though they are as African as they come. So it got me thinking...about how it seems like its human nature to segregate ourselves. I don't think we mean to, but we can't help but be drawn towards people with a similar background (which normally also coincides with ethnicity) who we can easily relate to and communicate with. I noticed the same thing with my students in Louisa--how all the black kids stuck together. Anyway, it's an interesting issue. (This painting is a similar style as one I did a few months ago that was a mandala shape, which now lives in Chicago with lovely Lauren!)

This next painting here goes back to my continually revisted heart-theme. People here keep asking why I'm not yet married and such, and I got this image in my head of this big closet. You know how some people buy gifts throughout the year and keep them for future gift giving occastions? When it comes to the romantic side of myself, I feel like I continally put these gifts in my metaphorical gift-closet. With the intention of giving them away. But no, for some reason there are still sitting there. Accumulating. This is a problem.

This drawing is about the heat. Because the rumors were true, people...AFRICA IS HOT! When I walk to my secondary class, I feel like I dissolve like a melting ice cube as I wade through the thick afternoon heat.

I had extra paint from the previous painting, so I did this little painting here with my fingertips. No metaphor. Just fun. :)

Here is a pencil sketch I did of Mr. Ansah. I will sit with him outside under the tree in front of the compound after classes. He is always reading, writing, researching...

Currently just finished reading: "The Miracle of Mindfullness: A Manual on Meditation" by Thich Nhat Hanh. I highly recommend it.

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