Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ghanaian Shade

Shade. It is the polite way to say something impolite. The way of making a statement and leaving it open for others to interpret or a word or phrase that belittles an individual with a cool, smooth statement. Now although, it seems all of the Housewives have perfected shade, we too  throw shade in Ghana. Today, I have compiled several phrases, which can serve as key indicators that shade is being thrown. So my friends, let the shade begin.

1) Paa. Now paa is a funny word because I still haven't quite figured out its exact meaning, but it stresses a point. So paa and even the word kra can be added to the end of phrases where you want to really stress a point. Paa is the most common way of throwing shade in Ghana, especially since it allows you to take someone else's statement and add shade to it.

Example: First Person: I saw Afua at the club. She was really enjoying herself.
                Second Person: Hmmm, that girl she likes to party paaaaaaa. I think that is her job.

This leads me to Number 2 

2) Hmm or Teeth Sucking- Now saying Hmm before making a statement, shows disapproval or disagreement almost instantly. If the person really wants to stress a higher degree of annoyance they will suck their teeth making a high pitched sound. This sound often indicates the words, "not serious" will soon follow,

3) Not Serious- Not Serious is the ultimate shade phrase thrown in Ghana. Being "not serious" is almost has bad has having the Ibola virus. When someone says someone a person is not serious, it means they think the person is a joke. Get enough people calling you "not serious" and see how the dominoes fall.

3) You Are Enjoying-  Whenever you are out, undoubtedly, when someone approaches the first thing they will do is scan the area to see how many liquor bottles you have. If there are at least two bottles at the table, the phrase, "I see you are enjoying yourself ," comes out. Now let me be clear, I don't think this phrase is always shade. However, it is shade if the person who says it, is someone that you don't typically associate with and they note that, they, themselves are not drinking. 

4) I beg- Now I remember when I first moved to Ghana, I could not bring myself to say I beg. Because after all, I am American, and we never beg. However, 3 years later I have learned that I beg can have two different meanings 1) It really can be a plea, letting someone know to consider your circumstances before making a decision. 2) It can also be used to show that you are being dismissed. This is the more aggressive way of throwing shade. This shade requires an individual to cut a person off  mid sentence throw up their hand and say, "Boss, I beg". This is an indicator that the person has deemed whatever was said irrelevant or inaccurate or you just think someone is a complete fool and you can't waste your time in discussion.

5) The Frown and Nod- Ghanaians have mastered holding their tongues in most situations. I attribute this to the frown and nod. The frown and nod, followed by the words, "Yo mati" (I hear) pretty much let you know the conversation is over.If the point is not received by the other party, the frown and nodder simply repositions themselves so that they are no longer facing the person.

I may not have everything figured out about Ghana, but I do know shade.

Until Next Time. Smooches.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Back for More

Well, as most of you know I really didn't blog a lot this year. And although, I thought many wouldn't notice. I have gotten an overwhelming number of questions about why I am no longer blogging. Well, the answer is simple. My blog started to be read in Ghana!

Now, for those who know me, I like to be relatively private. Most people only have a small glimpse what is happening in my life. However, I soon realized that I had a Ghana audience, who knew me both in personal life and blog life....and well, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Especially since most people in Ghana are judgmental and will take one small piece of info and then create their own stories with it. However, in the New Year I thought it was unfair not to let these watchers really watch all that is going on. After all I do have a lot of share. So I have decided not to be bothered and to blog my heart out.

I know you are all super excited, Because yes, I am funny and entertaining.

So just to give you a recap of my year. It was the Age of Jesus for me and I did find my calling. This year I successfully started Environment360, a ngo that works with children to teach them recycling behaviors. For those of us who live in Ghana, we know this is greatly needed. Not only is it needed, but I love it. There is nothing more rewarding than getting a letter from a class of children discussing how they enjoyed their time.

My love life is still bare. I chalk this up to a huge cultural misunderstanding that I am just now starting to grasp. Although I have a full grasp on it, I am still not sure I will be playing the game. I really don't think its fair to lure a person in on one context only then to find out there is more to them..and their bad habits. And yes, I do have plenty of bad habits. I also think it's do to the stalkerish behavior of some men in Ghana. I don't care how much you like me...please dont call me 5 times a day and whats app me pictures every two hours; I'm not that interested in your every movement..we just aren't there yet.

