I met my husband when we were both doing an exchange at the University of Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania in 2005. I heard rumours that there would be Ghanaian exchange students at campus and I was eager to meet them. I had lived in Ghana before, spoke Twi, and felt I knew the country. Coming to Tanzania was like coming to something similar to Ghana. Something I knew well. I wrote in my diary: It looks like Ghana, it feels like Ghana, it smells like Ghana - BUT I DONT UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE! I was frustrated cos I felt I knew how to do an African country - somehow. But no matter what I knew, I was just as much a mzungu/obroni/white person as the others I travelled with.
Hearing about these Ghanaian students made me feel like something from home was coming my way. Something I knew and could relate to. The day came when all the international studens were gonna have an information day on campus, and I saw 5 black people amongst the rest of us white European and American students. And forced myself to go up to the only girl in the flock and said: Are you from Ghana? She said yes. And so I started speaking Twi with her, I was immediately accepted into their group, I was brought over to the 4 boys, one of them was gonna be my husband... They were all quite extatic about this obroni speaking Twi like that, I sat next to future hubby during the information and I was immediately interested. I realized he laughed at the same things as me (cos the people having the orientation were very funny, although they weren't trying to be), and he was sarcastic and making jokes I would make.
The next day I went to their hostel for a superdelicious rice and stew, the best food I had tasted since I got to Tanzania. I soon realized it was future hubby's work. Impressed. Somehow it was him who ended up hanging out with me. He used to come to our hostel and hang out in my and my roomates room. We talked and listened to music and I guess flirted for a looong month before something happened. At first I wasn't sure how this was gonna end. I mean, I was leaving in a few months, he was staying in Tanzania and later returning to Ghana. What future did this relationship have? Was it just a fling, some fun?
It soon became obvious that this was more than a fling. I have never felt like this about someone before. But after about 3-4 months of flirting and relationship came D-day, the day I had to go home. I was assuring him I would come to Ghana when I finished my bachelor, in about 6 months. These were some looong 6 months, with insecurity, longing, fighting, bad communication over bad phone lines and what not. But, an opportunity came my way and 7 months... after we saw eachother last I came to Ghana, with a JOB, and we spent more time together, and solidified (a word??) our relationship. I left and came and left again many times before he finally came to Norway last year. But that is another story.
I have given you this story because the song for today, was a song I heard right after coming back from Tanzania. It felt like a song about us. About me. If you just remove the "I'd be the father of your child"-part, and change it with "mother", it is about us. The way it felt to leave. And say goodbye. Although James Blunt's goodbye sounds much more final in this song, and ours was supposed to be a temporary one, this song really touched me.
So, on a late Sunday Eve, I serve you: Goodbye, my lover.
Odo, me pe w'asem!