Whether or not we would like to admit it, in the United States one’s socioeconomic status can be detected physically.
You can be 99.995 percent sure Bill Gates is not going to be living in the inner-city, and that the local homeless man is not an undercover millionaire. We understand that certain types of people with certain material objects have their respective places in society.
If this observation offends, I am sorry. But take the educational system into account: Is it really a surprise that the better and ‘safer’ schools are in the suburbs? Are you truly shocked that our educational outreach projects like ProjectCare, which are supposed to motivate underprivileged students, are going to the inner city?
If you don’t understand why ProjectCare doesn’t go to Pittsford, N.Y., you should probably open your eyes. The point that I am trying to make is that the differences, though not politically correct to discuss, are readily and abundantly clear.
Those kind of differences, however, are not quite as apparent here in Ghana. I haven’t studied development, but the topic is something that you definitely have to take into account.
In Legon, which is right outside of the capital city Accra, you can stand on the main road, do a complete 180 degree turn and see mansions on one end and a random market on the other end. On some of the back roads, you will even see a mansion (one that would remind you of Bel-Air) right next to a shack.
I have also seen a Jaguar (not the animal, but the luxury car) being driven down an unpaved red-dirt road. It’s a constant contradiction ‘hellip; and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just interesting.
Maybe this is just how development works in a third world country. I don’t know. Should it work that way? I have no clue, and the idea that I might attempt to answer that question in a blog is absurd.
Massie is a member of the class of 2011.
All semester long, The Campus Times will be tracking various students abroad. Junior Victoria Massie, an anthropology major, is in Ghana. The excerpt below is from her blog. Visit http://victoriamassie.wordpress.com for more entries.