OH $H!% I LOST MY PASSPORT–NOW WHAT?

Okay Granted this happened a little over a month and a half ago. So let’s rewind. to

September 22nd 2014 

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I arrived back at my home stay from a long 8 hour red-eye bus ride from Seville to Madrid. I quickly exited the bus and grabbed my Osprey pack from the belly of the bus and rushed to catch a metro home. I was tired and had Spanish class in three hours. So I did what an college student does when I got home, I made us of those 3 hours and napped. Of course, I accidentally overslept and when I started to get ready I thought to myself: Sheesh I should really put my passport back in my nightstand draw so it doesn’t get lost. THAT’S WHEN IT HIT ME….My passport was nowhere to be found! Not in my wallet, money belt, or one of my Osprey 46L Porter’s many pockets. SHIT, That’s when I realized I had set it down on the seat of the bus on top of my purse as I ran to use the bathroom before we departed and I was so tired that I must have not put it back in and consequently it fell between the seats and I didn’t think twice. AND That is  how I, Josie Parrish, lost her most beloved travel companion and scrapbook of stamps of my world wide travels for all my life. RIP To my original passport, you are forever missed.

So, I freaked out for a good 5 minutes and then I realized I had to do something about this. So, I tried to call Sociobus to ask about a possible returned passport which, I knew was unlikely. Given that they filled up our bus and sent it to a new destination after we exited. However, they didn’t answer so I took the metro by myself (Which at the time was a big step given at how easily I can get lost) and went to their counter with my questions/request translated into Spanish and did not receive anymore assistance than the phone number that I tried to call that didn’t work. STRIKE ONE.

Next plan? USA Embassy which I looked up directions too and am so thankful that my T-mobile phone has international text/data otherwise, I would have had to go back home to look up directions to go back out. Showed up at the embassy at like 2PM and their passport services were closed for the day, I was so devestated that I started to tear up when the woman who worked at the American embassy told me in Spanish (ironic, eh?) that I wasn’t allowed in and would have to come tomorrow.

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You see my passport was so much more than a stack of papers or identification. It had the stamps from the first time I ever traveled outside the USA (Jamaica 2008). My travels from Belize in 2013 with my University. My most favorite VISA from Ghana, Exit/Entrance stamps from Tanzania with a holographic giraffe on my VISA, my funny Togo Visa that was stamped on and hand written, and my most recent Spain Student Visa. It was all gone and that hurt a little part of me. I try not to get to attached to my physical things because, most of the time they can be replaced and for whatever reason they weren’t meant to be. But, with my lost and then stolen passport it was so much more than replacing it. Those are stamps that I won’t be able to look at share with my family and friends when we open our passports before a new stamp or travel adventure awaits us. A blank slate and it was not the kind I was thrilled to be having.

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I digress though. I want this blog post to help anyone who has lost their passport so let me tell you what getting an emergency passport looks like. I awoke the next morning bright and early to get my passport and show up at the embassy. Come with:

  • A Pen
  • Other forms of ID (State ID/Student ID/Birth Certificate)
  • Payment (Cash or Card) I think the cost of mine was either 180 or 200 USA Dollars
  • Passport photos (There was a passport photo booth outside of the embassy that gave you 4 photos for 5 Euro)
  • Patience.

There are two different lines at least in the Madrid, USA Embassy for Nationals and people applying for VISAs to come to the USA. You will get a number and when they call it you go to the window and explain to them what happened for an official statement about your lost or stolen passport. Then you have to fill out some information for your emergency passport (Which will be ready for pick-up that same day) and wait some more. Honestly, it was much easier than I was expecting and compared to some of the people there my story was a piece of cake. Luckily, I only lost my passport. My credit cards, cash, driver’s license, purse…etc were still in tact. My vacation wasn’t ruined and the ladies  were so helpful in extending my emergency passport so that I wouldn’t have trouble with my student visa and entering the country during my travels out of the EU. My passport was ready and I spent 9:00AM-12PM at the embassy.Not too bad. Going forward I have been dilligent about keeping my passport on my body at all times when traveling or in the hostel’s safe. No more playing games! Thanks to my fashionable money belt that makes it pretty easy and no matter how rushed I am, I take the extra 1 minute to safely secure and place my passport into it’s rightful place. It sucks having to learn a lesson the hard way but, I learned mine and I look forward to filling up this new passport with stamps of world wide travels. Also when

