I met an Ashesi student named Joy over the weekend who seemed to be very friendly. Taking a taxi ride to school everyday was not what I imagined, so I worked up the courage to ask Joy if she knew of a short route to walk to school. She said yes. I liked her British accent and I wanted to make a friend while here, so I asked her if I could walk with her the next day. Again, she said yes. We settled on 7am as the departure time, which was great. (I felt a little selfish though, because I knew Kayt would never stand for 7am!) I didn’t bother to tell Kayt once I got back to the room…
The next morning I awoke ready to take on the walk. I awoke Kayt and told her about the arrangement I’d made with Joy…Kayt told me she’d just take a taxi. Joy and I met up a little after 7 and started walking. We passed through the police barracks first, which in reality, looked like U.S. housing projects. (The barracks are where police live with their families.) Even though it was 7am, police families were out, hustling and bustling. Children were outside brushing their teeth and women were trying to sell candy. I was very nervous walking through their community, because it was theirs. What gave me, an American, the right to walk through their ‘hood? Surely anyone that looked at me knew I wasn’t Ghanaian! Or so I thought. But no one said anything to Joy or me; they just looked at us as we walked by and went about their day.
After passing through the barracks, we came upon a basketball court where police were training. Or were they doing a daily group exercise? I really couldn’t tell. All I know was that it was all funny to me! Seeing the men and women in their spandex and the women trying to keep up was definitely a spectacle. A fence enclosed the court and separated it from the walkway we were using, but lots of passersby were glued to the fence, watching just as I was. I guess that would be my entertainment for the day.
By this time, my body was telling me we’d walked a long way because I was starting to sweat a lot. I knew I could reduce the sweat if we slowed our walk, but I dared not say anything to Joy since I decided to walk with her. After about twenty minutes of walking in the hot African sun, we arrived at Ashesi. I was surprised to learn that Joy would be working in the same building with me. She was a work-study student working as a receptionist. She was very nice and polite. Even though the sun was hot and I sweated like all get out, I decided I would walk with Joy the rest of the week.