Thursday, April 29, 2010

I am a spoiled American

I am a spoiled America. I've never felt so spoiled as I do coming home from this trip to Ghana. I'm not sure why, as I know my life is less materialistic now than it was before I ever went to Ghana.

What makes me a spoiled American?

**I think my 2004 car is verging on "old" while in Ghana any car past 2000 is considered "new."

**I live in a place that doesn't really get too hot or too cold 98% of the time.

**I have air conditioning in my car and can afford to use it whenever I am the least bit hot or cold, because I don't pay nearly $6 a gallon for gas.

**I have heat and air in my house that can be controlled with the push of a button. No wind or windows, fire or wood required.

**The city water runs to the pipes of my house every single day. If it doesn't, someone will come to my house and fix the problem for me. I don't need a big plastic tank in my yard for days when the city water doesn't come.

**I never have to take a bucket shower or pour a bucket of water in my toilet to make it flush.

**I never have to wait more than 10 seconds for very hot or very cold water to come out of my tap--whatever I wish is there whenever I want it.

**My pipes can not only flush toilet paper, they can also take food that is ground up thanks to my garbage disposal. A garbage disposal!

**I can buy towels for a few dollars. My Ghanaian friends can't. Cheap hand towel--14 cedis. Set of two nice bath towels--63 cedis!

**I have more sets of clothes to wear than there are days in the week. Luxury.

**I can wash my clothes very well by throwing them into a tub with a bit of soap--all done electronically.

**I can dry my clothes in 90 minutes, even if it's raining outside--thanks to my electric clothes dryer.

**I can feed my children 3 meals each day AND these meals are enriched with all sorts of vitamins and minerals.

**I have a TV with video and sound and no "snow" and about 100 channels.

**I can send my kids to school FOR FREE or I can choose to educate them well at home. I have educational options for my children.

**I can pay my mortgage every month. My Ghanaian friends must pay rent 24 months in advance!

**I can get any life-saving medication my family needs for $4 to $50 because of prescription insurance. I don't have to watch Eric or Kendi die because their medication is not available in my country OR accessible to my budget!

**I have the opportunity to pay taxes, which then go to pay for roads and schools and hospitals and foster families and all sorts of other infrastructure I take SO for granted that I can't name them here.

**My house is roughly 1825 square feet of safe living space--a huge amount of space to most families in the developing world.

**I can wash my dishes by moving them from the sink to a machine, and pushing "start."

**I live in a country where people feel sorry for the kids who don't have access to a personal computer--a country where there are actual whole charities dedicated to providing computers to all of the "poor" children of the world.

**Each of my children have their very own raised bed with mattress and sheets and pillow.

**I can get in my nice car and travel down nice roads for 5 minutes to get to a grocery store where there is fresh meat, cheese and other protein sources for a few dollars, and I will have dozens of types to choose from.

**There is a flushing sit-down-style toilet within 5 minutes of me, a.. the time in America. Well, okay...maybe about 90% of the time!


KamPossible 7:12 AM  

Consistant electricity. No random, unannounced "outages" to save power. No loss of power. AND if we did have that, you know we would all own generators and be on the capitol steps with signs and it WOULD make a difference.

ECG - that's the electric company in Ghana. I have a facebook friend who posts after every outage and says everyone should call to complain... apparently it's not helping.

Mary Ellyn 2:55 PM  

You are also blessed to live in America.

bbqdaisy 8:37 PM  

I agree, I am a spoiled American too!
I can soooo relate to your post ... something about going up North in Ghana ESPECIALLY brought all of these realities even more to the forfront of my heart!!!!
THANKS for the reminders ... OH MY HEART! I am sooooooooooooo BLESSED!