About the emergency passport: Once you get back to the USA you can send in your emergency passport with a passport photo and documentation given to you at the embassy and have a regular passport sent to your house and you can even request extra pages in your new one–free of charge! An emergency passport looks/works the same as a regular passport it’s just the pages inside are stamped with “Emergency Passport” Easy, eh?

Tips about Passports

  • Always keep it on you! No matter how appealing that airplane seat pocket or train seat looks. PUT IT AWAY
  • Email a copy of your passport to yourself, family, and friends that way you have backup
  • Download the TurboScan application and scan your passport on your mobile phone
  • Have multiple printed copies of your passport in various places as a safeguard

I found out at the USA embassy that most USA passports can be sold for at least 1000 dollars and so they are sold pretty quickly on the black market that’s why it’s important as soon as yours gets lost or stolen that you replace it. So that, the old passport will stop working and you don’t have to worry as much about identity theft.

LOVE- A scorned passport holder 😉

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You Only Lagos Once

I had the pleasure to get a little beach vacay on the:

September 22nd-24th TO Lagos, Portugal

(You can thank midterms and my procrastinating tendencies for this far of a back track!)

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In Spain there is this really cool group called Discovery Excursions that does pre-planned trips for mainly college students studying abroad to visit Lagos, Morocco, Gilbraltar,and some other places as well. If you are interested in them just Google Discover Excursions they are located out of Seville and all of their trips depart from that location. After eavesdropping on some girls from Intermediate Spanish Class talk about a weekend trip to Lagos, I decided to invite myself (that´s how you make new friends after all!) The worst they could say is no and if you never try then you never know. Luckily, these girls are total sweethearts and after our trip together I now consider them my friends…so they happily let me tag along–thanks again ladies! So we bought our tickets and booked bus tickets on the Sociobus to Seville to be there in time for our departure at 10AM ON Friday morning.

Our Sociobus left at 2AM from the station and so we all met up early to metro there and let me tell you that a 6 plus hour bus ride from Madrid to Seville is painful for those of us who are tall and have long legs. Even with a melatonin and a cozy sweater and headphones I tossed and turned most of the bus ride. So when we arrived in Seville at 8AM I was relieved to not be cramped onto a bus and get to stretch my legs plus it meant that were also closer to LAGOS. Beautiful clear waters, swimming, kayaking, and a sangria boat tour awaited me there after all. So we walked to the destination of the pick-up to Portugal and picked up a quick bite and of course, coffee, to hold us over. The bus to Portugal was quick and easy compared to Seville. Discover Excursions even had videos and good music bumping so were happy campers. We made it Portugal without so much as a glance at our passports as we passed over the boarder.

An hour after our arrival we would depart on a Sangria cruise (that was an additional 25 € but totally worth it!) so we sipped some box wine and hurried to the beach before the cruise departed. Energy was high and the Sangria was endless, no really there was an endless supply. So the remaining moments are a bit fuzzy but it was soooo much fun and jumping into that cold ocean water after weeks of not seeing it in Madrid was heavenly. We splashed around and let the freezing water wash away the sticky sweet sangria plastered to our skin until the sun set and we made our way back to shore.

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WATER

After a quick power nap we were off the infamous Nah Nah Bah Burger Joint in Lagos which is known world wide for having the best burgers and let me tell you that it def. lives up to its title. Pineapple on my burger was delish and the scalloped potatoes on the side were even better. Even writing about it, I am craving one. Yumm then the tour group whisked us off to dancing and drinks somewhere in Lagos. It was a little touristy and dead to start but, it packed up a little and the friends I went there with made it more fun. Our trip included 2 free drinks too! We fell asleep that night with salty skin, grins, and full bellies.

