BootsnAll Travel Network

The Donald and the Daniel

Actually, if you had asked me last October I would have had no idea of the dramatic changes heading my way in the coming months. Since we left on our trip to Tierra del Fuego it has been a roller-coaster. The ride didn’t stop once we got back to DC. I think I have enough material to write a book about the five months of training for the new job and maybe another book for the first week or so of living in Accra. Too bad I don’t have the time or inclination.

Getting to Ghana was something. We were given tickets for business class. For me, first class is when we get the emergency exit seat. That extra few inches of leg room is pure heaven even if it is next to the mewling and puking baby that always manages to sit near me. Since few babies have the cash to ride in business class, we had it made. Not a puker in sight. Oh yeah, this will sound incredibly obnoxious, but just after you sit down they offer you champagne- I knew I hated those creeps in business class. Who else but a creep would be willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a glass of champagne? Please, please don’t write to your representative about how taxpayer dollars are wasted on my sorry self. Aside from the cushy seat with great leg room that reclines almost to a bed, there really is no reason for the extra cash required for that sweet ride. Did I mention we are working for the good of the nation? I should probably stop talking about the excellent food (on an airplane!) that you get. It is sort of like a crack dealer giving you a taste for free- you know, just try it. If you don’t like it, that’s cool, baby. So they give you this bag full of things like an eye mask and ear plugs and socks? Too bad we are not big drinkers. The people wearing uniforms kept trying to ply us with alcohol when they weren’t feeding us. I think they were nicer than your average flight attendant, too. They don’t even tell you that you have to keep your shirt on when you sleep! Really though, traveling in business class isn’t all that different from, say, a trip on a Guatemalan ‘chicken bus’. Sure, you could actually buythe bus for the cost of the ticket, but you don’t get your choice of dozens, dozens of movies on a video screen that pops up in front of you. It was such a relief not to have to watch SpyKids 5, or some other such thing. In short, people with too much money should be ashamed of themselves, but not as ashamed as the airlines should be for their blatant attempts to stir up class warfare. Sure, the true underclass is not going to get anywhere near an economy seat let alone the comfort of an ergonomically designed business seat; I swear that a giant turtle with an Igor hump has sat and slobbered in every coach seat I have had the misfortune of trying to conform to, while the business class seats left me two inches taller thanks to my improved posture.

So, none of this has anything to do with the crazy new world we have been thrust into- actually, yes, it does. These last couple of weeks have taken us far out of the comfortable little life we had created. It has provided us with new comforts and new discomforts. There was no way I was ever going to pay extra for business class which breaks down to an hourly rate roughly the same as a DC lawyer. There was no way we were going to move to a developing country unless someone came and packed all of the stuff in our cramped apartment. There was no way any of this would have happened if we hadn’t taken control to make a change. We also had to be willing to give up control of many of the changes that have come, and will come, our way.

Finally, ‘No, please,’ refers to a Ghanaian expression. The people here are another book’s worth of writing. Sorry to leave you hanging, but I have work tomorrow and about a million more pages to go before I can explain half of what we have experienced recently.


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