Friday, December 05, 2008

Nervous

I haven't talked about this because I guess for some reason it just didn't feel real to me. I've had very minimal feelings about it which I think is strange. Sometimes I feel a tinge of excitement and other times it just feels like a story that I'm reading. I'm unsure of what to expect. I've been trying to read things online but the things that I've read have only made added to my nervousness.



Ya see, next year I'm going to Ghana. I'm a little excited about it today because I just found out that instead of flying coach as we originally thought, we'll be flying business class. So right now I'm most excited to know that I'll be comfortable on this 18hour flight to Acra, Ghana.


I'll be going to Ghana with some co-workers on a special project that our company is taking part in for the 1st time ever. My company in the U.S. is joining up with our company in the UK and in Ghana to build houses in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Now anyone that knows me is probably thinking. You build houses???...well yeah me! LOL. I'm all for paying to get things done right and quickly rather than doing it myself and be unsure of the final results. However, I don't mind getting my hands dirty and love the feeling of accomplisment when my efforts are something that will be useful for someone else. So that's what I'm going to do.








I'm actually the U.S. Team Leader in this 1st endeaver. What I'm a little nervous about is not the work but moreso how I will be perceived. After searching the internet for Gay Ghana all I found were negative articles sighting that homosexuality is illegal and Police and inhabitants of Ghana sometimes beat or kill those who they think may be gay for purely stereotypical reasons. Now I'm by no means flamboyantly gay but I'm also not the stereotypical macho man either. So this is where my concerns come in as the customs in this country are quite different from our own in the States.

An example of that is: we are required to meet the King of the villiage to gain his approval to build for his villiagers. What this process is right now I don't know. I'm sure I'll find out before we go but it still makes me nervous. Will I be asked if I am married and have children and if not why not? You know the questions that your family may wonder about but never say anything.

While I'm excited about the opportunity to do some good for people in Africa and having the opportunity to do some sightseeing there for free for 2 weeks. I'm still a little apprehensive about what I might encounter. I will however, make sure that I understand the customs of this country so that I do not offend anyone while visiting.

I am excited about this opportunity also because my mother company was happy that employees came up with this project,, are backing us financially and they'd like to do something like this world-wide on a regular basis in the future. If this project is successful I'm going to try to create a new job out of it. Maybe I'll be the Director of International Charitable Affairs or something..LOL What I do know is that if I'm able to create this position I'll be able to see the world for free!

Has anyone been to Ghana and can give me some advice?

14 comments:

Jamar Herrod said...

No Ive never been to Ghana but I do have a professor who is from Ghana. Ill ask him next time I see him and let him know.

iKensington said...

Hey Guy...I understand your concern. This past summer I went to Uganda for 2 weeks. Like many other African countries, it too outlaws homosexuality. FYI---I am OUT. So, going to Uganda made me consider how my actions/mannerisms may be perceived. I must say, my overall experience was great. One person did indirectly question my sexuality (not in a way that would have been taken as a personal attack, but in retrospect, maybe because he is gay). And females did question my relationship history and my interactions with girls back home. I answered honestly and at times, omitted some elements of the presence of males in my romantic life.
You will find that acts that would be deemed as "gay" here in America, are regularly done by true heterosexual males. They hold hands with other male friends, they dance together at clubs and have a very close comraderie with each other. YOU will however represent their connection with America if you are THE (or one of a few) black males.
Just be you, and be cautious. Good luck!

c0nn3ction said...

I have been to Ghana many times and I LOVE IT!!!

You have Nothing to fear. Ghanaian people are very friendly and welcoming.

Yes homosexuality is illegal in Ghana but there are many wonderful gay guys there. I have met many of them.

You are going to see so many guys to die for. It is quite amazing. Ghanaian guys are simply gorgeous. If you plan to meet some guys for extra mural activities just be careful. Make 100% sure that whoever you are interested in is trustworthy. Unfortunately there are some guys in Ghana who pretend to be gay and do work together with the police and you could end up in trouble or end up being blackmailed etc. These guys have given a bad name to Ghana but the truth is that there are many TRULY wonderful gay guys in Ghana.

If you spend time in Accra you have to visit a small bar called Chester's Place in a suburb called Osu. Owned by a gay Ghanaian guy and really classy. But it is only swinging on a Wednesday nights. There are 2 sections to Chester's, the back section which has live music and the Air conditioned lounge. You need to go to the lounge for which you pay extra. It is classy, safe, great and gay :-)

Enjoy the heat. Ghana is intensely hot and humid. Almost as hot as Ghanaian guys.

D-Place said...

Thank you guys I will definetely take your advice and be careful. I will be one of 2 black males from the US. You have helped in calming my nerves some. Thanks to Jamar to for any info a past resident can give.

fuzzy said...

i believe that a friend of mine in church is from ghana. I'll ask tomorrow...

deonte' k said...

Hey buddy I would be nervous too. I've never been outside the US and kinda don't plan on it lol. Shoot, I haven't even been on a plane B4. But going to Ghana and stuff like that... naw not 4 me lol. But if u decided to go have some fun, and I doubt it probably be that bad or scary. Just be careful.

Moanerplicity said...

Going to any new place is cause for feelings of nervousness and in some case even fear. Homophobia is such a widespread concept and yet people who are gay or bi manage to live their lives as honestly & safely as possible w/in those constrictions, even in Ghana.

You won't be alone. There's much truth in the expression: Wherever you go, there YOU are.

Enjoy yourself. Embrace yourself. Love wisely & carefully... but love often.

Snatch JOY!

One.

Kin'shar said...

I love going to new places...all the time. But hey let me know what you find out about Ghana....

hit me on pggcgirl@yahoo.com

Scott747 said...

Built houses in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) many years ago in a rural development program. It was without doubt the greatest experience of my life. Visited Ghana many times and had a memorable time once at the White Star Hotel in Accra where a new Ghanian friend got me totally drunk. You will love Africans - they are kind, generous and incredibly dignified. Good luck to you.

KB said...

you will enjoy yourself-take plenty pics for us! i can't wait to visit there myself. to see the slave castles, beaches, the towns, the people-it will be amazing. they also say you will see so many people who look exactly like your friends and family cause of the bloodlines.

Pharaoh said...

HEY D,
I am excited for you! Can you take me in your luggage? =) Please bring me back some Ghananian currency. I appreciate the kind that jingle but would prefer the kind that folds. (small denominations of course.)

I understand your concern, I think you may be given a "hall pass" by being an black man from America. Just like you don't know what to expect from them, they may not know what to expect from you. SO short of you being caught with your hands in the proverbial cookie jar. People there may contribute some of your behavior as just cultural differences. The other side is that you will there in group and there is safety in numbers. you will be FINE!
As for the new postions...CLAIM IT. don't just hypothesize about it...name and claim what you want!

Frederick Smith said...

I hope you enjoy your trip. It will be a lot of fun and an adventure. Love the new title you're claiming :-)

It was nice seeing you last week at the event.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Just came upon your blog. I'm a queer Black American woman living in Ghana (Accra). Have been thinking about/observing what it means to be gay here and would be happy to share my thoughts and limited experience. Email me at interesting_person@writeme.com
Will you be spending much time in Accra? Maybe we can get drinks when you're here.
- Malee

viagra online said...

So I think going to Ghana could be a very funny experience after all. I see that people are happy just because they are healthy and alive. We most take a piece of that attitude!