Just a minor setback…

Disclaimer: The Internet is a little shady here sometimes so when I say today or tomorrow in a post, that’s probably not very accurate. The time spans and chronology might be a little off but I’ll do my best to make it work so hang in there everyone!

Alright, so remember when I said to watch your passport at ALL times. Well, I guess I should have taken my own advice. I’ll give the short version of the story but the bottom line is that my passport is indeed gone. The other day, my program took a trip to the mall to purchase cell phones. Apparently, you need to provide a passport in order to be issued a cell phone. Doesn’t make sense to me, but I went with it. I handed the woman at the AirTel booth my passport and started to fill out a form. When I looked up the woman was holding a different passport and had no idea where mine was. After searching pockets and purses of everyone in the area as well as the entire AirTel booth, we exchanged phone numbers and left empty handed. This is the part where I should have been panicking, crying and/or screaming. But surprisingly, I stayed pretty calm. Thanks to the wonderful staff at CIEE and the wise words of my good friend back home (who is most likely flying to South Africa right now!) to always “live in the moment,” I somehow managed to keep my cool. There is also a happy ending to this story, or at least the makings of a happy ending. The program director took me to the police station the next day to get a police report, and luckily his good friend, the Chief Inspector of the station was able to process my report in less than 20 minutes; something that would usually take up to 4 days (prime example of African Time). I spent some time on American soil this morning at the US Embassy and after a few setbacks (tip: you must pay in cash AND you cannot use the same passport pictures from your lost/stolen passport), officially submitted my request for a new passport!

As much as I would love to have avoided this whole ordeal, I can’t say that it was all bad. I got to know my program director really well and have some very intriguing conversations with him. I also received a personal tour of the city of Accra, which is a beautiful and complex place. I learned that the city is very diverse in its wealth, much like many of the cities in America. We drove through areas that used to be populated by the British colonialists and were maintained as some of the wealthiest neighborhoods. A few minutes later, we would see beggars on the streets of the poorest slums in the city. The level of contrast in lifestyles and means of survival in such a short distance was astounding. I also got a glimpse of the law enforcement system in Ghana as well as a sample of how to handle the US Embassy. These are things that unfortunately (…or fortunately) my peers in the program most likely won’t get to experience. So I suppose, as it turns out, my friend was right; living in the moment can be the best thing to do at times like these and with a little preparation and support from others, even something like losing a passport in the middle of Africa can’t bring ya down!

 

 

3 thoughts on “Just a minor setback…”

  1. Hey Christine! It’s Meg, the peer advisor in the office who works with you guys on the blogs, and I’m catching up with all your new stories! Great attitude in this potential for catastrophe! I’m so glad that everything worked out and you even got something unique out of it!

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