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Day two we got to enjoy the beach at Meia Praia after a breakfast that was included in the trip cost and free sangria on the beach, I think I could get used to this! Then we went onto Kayaking trip, again an extra 25€. Kayaking was fun but the water was too choppy and by the time we had finished we were all exhausted. So if I did it all over again I would def. choose to only do the sangria cruise and spend more time on the beach of exploring Portugal with Saturday. After kayaking it was quick showers and then we were whisked off to Sagres to watch a stunning sunset at what was once considered “The End of the World.” It was full of people and the cliffs were steep which is slightly terrifying if you know how clumsy I am! So I stayed at least an arms length away to guarantee my safety and others–no joke! The clouds sadly made the sunset not as spectacular as one would hope but, beautiful nonetheless! Afterwards another night out on the town.

PEACE

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Next day we visited the Praia do Amado or West Coast beach and watched surfers and beach enthusiast alike soak up the sun. I got too comfortable though and awoke to a wave drenching myself, all my things, and my friends towels clothes and even whisking off a friend´s shoes into the ocean. Luckily a flip flop was only thing lost or ruined. All of our phones and cameras miraculously stayed dry! Yay! the clouds rolled in which made leaving the beach a little easier given how cold we were and then we were meet with a bus ride from Lagos to Seville. A 2 Hour break to eat some dinner and then another 8 Hour bus ride from Seville to Madrid which got us back just in time to have a 3 hour break before classes that morning….They do call it study abroad after all! That next morning I awoke and realized I missed my Spanish class after what was supposed to be a quick 1 hour rest before class along with another important document that had been left behind on the Sociobus….Can you guess what it was? I will be sure to make my next blog post all about it. So, stay tuned!

BEACH TIME

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An Afternoon in Toledo

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I am so awful at having a travel blog, I am the worst! I admit it, sorry guys! I always have the biggest aspirations of posting weekly and having this great discussion and covering topics-travels-musings-and picture….BUT then life happens and I get wrapped up in my routines and forget, WHOOPS. I will truly try and do better. So lets rewind back to

September 7th 

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I signed up to go on a day trip to the city of Toledo which, is about a 1 .5-2hr drive outside of Madrid and oh my goodness was it so beautiful. I showed up with Nikon DSLR camera in tow and full night´s sleep after getting my butt kicked by jet lag the previous days. The roads were narrow and the streets were charming and cozy. balconies lined our views with potted plants, shuttered windows, and smells of marzipan lined our tour. The people of Toledo like to claim that this is the home of Marzipan when, it was really brought to Toledo by the Muslims. Toledo used to be the capitol of Spain and boast the second largest ruin sight outside of Italy and has more than Paris. Pretty interesting and you can thank our tour guide for that tidbit of information. We went inside various  sights and wandered the steep and bumpy paths. I must tell you I just found this city so CUTE! Except I can only imagine how annoying it must be to live inside one of those apartments and constantly stare at your window to see tourist-hoards of people snapping pictures or randomly just stopping while walking in font of you–sorry people of Toledo but, your city is SO gorgeous!

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My favorite part of the whole tour was the Cathedral of Toledo. It was just breathtaking. I don´t consider myself a very religious person and related more to a spiritual side of myself than any one religious mindset-framework but, this cathedral made me want to attend a mass to hear the vaulted ceilings filled with angelic voices echoing and filling the room with life. Instead, I had to settle for the gasps of wonder from tourist, clicks of cameras, and soft voices of tour guides. My favorite part had to be the painted ceilings and ornate gold work. I just wish my pictures did them some justice but, it was truly a sight to see and was a great first full Sunday in Madrid. A friend of mine almost ended up not even seeing the Cathedral after losing the group while taking pictures and exploring the city on our own. Tour guides are great but, they have the tendancy to go on rants or just blah blah for too long so can you blame us? I am so glad we didn´t miss the chance to see the beauty and continue to wander around this space for a good hour or two on our own. Exploring what spoke to us and feeling in no rush to meet up with the group because, this sight made all the long explanations and hot sticky weather totally worth it.

