It’s the 28th of June. Technically, my return ticket is for the 29th of July. This means I have 31 days before I return to the US. This means I have spent about 41 days in Ghana— the longest amount of time I have spent here since I immigrated in January of 1996. I have dealt with the mosquito bites, the audacity of the fly population, the persistent ant infestation (at home), the smog-filled 2-hour plus traffic jams that no amount of smog checks can rid us off, the random electricity outages and water shortages, and my biggest peeve, the inefficient mobile phone system that has me scratching cards of close to 30 Gh cedis each week (equivalent of $20) to top up my “credit” just so I can have hurried 2-minute phone conversations or “flash” (akin to collect calls) my other family members for them to call me.
And I haven’t run to change my ticket. In fact, I have had several interviews with potential employers in the education industry. I think of August every now and then and I wonder if I really want to go back or if I want to try out Ghana for a bit longer. If I go back, what am I going back to? Who am I going back to? If what I really want is to start my own business then why bother getting into the employment machine here? I have pondered often whether if given a choice I would want to be in the US or in Ghana. I think my answer is biased because I haven’t given Ghana a fair chance yet. There are several pros and cons for wanting to be in either place but I feel without a specific amount of time here, the pros drawn up for the US will always far outweigh that drawn up for Ghana.
I am having a bit of a crisis because several people want to see me settle here and don’t hesitate to let me know. “Ghana needs you.” I am torn because I know my way around the US work culture and can function there even if it is a struggle. I feel like I don’t have any particular skill or qualification in a country where there are such strong demarcations for what = success. The skill set I have is student services and pastoral care. The degrees I hold translate to “teaching” here; I would be lying to you if I said that I feel that to be my true calling. So what to do?
Butterflies crowd my belly and panic consumes my brain when I think of what all I need to think about when it comes to relocating for sure. I get so overwhelmed that I shut down and can’t think straight. There is just so much to think about. Like the shoes I promised to leave for this cousin or that aunt, I probably can’t leave anymore because I will be using it myself if I should stay. Ok, there are bigger things but for now the issue of the promised shoes haunt me more intensely.