I'm sure it's no surprise to anybody that Ghana infiltrates my dreams quite often. The country is such a big part of my awake life, that it only makes sense I would dream about it too. Today I had a dream that sort of cracks me up.
I'm in Ghana, with 3 families who have traveled for court. We are sitting in, what would in America be, a school bus. Dark green 2-seater bench seats. Some of the seats are in disrepair, and in the back there are two missing seats. Folks have taken the space from the two empty seats and used that space to fit 8 passengers, sitting on plastic foot stools. The conversation is good. The families and I are having a good time, despite the uncomfortable conditions.
Unlike "real" Ghana, the bus driver does not stop anytime someone needs to go to the bathroom (for a bus-side relief session). This bus driver is going to stop twice on the very long trip. We make the first stop. I go as quickly as I can, paying my 10 pesewas for a wad of toilet paper and the privilege of a real sit down toilet. I'm back on the bus in good time, which was lucky because this guy pulled out after just about 5 minutes! He didn't give the obligatory "warning" honk that we were about to leave! He actually left some of the passengers at the stop! We sort of laughed at the people who were too slow, and went on with our long hot ride.
After several hours it was time for the second stop. It was nighttime at a big bus station. I'd never been to this place and had no clue where the bathrooms were. I had to go BAD! So I jumped of the bus and tried to follow the crowd. All the women were going into this bar-looking place where they had to leave their purses at the door. I hated doing that, but all my big money was in my backpack on the bus. I had 11 cedis in my purse, so I left mine like everybody else. I kept following the crowd. Big line. Getting nervous. Finally it's my turn to go to the bathroom, which is good because I'm about to wet myself! I walk into the room and see it's not a bathroom at all. What? The woman looks at me like I am an idiot and says, "This is not a toilet! This is the trade school for learning to appropriately wash dishes!" ACK! I backtrack and finally DO see the toilet. I am super-rushed by now, afraid the bathroom break is going to end before I get to go! This is NOT a clean place. I go door to door looking for a toilet that is not overflowing with "stuff." Did I mention that for some reason I'm barefoot? Ick. I find the best choice, but I have to squat rather than sit (because of the condition of the seat).
Have you ever tried to squat and pee in your adult life? Let me just say...I'm not used to it. Using lots of muscle strength in my legs to get in that position, and then RELEASE "other" muscles in order to urinate....for me, my body does not want to accept those opposite forces! So I'm trying to pee. I've got to go SO BAD, but it won't come out! Finally, it does. Sweet relief!
I RUN back out to the bus as fast as I can. But of course, you can see this coming, right? The bus is long gone. Another bus is there and when I walk on everybody makes dirty faces at me (stupid American) and tells me to get off their bus. I walk back outside totally alone.
Then! There is a missionary couple that walks up to me and says, "Are you Anita?" The families on the bus, when they knew I was about to be left, gave them my purse (with 11 cedis) and asked them to take care of me. You know, in Ghana, folks do take care of one another, so this part of the dream probably isn't that far-fetched. Except in reality, it would have been a Ghanaian family.
The missionary family takes me home and treats me like family. No plans to reunite me with the other families. I'm just stuck in this other city for who knows how long. I feel like a TOTAL loser because here I am, the guide to these other families, and I don't even know how to get to a toilet and back to the bus in time! I'm worried for them, and lonely.
About this time I'm woken up by one of my kids, and the dream is over.
And there you have it--how Ghana infiltrates my dreams! LOL!