Leavin' on a Jet plane
by Yana Kusayeva
February in New York is miserable. Just when I think the winter is about to end, it starts snowing again. Sometimes it gets so cold that walking outside actually hurts my eyeballs. Everyone seems to be so tense and tired. You’d think that any form of movement – be it running, walking, or dancing – is a good idea, but there’s just no energy for it. To maintain my sanity, I get out of the city for a couple of weeks. In 2015, I hopped on a plane and zipped across 5,000 miles to visit my friend in Accra.
Once I walked off the plane, the hot air felt like a much-needed hug. The sweat pouring down my face was no bother at all. And although my friend apologized for it being “hot like Hades,” I enjoyed basking in the Accra sun. Shortly after resting, we went out to Afrikiko – a cool bar with disco lights and a dance floor right in the middle of a courtyard! Sounds of Salsa, Reggae, and Afrobeats dominated that night, and there were dance lessons and live music. Also for you salsa lovers out there, they have salsa night every Wednesday.
It was nice being outside to enjoy the music, tapas, and good company. But moving my hips and shaking my booty was even more fun! Just as I was about to partner up with someone for salsa, we heard grumbling thunder, and before I could run off the dance floor, it started to rain. At first it was just a drizzle, so I decided to continue to dance. But then the drizzle turned into downpour, and when most people started to leave the dance floor to seek cover, I just danced and danced. I felt like the three months of being cooped up indoors were being washed off my body. And this is coming from someone who really doesn’t like rain!
In my mind, Ghana embodies friendship. The warm, gentle, patient and loving kind of bond that every person deserves and yet lucky to find and maintain. I love Ghana because this is where my best friend calls home. It is a place that will forever be one of the most hospitable and friendliest places on Earth.
About the author: Yana Kusayeva visited Ghana in February 2015 and fell in love with the people, the mangoes, and the nightlife. She loves traveling, food, laughing, and prefers to see kindness in others. After spending 16 years in New York, she now lives in Oakland, California. She is “mother of cats” to two orange kitties – Big Tony and Lt. Dan.