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Introductions & Orientations: What’s going on now?!

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Introductions & Orientation:

So I am back at it again.

Welcome to the Chronicles of Josie –PART II. This time my traveling has taken my to Madrid, Spain for 4 1/2 months of studying Spanish and Communication (on a global scale!) at SLU-Madrid campus. After studying in Ghana, my scholarship funds still had an extra quarter that if I didn’t take advantage of would be thrown into the pot, so why not?! It’s a little bit strange being here because I feel so removed from the college culture and old….Yes old. Most of the students here are juniors in college and from that stand point we are at different positions in our lives and have different understandings of the world. However, optimistically I’ve meet a handful of really amazingly sweet and genuine people that i have plans to travel with during long weekends. And I am hoping to explore and travel by myself after finals, a sort of glampacking!

I digress–This abroad adventure I am living at a home stay with my Senora, Keke. Keke is in her late 40s, an avid chain smoker, fantastic cook, a spitfire, and only speaks Spanish! So we have had limited conversations but, she has really helped me to practice Spanish everyday and she cooks a mean Paella. We live about a 10 minute walk from campus, 15-20 minute walk though if you ditch the American speed walking and embrace the relaxed Spaniard style of strolling. The apartment is very small by Western standards but, I find it warm and cozy; although, doing my daily Jillian Michael’s fitness DVDs has taken some reorganizing of the foyer. Every morning Keke watches me get ready and admires the way I do my make-up and I am in the process of showing her how to get the perfect winged eyeliner with liquid! Before I leave she tells me that I look muy gupa! Breakfast is waiting for me which, consists of 2 slices of toast with marmalade, OJ, and cafe con leche! I then fill up my water bottle with cold water from our fridge and start my walk to school.

The walk is easy and the weather in Madrid this past week is HOT! Waiters line the streets and smoke fills the air as rapid sounds of talking fill my ears. I like to listen and watch as the neighborhood greets another day. I do have to look down occasionally though, as to not step in dog doo doo! There are lots of little and big pups here whose owners don’t pick up after them, tread lightly (no pun intended). Classes are fair so far, I am intrigued with my ‘Interpersonal Communication’ and ‘New Media Communication and  Education’ classes. I’ve also decided to test my hand at creating art and appreciating it through: ‘ Modern Art in Spain & France’ and ‘Photographic Imaging and Digital Manipulation’ courses…and to top it off ‘Intermediate Spanish and Culture!’ Woooo that was a mouthful!

With week one down I’ve pushed myself to go explore the city, meet new people go out, make plans, visit Toledo, eat Tapas, and so much more. Hard work, right? Really though, having readily available and consistent wifi at school and my home stay makes being boring @ home…well less boring! However, why would I want to do the same ol’ ish in Madrid? I really don’t so I tell myself that in the long run that meeting new people, exploring shops, taking gorgeous pictures, and engaging in a new culture will be so very worth it. Culture shock, jet lag, and starting back @ school is exhausting though. So, once a week I do allow myself to just veg and focus on my projects and work. Plus when you siesta at least twice a week you can get so much done! Here are some highlights and pictures from my first fabulous week in Spain. Stay tunned for more adventures, topics that interest me, advice, and whatever else I feel like posting! Are there any topics you guys are dying for me to write about?

Highlights!

DAY 1: My room! Look at how cute and cozy it is. I have a huge window that opens up to the courtyard and a desk that is perfect for typing up this blog or attempting to do my hw….oppps!

