Tweet A few years ago, in my desperation to work and live in Africa I decided to try and join the foreign service. Now, I did understand the fact that I would not necessarily end up in Africa, and I also understood that I was going to have to waste two years of my life in the consulate division. For those of you who don't know, working as consulate officer in an embassy is the most boring job ever. You are literally trapped in cube land processing visa paperwork; definitely my definition of hell. However, desperate times called for desperate measures and I took the test... and failed. Three years later, I understand why. There is no doubt, I would have killed myself if I would have made it into the foreign service.
Now, I must give a disclaimer before I begin this. There are some brilliant people in the foreign service and other government agencies worldwide, who are well-rounded and super cool. They definitely are giving America a good name. However, there are definitely a fair share of idiots who got lucky on a multiple choice test. Those who work for embassies, or any government agency for that matter, know exactly what I am talking about.
So picture the scene. It's Saturday and I am enjoying myself at bridal shower, where there are only folks who work for some sort of U.S. government agency present. Although most of them seemed intelligent at first, it didn't take long for a fluorescent idiot light to start blinking violently over a few of their heads, especially after a few of them started sharing their experiences/beliefs on Ghanians and how they act.
So I sat there bewildered, not understanding how we have had so many different experiences. In my world, Ghanians drive some of the best luxury cars, live in houses that make American homes look like Monopoly properties and have help to wait on them hand and foot. They throw elaborate parties, have the best jewelry and typically offer to take care of you after your first encounter.
In their world Ghanians are poor people who trotro four hours to get to work. The men are all after their money and American status and they fail to understand the true value of a cedi. After all, one woman said she refused to argue over one cedi despite her hair looking like it needed some serious 5 cedi attention.
Then the issue became clear, they only knew hood Ghanians. In Ghana, they spend their time socializing with bush babies, better known in the States as BeBe kids. Of course, I shouldn't have been so surprised, only a sister from the hood would rock the frizzy braids with so much confidence.
The point here is, is that it is sad and unfortunate that most of the people who work for these embassies live in glass bubbles. They see the world around them, but never get to touch or interact with it. They take what they are given and run with it, never really understanding the culture, norms or the new society they live in fully. But then again, I imagine working for them is like college all over again. You are housed with the people you go to work with, you all eat at the same places, and hey, you even take road trips together occasionally. I guess it doesn't leave that much time to build a life that includes locals.
So the moral of the story is, thank God for failures. They probably have saved your life.
Until Next Time Smooches.