The journal I'm writing in has some great traveling quotes in it that apply very well to Ghana and my situation here.
"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there in no path and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson
-Many of the places I go here in Ghana and Kongo have no real paths, so really I have no choice but to make the path myself. And I guess this applies to both physical footpaths as well as volunteering and working in this community.
"I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine." Caskie Skinnett
-There really is no routine here, although I'm not always traveling. Everyday is an adventure, everyday I'm required to be spontaneous. The planning part of me is taking the back seat for now. But with my aunt and uncle's visit, I was once again reminded my I love to travel and see and do new things.
"My favorite thing is to go where I have never gone." Diane Arbus
-Although I'm becoming much more familiar with Kongo and the Upper East and Ghana as a whole everyday, I'm still always going to places I've never been, seeing little things I hadn't seen before. Whether planned or not, new places pop up in front of me all the time.
"It is not down on any map; true places never are." Herman Melville
-Yes, Kongo is on a lot of maps, probably because of the big mission here, but I've been to many other volunteer's sites that are way out in the bush, definitely not on any maps. But in those places you probably can't get closer to the truth- of those people, of Ghana, of Africa.
"The only way of catching a train I have ever discovered is to miss the train before." G.K. Hesterton
-I really wish missing tros here in Ghana was half as exciting as this sounds...missing tros only leads to frustration. But maybe just once in a while missig a tro leads to unexpected adventures.
"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey." Babs Hoffman
-I know this is supposed to be a metaphor, but clearly this person has never traveled in Ghana before. But I'll still try to keep this in mind.
"When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable." Clifton Fadiman
-I think this is one of the best quotes about traveling in general, but yet I still question everyday how the heck certain things, like the tro system, make anyone comfortable here. But again I remind myself, its not about me, its about how Ghanaians and Ghana work.
"Tip the world over on its side, and everything loose will land in Los Angeles." Frank Lloyd Wright
-This doesn't have anything to do with Ghana, and I'm not sure its meant to be funny, but it makes me chuckle.
"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." Lao-Tzu
-This is the definition of traveling in Ghana and the tro system- you are prevented from making plans of any sort and many times you don't arrive. If only the planning, on-time part of me could except this more often, then I wouldn't be so frustrated with traveling.
"If you actually look like your passport photo, you aren't well enough to travel." Sir Vivian Fuchs
-I don't look like my passport photo (taken at 16), I don't look like my pocket sized photos taken for Peace Corps (taken right before I left the U.S.), I don't look like my CA driver's license photo (taken right before I left), I don't look like any of the pics I have up here on my wall in my room and now I don;t even look like the photo on my Peace Corps ID taken during homestay...I hope this all means that I'm extremely "well."