Collection #16: Alternate Communication


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.

4 thoughts on “Collection #16: Alternate Communication

  1. So do you want editing comments? It’s my natural way to read things… Tell me if you don’t want me to bother in the future since it sort of ignores the content of the writing.

    “communication is flud” I assume you meant “fluid”
    “I took great and consolation in holding” either you meant “great comfort and” or you didn’t mean to put the “and” in there.

    Do they have schools for children in Ghana? Are they only for the more wealthy? Or do they teach other things than writing?

  2. Thank you for the edits, and please keep pointing them out. I recognized them beforehand, but my time at the internet cafe ran out just as I was about to make updates (writing ANYTHING over the internet is always a rush, and I barely have time to publish, let alone proofread).

    They have schools for children in Ghana, but there is no literary culture here, and so English is never quite mastered on paper. Even educators sometimes have difficulty with English spelling, punctuation, etc.

  3. Interesting post. Do you mean to say ALL Ghanaians “never quite master the English language”? I’m sure this applies to many, but careful with generalizations!

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