DAY 2:  Walking tour of Madrid! In contrast to most places/cities in the USA Madrid is full of so many historical places and beautiful archietecture. It was so fun to walk around and see the buildings, beautiful parks, and try and beat jet lag. Not gonna lie though, the metro scares me! I need to get over this fear but, in general I am directionally challenged soo I am expecting to get terribly lost one day and after then it will only be uphill, right?

Day 5: Went out to Teatro Kapital with some girls from my program, it’s a huge club with 7 floors-each floor boasting its own theme. EDM, Hip-hop, lounge, Karaoke and I can’t remember the rest of them.

Day 6:  Tapas night hosted by the University, yumm! Had my first Spanish Sangaria, so delish and endless plates of Tapas. From croquetas to bruschetta on a baguette my mind and taste buds were blown away. For 5 Euros too, I am hooked!

Day 7:  My cultural immersion is rough day! Worked out and enjoyed time alone. Walked to the park and had a typical Spanish dinner of cold soup and a crab/veggie salad.

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Day 8: Day trip to Toledo which, deserves its own Blog post full of gorgeous pictures! Coming later this week 🙂

Day 9: Chocolate con churros yumm and shopping at La Gran Vie. I am very happy in Spain and am happy that I made the choice to see the world and prolong growing for 5months 😉 If you ever make it to Spain I highly recommend San Gines. It’s a simple menu but, the outdoor setting and the cute street along with the tasty treat is a recipe for an instant good mood. BEWARE of street peddlers and gypsies though and if you must set your purse down link it through the leg on your chair and keep your legs around it too…better safe than sorry 🙂

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How was Ghana?!

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I am going to be honest with you all. I am in a weird state of longing for home but, scared to leave Ghana. I am scared that I will forget all the beautiful people, breath taking sights, the smells (both sweet and sour), the blarring noise of honking horns, and the sweet hellos of my neighbors. The beautiful textiles that line the ebony skin of men and women alike. I know the first things my friends and family alike will ask me upon my arrival will be “HOW WAS GHANA?! TELL ME ALL ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE” So I wrote a poem to sum up the conflicting ways I feel and

My backpack tied to my shoulders bundeled with relics of Ghana.
Two feet on home soil and the questions start to roll in.
A sea of white faces exchanged for the rich tones of ebony that linned my daily life in Ghana.
I am scared that I will forgot. That I will magaically awaken in my bed years later and Ghana will just be a foggy memory
A former flame who I told “we can still be friends” but, we all know how that works.
But how do I describe the feeling of awe that I had when before I stepped off the airport I had already made a new friend who wanted to make sure I got through customs safely? The sense of welcome that I felt when I was surrounded by my fellow brothers and sisters
I lived on the continent in which all life has steamed from…Africa…The motherland.
The heat was the second thing to greet me and it was like I was baptized by my own sweat and the rich feeling of surviving on my own.
Not surviving…No, thriving. Spicy foreign foods burned my mouth and I learned Twi (Well sort of)
I puncutured bags of sachet water with my teeth and felt my thirst was more quenched than any bottle of Fiji could leave me.
How was Ghana?
But how do I describe the warmth? Physically and mentally that greeted me within moments of my arrival
How do I describe cold showers that caused my skin to gooseprickle after a hot slumber the previous night?
Dipping my body in the Atlantic Ocean and tasting traces of the ocean’s kiss still line my lips?
The laugh of little girls in their school uniforms picking flowers from a neighbor’s fence and tearing themselves away from their adventure long enough to share a shy wave with me?
Ghana gave me time, space, and places that have allowed me mroe self reflection and realization then a lifetime in the US ever did
How can I paint the sunsets that whisp the sky in shades of teal, pink, violet, orange, and yellow when the only colors I have are black and white?
Yes, there were moments that were tough and I wanted to come home…but I didn’t because, I have made a home here as well.
I cannot forget and I cannot give you a synposis of my life abroad because, you didn’t feel like reading the book. My life is not spark notes
…Maybe this book is still being written.
So let me tell you that Ghana is sweet like the pineapple and mango juice that runs down my hands after I slice one up for breakfast
Ghana is cool like my host mom’s response after I ask her how her day was. Cool like the feeling after my daily shower. Cool like being caught in a rain storm and being bombarded with a feeling of actual coldness after months of swetlering heat. Cool like a club beer shared with friends at an outside bar that we frequented.
Ghana is spicy like the kabeebs that I routinely buy off the street burning my mouth with spices. Ghana is spicy because, she doesn’t take easy answers. Ghana pushed me back and made me analyize my own privledges and prejuices. Ghana is rich in flavors that I had previously never encountered and she made no apologies for that.
Ghana is home and just like the feeling that sleeping in your own bed gives you I cannot simply summarize my time here.
No colors are bright enough
No words are strong enough
No sounds are loud enough
& No smells can capture the renching smells of open gutters OR sweet enough to smell like the night blooming jasmine that accompanied me on endless evening walks.
So when you ask me how was Ghana? I will smile and respond that it was everything I need and more but, it’s hard to be home when my heart now dwells in two places.