I would be worried, however a random psychic has assured me this is my year for love.....whatever that may mean. She also assured me he would be wealthy. So let us thank God for that. I also didn't have to pay her nor did she ask for a donation, so maybe this one was real.

Overall it has been a quiet year. Plenty of disappointments, but some highlights as well. The most important thing, I survived another year and I know 2015 is the beginning of greater things.

Have a great New Year and will be blogging again soon. So please share!

Until Next Time Smooches.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

5 Life Lessons I Learned Living Outside the U.S.

Well, folks, today the 15th of May, marks exactly three years in Ghana for me. I don't really know where the time has gone and I can't believe that it has passed so quickly. If it wasn't for my lack of knowledge on current pop culture, I would swear I just left yesterday. However, let me clear. Solange's arsenal assault did make it to the other side of the world within six hours. (you know Jay is my future baby daddy, and after this weeks events its obvious he may be in the market for a second wife soon and mama is ready!!)

But seriously, typically every year, at this time I like to do some reflections of my life and what living in Ghana has taught me. Because whether you know it or not, living outside of your home country really can be an eyeopening and jaw dropping experience.

So here are some of the top lessons I learned living outside of the United States in the past three years.

1) There is a Better Way of Life- Americans are often caught up on thinking that we come from the best country in the world, which is just not true. Being an American indeed has a lot of benefits, but no American should ever believe the American way of life is where its at. In fact, according to a 2011 study France and US have the highest depression rates in the world. Only last year, did America move  to the number 2 spot for being the fattest country in the world. And guess what....Americans are below average intelligence.....thank God for Italy and Spain. So what does all of this tell us? Perhaps the American way of life isn't the best. Something in our way of life stops most of us from actualizing our true potential. I can say that living outside of the U.S. I view things completely different. I don't have many of the societal pressures my friends experience, and as a result, I am a better, more fulfilled human being.

2) Don't Focus on Results- Now this actually ties into number one and is probably why so many people are unhappy. In America life is about results; never the process that brings you to the results. Americans are taught to be "goal" oriented, focus on the prize. But the bottom line is, is that the results aren't nearly as important as the process. A person who is able to perfect a process will undoubtedly reach their goals time and time again. However, if you don't know the process you will find that you never get the results you want.  Plus, being process oriented takes off a lot of stress off;  because as well all know you never see the results immediately. And living in Ghana has taught me to never see by sight.

3)You Gotta Have Faith- In this life, I think its important to believe in something. It doesn't make a difference to me what you believe in, but I believe that humans should acknowledge there is a higher force at work in all of our lives. How do I know this you ask? Because I am a living testimony that all things work together for your good. You will find that when you have faith in something larger than yourself you will enjoy each experience in life more, you won't take things so personally and you are confident that the actions you make. Plus, you just can't live in Ghana without faith. This is a place where strange things still happen and life gets tougher by the day. If you don't have faith you will loose hope and undoubtedly go packing. The devil's number one weapon is feat and uncertainty.

4)Partners Are Important- Americans are loners whether we know it or not. Success is a personal thing, not a team effort. However, since moving to Ghana I have learned  that partners are important for both business and love. You see in America we know partnerships are important in business, but most of us don't think of love as a partnership. Since moving to Ghana I have realized that who you choose as a life partner and the qualities that surround them are just as important for who you choose as a business partner. A great business partner will take you to the top; the same is true for finding the perfect life partner...and the ugly truth is, you never marry for love alone. Most of us have been in love more than once, so no one should ever doubt they will fall in love again. Living in Ghana has taught me the practical side of love and has moved me far from the world of fairy tale.  Partners you choose in both business and love should be those that you are fairly certain will help you meet your goals, and not just financial.

5) What Makes Me Happy- The great thing about living in Ghana is that I am no longer part of the rat race. Things undoubtedly move at a slower pace; therefore I have learned what happiness means to me. Taking a cue from Pharrel and the world, I have learned that happy for me is being able to wake up when I want to, go to the beach and play a guitar. I am happy when I am inspiring others and creating and executing events that some might have thought impossible. Oh and happiness is having my two Club beers (at any time I designate) with my two Kingsize cigarettes, if that's what I choose to do. Bottom line, I have never been this happy before in my life, and I hope you join one day too because I am never coming back.

So that's all people. I hope you enjoyed and I hope you share with a friend. Onto year four and may it be the best year of them all.

Until Next Time. Smooches.