Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Atlanta, Georgia

Hi guys,

I’m still trying to figure out the correct formality and medium of blogging, so give me feedback if you notice I’m going diary or if you see room for improvement.

Just for a kind of general synopsis before I get full blown with this Ghana blog—I am doing a creative field studies project in Wiamoase, Ghana this summer where I will be working in the secondary school system looking at attitudes towards English and written expression in general. Simultaneously, I will be writing my own sort of travel narrative that invites us to reconcile with the difficult nature of qualifying an experience because of the way we must mediate it. I am doing this through a few different avatars of myself where the different characters and mediums will show the difficult, complex nature of experience and the way we attempt to preserve and document it. The goal is to hopefully invite a little more skepticism about travel writing and creative nonfiction as a genre to try and combat the deep, “Dark African” stereotype that has been cultivated since early travel writers like Henry Morton Stanley and Joseph Conrad.

So, if someone is not signing the blog posts “Rachel,” do not be alarmed. It’s still me. One aspect of me.

I wish that I could be Ava today. 1 flight down, 3 more to go before I touch the Ghana soil 45 hours later. As much as I love the adventure, those cute little delta inscribed biscoff cookies and half audible pilots don’t do much for me. Or airports for that matter, but perhaps that is because my overpriced fake Chinese food was only “sweet and sour” once I dipped the fried chicken in the packet of sauce. I have no appetite anymore, but when will I see an attempt at Chinese food for the next four months?

Oh, and my travel itinerary has my name wrong. I thought I was pretty sneaky getting past security on that one. An “E” snuck into my middle name, so once I sat down in the plane I had to use a nice mans phone to call Todd from the travel office to tell me I won’t get stuck in Dubai when they hunt me down. Well, maybe that is not all true. I got my phone call after asking three people and passing a background check and the lie detection test.

Now I wait. Wish I wouldn’t keep checking my pocket for my cell phone. Wonder if London has free Internet. Hope Delta comes through with my disposable blanket, and that when I land in Accra I will not have a Hawaii-homeless-on-arrival repeat.


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