New in Town

13 Feb

“How much is it again?”

“One cedi, fifty pesewa” She responded for the second time.

It was our first night in Hohoe.

“Right,” I fumbled the slick coins, “I’m sorry, I’m new.”

“I’m Edith,” the young Ghanaian woman replied with a smile.

As the Della team walked back out into the street laughing, I shook my head in amusement.

From that point on, the locals would know me as New.

 

The local people may call me New, but you can call me Chandler. Chandler was just too hard to annunciate. I am from Austin, TX and studied Communications in college. I believe in good food, good drink and good conversation. I try to be funny sometimes, too often some would say; I try to be an absolutist rarely, and I try to be poetically thoughtful all of the time. I try to live my life in open-mindedness and self-reflection, anticipating adventure. As I try I fail…a lot, yet learning to recognize grim times as growing pains continues as one of the most dynamic lessons learned as I age.

I was hired on to the Della team to oversee daily operations here in Hohoe and assist the company in any way possible- after all T.I.A. (This is Africa. A phrase reserved for bringing amusing comfort in adversity) and simple errands tend to be quite complex. I will be reporting back to you with news surrounding the Della operations, daily life here and hopefully some laughs.

While Ghana is a completely foreign world to me and days are as long as they are exhausting, there is beauty and treasure to be found and enjoyed. The water is forever satisfying, the showers cool and refreshing, towels always warm, friendly people in abundance, food spicy, and relatively tasty beer at a cheap price.

It is a simple life that everyone enjoys together; a vacation from the hustle of my American lifestyle. The spoils of pleasure are simple, yet effective and pronounced.

As I reflected on this truth, I began to consider our vibrantly colorful products at Della. The product echoes not only our story, our mission, but speaks to the gesture of a bigger world- a grander perspective on life. Lost in our own stresses, we forget there are people stretched out the ends of the earth, filled with their own colorful stories of defeat and triumph, that they are integral pieces of the puzzle we struggle to assemble; that we are not isolated, that we are brothers and sisters to the world and its people. Today is too often a platform for the anxieties of tomorrow, but here in Ghana, every day matters. Focuses are centered and central to the present, not cast into tomorrow, 5-year plans and such. Maybe this idea is what I am coming to love about our vibrant products the most- what they represent in these terms.

 

Everyday here is important, and I am privileged to know these freedoms, to know this peace. Africa is alive my friends.

 

Cheers,

Chandler

The Della girls and I

2 Responses to “New in Town”

  1. jessica jennings February 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    well said chan. so excited to read more about your adventures!

  2. Julie Rodriguez February 14, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    What happy, beautiful, smiling faces of Della and Ghana!
    Love, M

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