Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Obrouni Show

Sup my internet family. I feel that I am just starting to get into a little rhythm here in Ghanana, and of course I have some new stories to tell. Everyday strange things happen that would blow your mind, but I guess I am getting used to them and feel pretty comfortable with the idea of living in Ghana and often being the only white person around.

It is now November, which means that I have been away from home for a little over 4 months. Yes, I miss everyone back home. I have been hard at work trying to take control of my mess of a radio station, and the work is finally starting to show. This past month was the first time that we have finished with a profit and a substantial one. I still think things could be better, but at least things are going in the right direction. Just last week, we did a joint program with the Ghana AIDS Commission. I worked with them to put on a peer educator training program for the radio presenters so they could be informed and tell people about the risks of HIV/AIDS over the amazing radio machine. The program turned out to be an awkward 4 hours of sex education. The lecturer they brought down spent most of the time with a wooden phallus that he would use to point at things on his power point and wave around with every hand gesture. The information was good, but nothing I hadn’t heard before and some of the questions that my staff asked were a little alarming: “I have a friend who says that expensive condoms break more easily than cheap ones, is this true?” “I have a friend whose girl will not allow him to have sex until his financial situation improves, how does he get her to have sex with him?” Pretty good stuff. The most entertaining part of the program was the condom demonstration. The lecturer would call up one guy and one girl to demonstrate on the wooden phallus. I was selected along with one of the reporter girls to show the group how it is done. I had the easy part of holding the phallus in an atomically accurate position while the reporter girl opened the condom and forced it over the wooden figure with such force that it broke the condom. We failed the condom demonstration. Anyway, the lecturer showed the group the appropriate way to get it done, and now everyone is much more educated on the risks of HIV/AIDS.

In other news my visa to stay in Ghana has expired. A couple weeks ago I went to the Ghana Immigration Office in Cape Coast to request an extension. My boss assured me that this would be an easy process. I filled out the papers and gave them to the immigration officer with a letter from my boss requesting that I get an extension. After a 15 minute wait in the immigration office, I got called back to meet with the big boss. He asked me a lot of questions about why I came to Ghana and why I wanted to stay longer. The problem is that my status in Ghana is a little shady. I am no longer a student and I get to stay at the most ballin' beach resort for free, plus the political thing with the Dr. It just looks shady. After the questioning he gets on the phone with my programs manager and talks to him in Twi but I can here some words that don’t sound good to me. After the phone call the immigration officer just sits there and says nothing for an uncomfortable amount of time, and then calls in another immigration officer who is a huge man. He could easily snap me in half and sits down in the chair next to me. The two immigration officers start talking in a language I don’t understand, for what felt like half an hour but I’m sure was less, while I sweat it out thinking that they are gonna throw me in jail or worse kick me out of the country. In the end though they let me go and said to be back in 2 weeks to pick up my passport with the visa extension. I’m still not sure what happened, but it seems to have been all worked out.

In other news, I have my own radio show on Fridays from seven to eight and it is becoming a small success. Every week I choose a new artist to feature on the show and just play my favorite songs from the artist for an hour and read a little bio I get off of Wikipedia. This last Friday I played all Jay-Z tracks, so it was super fresh. I also, for the first time, opened up the phone lines for people to call in, and they actually did. People said that they loved the show and requested their favorite Jigga songs. It was cool. Next week I’m focusing on Nas and then probably Kanye. Any suggestions please feel free. I’m also gonna see if I can record the show and put it on the information super highway for those that want to hear what DJ-Go sounds like on the radio. That is my radio name “DJ-Go” it is like J-Go, but for disc jockeys.

Those are the updates for this post. I think I’m gonna go up to the north with the Dr. and set up a pirate radio station for the next presidential debate. I'm sure to run into some adventures. Tonight the resort has a live band and a bon fire on the beach so I'm gonna go catch the show. Wish you were here? I do! 3 more months untill I’m home. Go Ducks!


David said...


Wow man, sounds great! I can't wait to visit and see what it's really like. By the way, you do remember that my middle name starts with a J.. so... DJ-Go is actually me.

Just kidding. Keep on with the updates.

leslie said...

Hey Josh,
So great to read this report. I'm thrilled that the radio project is going so well. Congrats on getting the visa extension--yes it can be dicey. Say hi to Lankesha and everyone. (Tell Pierre I'll send him more mosquito repellent with Michelle.)