SoCal vs. East Coast vs. Ghana

Hohoe is a quaint town a few hours north of Ho. The last time I visited was with Martin as we spent time at the Volta School for the Deaf and hiked out to the epic Wli Falls. Yesterday Hohoe came to me in the form of a friend named Ashley.

Ashley works for Della – a fashion brand based out of Los Angeles that uses Ghanaian batik print in its products. We swapped dozens of stories of mutual friends from that corner of the world and the crazy places we’d run into them. The IC community reaches far.

I was struck by the coastal differences in my last several visitors. Ashley represents SoCal and all its associated culture: the bright-faced idealism, socially conscious attitude, hip clothing and love of adventure. My people! For several moments I caught myself thinking back to my time on the road, wandering San Diego coffee shops, dangling my feet off sailboats in the Bay.

Yet a few weeks ago when Emily and Tom visited, I reveled in the east coast part of my life. We discussed campaign development and national policy and systemic changes. We took solace in talking through organizational structure, weighing the pros and cons of teaching and discipline methods, prattling about event logistics and public transportation.

It seems that this third iteration of myself – the Ghanaian one – has had a rare opportunity interacting with two past selves, and thankfully with a safe amount of respect and nostalgia. Those years outside the Midwest have shaped who I am today. Still, neither east nor west coast can accurately stereotype me.

My time in Ghana is short, but I am excited to learn and to gather fodder for the conversations of tomorrow. Mostly I look forward to traveling more and seeing more of the many people and places of Ghana. Luckily I now have a friend nearby in Hohoe to join!

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