Every time I asked Ev how he found Ghana, he gave me a generic response, “it’s cool.” I wished he’d give me more. But I didn’t push.
One evening, close to the end of our vacation, we shared the backseat of a trotro together, Ev and I. The windows were all the way open; warm, moist air forced its way in and fanned our faces. We were headed into town. The night was abuzz with excitement. We were hand in hand, drunkenly content in the moment. I wanted to know if he could feel what I was feeling. If he could put into words everything I felt about our stay in Ghana over the last week and a half. I asked him the question again, and this time he said, “I feel comfortable here.”
I understood what he expressed, completely. It was exactly was I was going to say, except I couldn’t find the words for it. The heat, the language, the wit, the people, the food…it all seemed so familiar. So deep-rooted. So comfortable.
We went to Ghana to visit with family. My parents, Ev’s grandmother. We especially wanted to see our grandmothers since we hadn’t seen them in so long. We wanted the girls to meet them too. But in between those visits, we met up with people who gave us their unique perspectives of Ghana. People who made our trip extra special, people we will always remember.
Ev and his mom made the trip up to Kumasi with Ellie. Olivia and I didn’t go, because Olivia showed us she was boss on the way back to Accra from Cape Coast; after her performance on that two-hour drive I decided against taking her on the 4 hour (with ended up being 6 hours) ride to Kumasi. We stayed in Accra.
I wish I went. It was a sad homecoming to say the least, and I will share in a later post. Below is us with my triple OG grandma Grace you see her suckin’ on a lollipop? Ellie had met her once before in America, but she was little. Olivia has never met her-her namesake.
I spent a day with my grandma. Just me. I took a bus out to Elmina and hung out with her. We looked at old pictures and reminisced about the past. We ate and visited old stomping grounds like her beach bar. At the end of it all, as we said our goodbyes, and I let her familiar voice wash over me, I realized that this could be the last time I heard her soothing voice. My grandma’s voice. I held her and felt her skin. My grandma doesn’t like to cuddle or kiss but I kissed her anyway. Then I started crying, (no wailing!) on her shoulder. I told her I love her. I hugged her to hide my swollen face. She hugged me and kissed me back. And told me she would be right there, and that nothing is going to happen to her…I didn’t believe her.
We said our goodbyes again. I got up and caught her dabbing her eyes. My grandma doesn’t cry. I didn’t believe her; she confirmed my suspicions.
I walked out the front door and I didn’t look back. (I’m tearing up as I write this post)
The girls spent lots of time with their grandparents too. My mom and dad thoroughly enjoyed their time with Ellie and Ollie. They played makeup and made paper hats.
Aside from Grammy and Grandpy, Ellie enjoyed playing with Kojo, who lived with us and Nshell, my adopted sister’s daughter. Nshell was like a third daughter, All three of them loved each other and got along. Slow at first for Ollie, but eventually she came around:
I especially enjoyed my adopted sister’s company. Naomi has been there since day one. She is doing so well for herself and I am proud of her. I am so thankful that she is there in Ghana with my mom right now since I’m so far away.
I even met up with some old friends! Delores from middle school (I had dated her older brother-remember the letter?) and Saddique, from 6th grade. I had just moved to Ghana and he was my closest friend. We sat next to each other in class and I think he had a crush on me. One of those, I’m-mean-to-her-because-I-like-her type relationships. He burned my right cheek with a candle in class one day and he’ll never live that down. My mom marched into the school demanding to be allowed to burn his cheek right back! It’s funny how my mom was just telling Evans this story the night before I ran into him at Cuppa Cappuccino in Airport Residential Area:
In Ghana I had an uber fashionable aunt. Auntie Anne. She was my mom’s friend and I ADORED her. From her amazing sense of style, her uncanny wit, the way Twi rapped off the tip of her tongue with the same perfection as the queens English, to her carefree silver VW Golf. It was a hatchback, and I wanted one too. Can I tell you that the first and only car I bought for myself is a hatchback too? A scion TC. I bought it brand new as a college graduation gift to myself.
Anywho, my super, amazing, fashionable, Public relations extraordinaire auntie Anne (Asantewaa) took took me to the art museum, Christie Brown and SunTrade the accessories boutique. Isn’t she gorgeous? I swear she doesn’t age!
The most special people I met on this trip, have been dead for a long time now. My ancestors, my great grandmothers, came to life thanks to my grandma, who shared old pictures with me. I’m am so grateful to have my history intact. I came back with a few old pictures that need restoring. Here’s one of my great great grandmother Mary.
These are by no means all of the people we met, just a few of the ones that stood out. The highlight of it all, was finding ourselves through the lives and stories of others. Ev and I will never be the same…or maybe we will: