He carried me on his broad back across the gutter, which dipped abruptly from the dirt road. I wrapped my arms around his chest and let my dirty feet dangle above the river of wet filth. At the steps of a large empty home, he set me down and invited me to relax with him. We conversed for a long while as the road grew darker and more remote, and the surrounding nature accumulated layers of silence.
On the walk home, he took my hand and led me through the village to my quiet compound, where my host family slept soundly. His hand was strong and agile, although I sadly reminded myself that it could not write.
In Ghana, only a collection of adults know how to write, and very few write well. Without a movement for written transcription in their native language, Ghanaians must fumble through the English language they never quite master.
Still, the minds are quick and capable, and communication is fluid.
Although a compulsive writer and lover of literature, I took great consolation in holding the illiterate hand. Quite frankly, it didn’t feel different from any other.