Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Today was a light day, with a lecture focusing on the sociology of Malaria and then a site visit to the Noguchi Institute, which was named after a Japanese doctor who came here to study Yellow Fever and died of it. It was donated by Japan, and every piece of equipment in the lab carried a “Japan: Official Development Assistance” sticker to advertise the fact.

Some in the group have been craving Western food, so we stopped at the Accra Mall, which was clearly built to Western tastes. We had pizza which made Dominoes look like Mama Lombardi’s, and it made me a little homesick for food and friends. Personally, I want to eat as much Ghanaian food as I can while I’m here, because I think it’s incredibly spicy and delicious. More importantly, it’s actually food, as opposed to all of the food-like substances we inevitably wind up eating back home.

Fully and completely exhausted. The slum really did take a toll. The rest of the night will be spent writing and relaxing with the group, because tomorrow we go to Cape Coast and the Slave Dungeon there, which I’m sure will be just as emotionally taxing as Ussertown was. I can't stop thinking about the 9-year-old girl who spends her days carrying 40lbs of water on her head or the 70-year old stroke victim who's husband left her for the United States and took their daughter with him, leaving her in a shantytown sweatbox with only her sister and extended family to care for her.

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