Wednesday, January 15, 2014

This week so far

The last two days have been more productive than usual for vacation days. Yesterday I had what they call here "root canal treatment." The treatment is not nearly as painful as the tooth was before the treatment. It never is. Fortunately, I have socialized dentistry here at the University of Ghana. It isn't perfect, but it is a lot better than nothing and it is free. After the root canal which was only partial I have to go back again next Monday so they can get the last one of the tooth's three nerves, I graded most of my remaining final exams for main campus. I only have ten left to do. The remainder of the day I spent getting a start on my African literature list. I finished Bessie Head's A Woman Alone and started Lilia Momple's Neighbours: the Story of a Murder. I found it interesting that Head whose writing and life in both South Africa and Botswana marked her as a very strong and independent woman explicitly rejected the label feminist. I find myself in agreement with her that the white American conceptions of feminism like many other constructs from outside of Africa do not work well within Africa. Ultimately the solution to gender inequality in Africa like other African problems will have to be solved by Africans using African, not foreign models.

Today I did laundry or rather the two guys who look like they escaped from a 1970s sitcom who work at Starwash did my laundry, went to the bank, and put together my list of accomplishments for my two year review. I also printed out ten copies of my paper "Forced Labour in a Socialist State: Ethnic Germans from Kazakhstan and Central Asia in the Labour Army: 1941-1957" for the Ho conference next week. I am hoping I can at least persuade the seven University of Ghana delegates to the conference into reading the paper. But, I am probably being overly optimistic here.

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