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What I am is not for you to understand

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A couple of selfies for added effect 😉

This is going to be a pretty lofy blog post and if I can give you some insight into what struggles I’ve faced being a young woman in Ghana of mixed race than I accomplished my goal. If I missed it or left you offended or confused than let me know how I can strengthen this reflection. This topic is uncomfortable one for me to write about and it may be uncomfortable from some people to read BUT, just because a topic is uncomfortable doesn’t mean that it should be avoided or swept under the rug. Moments of un-comfort present great opportunities to engage in conversation that can enlighten the speaker on their own experience and educate those they give their message to. So let me share my peace with all of you currently reading this post. 

I labeled this posted “What I am is not for you to understand” because, I feel as if when people meet me (both in the US and especially in Ghana) they are confused my ambiguous looking appearance. 

  • Too “tan” to be white
  • Too light to be black
  • Kinky black hair
  • Native American looking check bones
  • Almond shaped eyes
  • Skin that tans more often than burns
  • MAYBE SHE’S SPANISH 
  • “WHAT ARE YOU”
  • “OHHH YOU’RE A MIXED BREED”
  • White girls: “I wish I had tan skin like you”
  • Black girls “You act white” 
  • She’s an oreo (black on the outside white on the inside)

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Most of my life I feel as if I occupy this weird middle ground where I don’t fit into other of the molds of “black” or “white”. It’s not that simple and what I am is not for you to understand. My being isn’t centered around you feeling comfortable by my appearance of my ambiguous looks. That’s what I mean when I wrote the title of this blog. First and foremost I am a person a human being with feelings. I am not a breed or a weird racial science project with a clear hypothesis and set of controlled variables. It’s not that simple. However, for the sake of this post and to answer any curiosities I will tell you that I am:

  1. Irish
  2. Scottish 
  3. Native American
  4. African American

I won’t lie that I had some selfish aspirations when coming to Ghana. I longed to learn and understand more about my African-American heritage. Something that I was robbed of during the slave trade and a home that 1/2 of me will never know how deep her roots flow in this deep and rich continent that is known as Africa. I hoped to see familiar faces to mine and feel a piece of home that would just feel right when I found it. Sadly, that is something I am still searching for and that I have to be content with maybe never finding during my lifetime but, instead creating it for myself through books, relationships, and travel. I yearned for the opportunity to have the majority of the people around me have gorgeous skin tones of ebony, caramel, honey, and coal. How lovely it would be immersed in an ocean of a proud black community. So rich in culture, experiences, history, and love that I would immediately feel a sense of belonging. And while I have encountered such things as listed above: art, history, culture, language, welcoming attitudes, sights, people, and beautiful rich dark skin tones. The belonging is something that has been missing. I must also add how crazy it is how much white/euroupean features are seen within Ghana. Most women rock hair extensions and there are more advertisements for skin lightening creams than one can care to see. Who decided that white was better than black? It’s like apple and oranges. Each is beautiful and delicious in its own sense and they don’t need to be compared. For you need darkness to have light and vice versa. There’s a gorgeous harmony that is created through opposites (but this a topic for its own blog post, I digress) 

