7. Has OJ Landed Yet?
Eight whole hours later the plane finally lands in Accra, Ghana and I step foot on African soil for the first time. I was honestly overjoyed. I didn’t kiss the ground, I didn’t cry but there was moisture on my face immediately in the form of sweat. A lot of it. I’m not sure if it’s more hot or humid but it is definitely both and it’s intense. As a native of Los Angeles I’m accustomed to experiencing absolutely no humidity for years at a time. So my version of how hot and humid it is in Ghana is far more dramatic than most people. It was humid in Cuba, but this was different. I immediately accepted this as an ongoing theme of my trip. I also immediately had to accept the consequences of my lack of preparation for this trip. I chose the path of Visa on arrival, that meant I had to see the good people at the visa on arrival station. I noticed there wasn’t a long line and there weren’t any more than 40 or so people waiting around. Not crowded at all. This shouldn’t take long.
Cut to 4 hours later, I was super wrong, it did take super long and had to also get a yellow fever shot because it would have been too much like super smart to do before I left. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was also introduced to another ongoing theme of my trip, wait times. I assumed it was because there were a lot of people visiting and they were swamped. I did know about Ghana getting hundreds of thousand visa applications, due to the popularity of The Year of Return, before I arrived. I don’t know if it was the real reason, but that’s what I kept telling myself. I had to keep that mind set throughout the duration of my trip. I did and I’m proud of myself. Normally things go a lot differently in the United States. I had to drop that whole mindset for this trip. I was mindful to accept the way they do things. A lot of people talked about the wait times in Ghana, but that didn’t ruin my trip or anyone else’s that I know of. But it is funny that the wait times in Ghana make “Colored People’s Time” look like a single candle light in the noon’s sun.
I get to my hotel. Something like a boutique hotel. I like a good boutique hotel but this wasn’t the good I was expecting for reasons that were very avoidable. So I spent one night there and luckily found the last available chalet (something like an apartment) at the Fiesta Royale hotel. It was the only place I could find with a king size bed. A necessity that made my trip a lot harder than it had to be. There were a lot of places with queen sized and full size beds. But I refuse to sleep 7 days in a queen sized bed. Nope. They also had a restaurant that was open 24 hours which was super clutch because my sleep pattern was off; by a lot.
Every day that I was in Ghana, there were multiple parties and events to choose from during the day and night. It was a “lit-uation” all month. I hear this is normal for December in West Africa and that’s one of the reasons I was there. I didn’t want to go to see or do anything slave related. I was trying to go on a vacation from white people, not to remember why I needed a vacation from white people.
Beautifully written. I have followed you a long time. Think 2000’s… Bumblebee story. There is something about your soul that is extra ordinary, you are imperfect but what I notice about you is introspection You have an open mind and whether you believe it or not, you are a good person.
The paths that led you to Africa wasnt by mistake. You were meant to be there and I was so happy for you. Wasnt least bit shocked your ancestral results traced you back to Yorubaland. You come from great people. Your open mind, ability to seek out and integrate new experiences aren’t a mistake. I’m glad you took that step… your journey has just begun. Thank you for sharing this blog. May the ancestors always guide your path.
Wow, thank you for saying that. I really appreciate it. It does feel like all fo this was meant to happen. Im extremely grateful.
I read it All. Your writing has tremendously improved. This is beautiful. Hope you savour every bit of your Yorubaness, Yorubas are party people so you definitely no miss road. Beautiful write up. You did good!
Bro this is dope as hell. I’m glad you were able to publish this! This inspires me to get the fuck outta here man! I gotta go and I mean permanently!
Thanks! I wish my Max was here to read it tho. My Dad too.
Ohjay I have no words. I literally laughed and cried reading this. You have an amazing talent for story telling that’s for damn sure! If you need editing let me know hahaha I was mentally correcting as I read but I know you and I love your imperfections, always have. Max would have loved this! Dammit now I wanna go to Africa! I have family in The Gambia and I would love to visit. My dad did the African Ancestry DNA test too, we also hail from the Yoruba Tribe my light bright mixed ass has ancestral lands all over the world! One day…
AAAYYYEEEEE!!!!! HIGH FIVE! Knowing what kind of African I am is kind of an amazing feeling. Thank you and yea, I might have to take you up on that editing offer. I need to get better lol.