Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Romance and Reality: Orff-Afrique in Ghana


Hello again to all my dear readers. I’ve been ten days now in Ghana, precisely the kind of experience that this blog was made for. Been swept up in a non-stop schedule of classes, performances, field trips, with barely a moment to write and no Internet to post. But now at Ho and back onto the grid— for better or worse— and so will start to post some of which I’ve written.

A word of warning: I’m pre-disposed to love Ghana. Not only because it’s the root of so much that I admire— jazz and the spiritual triumph of African-Americans, for starters—but also because it represents what I call a primary culture, folks who live close to the earth with minimum clutter of technology and maximum culture and community. (Some people call them “the third world” but I call them “primary cultures,” free from all the excessive layers of civilization, screens and science running the show).

Every culture and every person has a unique mix of admirable qualities and shadow sides that need attention.  We seek that which we lack and in so doing, are prone to erring on the side of admiration. There are certainly shadow sides to Ghanaian culture worthy of the same kind of critique I make of my American upbringing and if I lived here for a while, I’m sure I would start naming them. But for now, I’m just head-over-heels in love with certain qualities of human community that I’ve been seeking to develop in my own way and in my own place my whole life. So I ask your patience here to forgive my over-enthusiasm and accept this rosy portrait of just about everything I encounter.

PS Rather than one long piece, I’m posting them one at a time from Day 1 to Day 9. Enjoy your armchair travel!

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