Monday, January 12, 2009
Back to business!
So - after a weekend of relaxation and visiting with extended family of my landlord it's back to business at the center. Let me tell you a little of what I've learned about "Ghana Time." The official time zone is Greenwich Mean Time or GMT but here I prefer to think of it as "Ghanaian Maybe Time." As in, maybe the shop will open by the time posted on the door, maybe somone will show up when they say they will - but most often, it's a waiting game. Even at the center there is a lot of sitting and waiting for things to start, for things to finish, for people to show up to work, etc . . . It's not unusual to leave an hour or two after you decide on a departure time. It's a challenge to my sense of "wasting time," such an American point of view. But what the relaxed sense of time offers is time to focus completely on the person/people in front of you at the moment. Even the children at the center bear this waiting around much more patiently than I would expect of children with Autism. Today was another successful day in my opinion. I met two very young boys attending the center for the first time today and had a chance to make music with both of them individually. One who has a very astute musical ear and initiated "Twinkle Twinkle" singing every pitch in the melody and even finishing his playing on the keyboard in the same key. He's about three and half, maybe four years old. The other was very unsure of interaction with me but used my hand as an object to replicate a glissando I showed him. After that he began to vocalize along with the song I was singing and playing. I didn't recognize his words - not sure if it's gibberish or Twi or Ga or any of the other languages I can only hope to understand. I'm only now at the point where I can respond respectfully to people's greetings - which happens a lot here. Just walking down to the internet cafe this afternoon I counted four people who wished me a good afternoon and inquired about how I was doing. Perhaps I look as if I'm exerting myself walking in the heat, who knows??