Flight ends and entire airplane empties, filing into a line that lasts hours and keeps growing through customs and guards in baby blue going “Tsss! Tsss!” to get your attention, like a snake. Outside we meet Catherine, Leslie and Doc Williams – an unknown face, but soon to be important landmark in the imagery of my first few days. It’s late but we’re flooded by strangers stopping cars, guiding us through the hectic streets surrounding airport. The road is uneven, unpaved, and unrelenting on our carts of baggage. One stranger outstretches an arm to level toppling baggage when Doc shouts, “No! Don’t touch the bags, please!” so our new “friends” scatter off, realizing their service has not been deemed tip-worthy.
Pile on the “Obruni-bus,” with Uncle Sam, our fearless driver, smiling wide and we’re off into the madness of the Ghanaian road. Madness is the only word to describe the frenzy of criss-crossing hunks of whizzing metal and I feel sheer death in the wind as we whip around corners, through narrow gaps of traffic flowing all directions. A sharp breath or twitching hand could deliver us peaceful to hands of God, mere passengers riding the swelling tides of samsara. Tro tros behind and ahead bear images of Jesus with proclamations like “Know Him!” or “Submit to God!” and I understand why.
Twenty minute defiance of death and we are “home,” or nearest thing to it that we will know these next six weeks. Chris calls it “the palace,” and as one of our night security guards shifts the heavy metal gate to the side I believe it. Big rooms, shared with another, but spacious all the same. Multiple living rooms, complete with comfy armchairs, couches, and AC! – What a luxury! I murmur that everything is so incredible and I’m so delusional with sleeplessness and I think I’m going to wake up with it all gone–
But I wake up and here I am – roosters crowing, fans spinning, Ghana singing.