Thursday, June 7, 2012

Almost Done

     Its crazy to think that five months have passed.  Time passes differently here in Africa.  Some days will drag on, but most fly by.  The part that makes the days all blur together is that each day is full of so many different things that they can seem to be shorter.  There is always something to do, places to go, and people to see on board.  I will miss my friends on board and off-ship.  Especially my African friends.  There can be such a cultural difference and misunderstandings and laughter.  My favorite thing that they will tell me is to "shake your body for the Lord!" at the dance parties.  African accents are now much easier for me to understand, though there can be difficulties sometimes...

     The markets are bustling with people everywhere and it is easy to get irritated when they grab you or thrust whatever they are selling into your face and hissing at you to come over here.  Yet I've learned to play the game.  It is a complete game to them, to see how bad they can rip you off, how little they think you know.  So when I start playing by their rules and "become Togolese", they know you know.  One of the highest compliments that I have gotten is when a lady selling dresses at the market was arguing with me about the price and started laughing, saying, "you are Togolese, you are too stubborn!"

     One of the things that I will miss the most are the marriage proposals that come randomly and frequently everywhere you go.  From the taxi drivers, zemidjan (pronounced zimmi john) drivers, passersby, etc.  Walking along the street the conversations can go something like this:
African man - "Bon soir!  Ca va?"
Me - "Ca va"
African man - "(something in French or Ewe)...marry me?"
Me - "NO"
African man - "porquoi? porqoui?"
Me - "Goodbye!"

     I want to thank all of my supporters who made it possible for me to experience all of this.  It literally would not have been possible without all of your prayers and support.  The people who send are doing just as much as we who are sent.  I have enjoyed and learned so much while I have been here.

Ken, Carmen, and I with all the Galley Dayworkers

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