The 9week course
Ok I know this is a funny title but I almost can not find one. I am in Bonn [and Bonn is in Germany if you do not know – people ask me which Bonn..apparently, there is another Bonn in France and the US] on a German Development Ministry scholarship to study as a Peace and Conflict consultant. I like the name of the course; makes me feel important!
On my trip to Germany I have very interesting experiences; first was at the embassy..when I went to pick my visa, Mr. Herbert Mensah [a close associate with former President Rawlings and an insider to the current government] was at the entrance of the embassy screaming how he does not understand why his application was rejected and how he was going to tell the President [Prof. Atta-Mills]. I found it funny and humbling that the mighty could be reduced to raving spoilt child! But more funny could be that, national security without looking at my face or passport asked that I go into a special room to be scanned. I asked: “for what”? and was told: “Cocaine”. Hmmm, funny right? I blamed it on my purple designer shirt!
I arrived at Frankfurt Main and headed straight to Bonn and was disappointed that the training facility did not have English notices. Well this may be picky but imagine not knowing what to do when the fire alarm goes off or when you are breaking a rule because the notice about that rule is in a language you do not understand. Well, I call that cultural abuse! And that went beyond notices. Our dishes were announced in German! I felt so loved! But my heart goes to all the participants that have to suffer our questions of: “what is this”?, “what is that”?. Well my fears were confirmed when then fire alarm went off 2 weeks later and the non-German speakers just looked stupid and did not know what to do. Thankfully, it was a malfunction.
After many weeks of potatoes and leaves [salads] and rice with funny sauce, Vera; a course mate invited myself and another Ghanaian to make a local meal. We cooked chicken and beef pepper soups with Eba [Garri]. Then I realised a little chili make a hell lot of difference! For the first time in weeks, I was sweating. Our host and husband were like they had just done the 200 meter dash! In all we had great fun and got free train ride back home! [Well, we paid just that the validation machines were broke so we effectively could use the tickets again!].
Oh, and I got called “Nigger” for the first time in my 32 years. How did I feel? Cool! This was during the UN-Day celebrations in Bonn! It wowed me to think that during such a unifying day I got called the “N” name. Super! Ich Absolute Hammer!
While this is off my style, I hope its worth reading. Next week, I will share my encounter with activist, pacifist[?], peace-worker, educationist, writer and thinker – Dr. Diana Francis. My class had a week of conversational learning on “analysing conflict” with Diana. Oh, and my trip to Holland where I will show you that, Europe and the rest of the world that have issues with terror must watch out for.
So…until my next write…Bye