On a darker note of my experiences here in Ghana, yesterday three of us were mugged walking on Cocoa Beach. We arrived after about an hour of travel time on two different tro tros and we perrched under an umbrella with books and beers. After awhile of sitting and soaking in the sun and strickingly beautiful beach, I asked Logan and Ken to come along on a beach walk. We walked for maybe 10 minutes and as we were turning around to head back, still in view of the fishermen working on the shore, three men with knives approached us and cut off Ken’s belt, removed his shorts, took his wallet and MP3 player and then walked away. I kept my head fairly well and stood near Logan the whole time with my hands in the air. I even asked them to give us back Ken’s shorts, which they did. Luckily, Logan and I just had swimsuits and coverups on so they didn’t even touch or approach us. Unluckily, the experience terrified us for the day and left a sour taste in my mouth of Cocoa Beach. But, these things happen in big cities all around the world and we are blessed to be safe and unharmed. I cried a bit when we went back to our group as everyone showed so much love and support and we left to go home. I made some delicious pasta salad as comfort food and beside feeling that my trust has been violated, I am feeling much better. I will not let those few bullies color my perception of Ghana because everyone else I have met has been so kind and helpful to me. I spoke about the incident with my coworkers this morning and they all apologized with such fervor it was astonishing.
On a brighter note, the conference I attended on Friday about peacekeeping during November’s election was the front page story today in Public Agenda and my story on domestic violence made it onto the gender page. I love this internship. When the other reporter came in today who I attended the conference with, he gave me a big hug and congratulated me on the shared byline on the front page. Granted, I did not write a word of the story (I just tagged along with him) but it was still a great experience.