Who was I kidding though? Even with a bronzed tan I know I don’t like Ghanaian but, I would hope that the people in Ghana may recognize something in my features and be able to see that my racial history started on the same content as theirs. However, it’s not that simple. First and foremost Ghanaian recognize nationality before race. You are either a) a Ghanaian b) an African of some nationality other than option a c) an Oburni (foreign and/or white person) d) A black American. The only time I ever get refereed to as sister which my fellow Black peers get called on frequently is when someone wants money from me or to buy their products. I get called an oburni more often than not.One man even told me that I could J-walk as much as I wanted because, taxis wouldn’t hit me because, “you’re white!”.  And I know I should not get upset by these things, it’s only a title or a comment. YET somehow it still makes me angry. I so badly want to fit in to be recognized as not being one or the other but, both. I want to learn how to operate in both spheres while being true to my self. 

I had a really interesting conversation 2 weeks ago when a Ghanaian friend of a friend said that what I was wasn’t right to him. That he didn’t believe interracial relationships were right and that I was symbol of everything that he didn’t like. & later this night that same man was trying to wrap his arms around me and posed for pictures…fake much? The next morning on the beach I called him out on his remarks because, just as a person can’t choose their parents they can’t choose their racial background either. What I am is not for him to feeling comfortable with or to understand. First and foremost I am a human and there is nothing wrong with a human being simply living. His ignorant existence was never referred to as wrong in my book until he intruded on my being. How insensitive and cruel was this remark and it stirred a lot of emotions that I’d buried within from my younger days in which a little girl wouldn’t allow me to play with her because, of my skin tone. I still remember her name, Carolyn. And the ways her words burned and the confidence in me that she erased that day. At this moment on the beach I felt like that same helpless little girl all over again being told she couldn’t play princess and dragons because, she was black.  

Except this time I wasn’t so helpless and I had my words and experience to fight back. In America there’s a one drop rule in which if you have one drop of black’ness to you then you are black. In Ghana I can’t quite say what it is that grants blackness or inclusion but, whatever I am is not it. I listened to this man’s arguments in which he stated that he believes black is beautiful (which I agree with wholeheartedly) and that it’s too special to mix with other races. He hates that man here throw themselves on white women simply because, their skin tones..it makes him sick. He just doesn’t think it was right. He went to tell tales of how African Americans think that they are better than Africans and so forth. That’s when I began to see that the anger and cruel words that he threw onto me had nothing to do with my being or skin but, his one experiences that caused his judgement to be tainted with evil feelings that anger seeped onto anyone that threatened his view race and his experience of prejudice…which happen to me. Just like I will never understand his struggles as an African male he will never understand mine as a multiracial female. What we are is not for the other to understand and we should be content in that. We can communicate and learn from one another and that’s enough for me. Maybe I can never change his views on interracial relationships but, those are his demons he needs to answer…not mine.

My identity is shaped by more than my race and that’s what I am thankful for Ghana for teaching me. What I am is not for anyone to understand except for myself. What you see as black or white features are simply features. I am a loving person and student of the world. Although it is inevitable that as people we went to categorize ourselves and others we shouldn’t let such categories become the end all be all. Scratch at the surface before you label yourself or others off of only one aspect of their lives. At the end of the day I only have to answer to is myself and I can sleep easier knowing that I wasn’t made to understood by others…

 

–Some things to be aware of–

Race: The term race refers to the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics (which usually result from genetic ancestry).

Significance: Race presumes shared biological or genetic traits, whether actual or asserted. In the early 19th century, racial differences were ascribed significance in areas of intelligence, health, and personality. There is no evidence validating these ideas.

Cited: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Ethnicity_vs_Race

 

Until we meet again

XOX-Josie