Facebook, Lots Is On My Mind

When Emmanuel and I met and married our pictures were strewn all over Facebook. I felt like a celebrity when I would visit Kikam and of course, he continued his press coverage while we were in whatever country we would visit. It was nauseating after a while because my smiles were not sincere and the flame had fizzled. Initially I was excited, but as my realization and tiredness with the reality of what he was in the relationship for started to set in I hated that he was tagging me in this false world he was trying to create to whomever would listen or look at our photos at the U.S. Embassy. Even at my darkest hour, I wasn’t going to be reporting/paying/helping him to get to the U.S.A. so it was futile.

Many ladies won’t admit it, but once you realize it and it settles in to your bones and you let it marinate you no longer want to post anything about your life on Facebook. And after it’s over, after he has abandoned you the day or month after he receives his green card or whatever your set up may be, you go back on your Facebook profile and delete or hide all of the photos from the faux times together. You’re a Facebook lurker and a Google fanatic trying to understand what happened. It’s not you, it was him.

Everyone keeps saying I am strong, but this blog is really for the ladies not speaking up – to encourage them to speak up. You don’t have to speak or type to me, but speak to someone. If you don’t you won’t heal and the scab will fester in to the next relationship – even the one that you should have with yourself. Trust, there will be another relationship – your life is not over. But that relationship that you have with yourself, well, wherever you go you will be there. You cannot do self love self-love as a carbon copy of consumption via books and social media. There has to be action on your own behalf.

One month after Emmanuel sent me a text message that he did not want the marriage anymore I woke up one day and was done. It was a hard month to receive the text message from him and he knew that my mom had just died the week before. It felt like the walls were caving in. But after a month of negotiating and pleading with him to work on our “marriage” I was truly done. I woke up and wasn’t hurting from his abandonment. I was having truthful conversations with myself the whole time: if I can carry a grown man and children, then guess what I can do without his dead weight? I was also reflecting on my wrongdoings and the warning signs that I may have missed. He had even recorded our arguments to share with his family so that he could further prove and show how unfit of a wife I was. Highly laughable. He failed to share with them why I would yell or pick up a knife in response to being told I was going to be beatened. But they listened as they have been gaslighted by him his whole life, so they know better, but choose to ignore it perhaps.

As you can tell from this blog, I am like this most of the time. Imagine being so forward with yourself and what you can uncover.  It did not matter which Facebook group I got kicked out of because of my truth that I wanted to share. It did not matter that a business relationship went sour. This is all about me right now and fuck all the rest. If that so called friend doesn’t know how to be there for you, yep, fuck them too. You can do the same unapologetically.

It does ladies no good to go back and forth comparing my notes against his with his supposed culture – if he’s lying already, guess what he will continue to do? It does you, the hating lady, no good to come up offended because I’m pointing out something that you’ve been thinking anyway and now my words are starting to really click with you. Denial and prayer will not make it go away. It does you no good, delusional one, who wants only floating clouds of romance to click Like on because it’s going to give you negative vibes in your marriage. If that man is for you and in the marriage he will be there regardless as to your moment of doubt and you 2 will move on…if he’s for real. And even the African men who have come forward to open your flap and type the horrible nature of “black American women“, you only report from 1 side despite all that money that was spent on you to have another experience in another country – stop the misogyny and the sociopathic behavior.

Happy new year, new you and all. This is not a drill. Today will not be repeated. L’eggo, 2016. Many more countries to explore…and miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep… (The book, Wanted: Green Card is available on Amazon and ready for you to read it – nothing that you read here on this blog is in the book. Thank you in advance for your support.)

Title Pending…

My mom had died. …She was no longer with us… I observed the moment and reflected on her and had to be ok with the decision I had to make: I could not attend the funeral. With me adding a grown man to my list of responsibilities my money was gone. And this grown man could not assist me in getting to the funeral.

In Ghana funerals are the last chance to show respect. In Ghana funerals can last a full week and the families involved come together to make certain it is a festive occasion. I’m guessing that since I was not Ghanaian that these rites did not extend to me, the convenient wife.   I reviewed how I felt about not being able to turn to my husband during this time. Leaning on him felt cheap and utterly wrong. He admitted that he was supposed to be the one to help me, but could do nothing. Nothing, despite the fact that his sisters had helped him to traipse back to Ghana. Nothing, despite the fact that he had not too long ago bought himself a new phone and Dre Beats headphones in lieu of helping our household.

The time had come for Emmanuel to go to Ghana. Supposedly he’d gotten a job in Ghana which was being held for him. I was suspicious and asked a lot of questions. Nothing added up, so I had to leave it and see how it would play out. Why would this company which had been non-existent since I met him all of a sudden want him? Which skills did he have that would warrant a company holding a job for him for months? What was his position?

His sisters came through for him for his ticket. Emmanuel pressed that I needed to give him money to go shopping because it wasn’t in their culture to return back from a country with no money nor gifts and also his own clothes were not new. I didn’t give a damn.

I did, however, go out to buy his daughter a few small items and I told him to tell the others I’ll see them later. Our plans were that Emmanuel would finally be making money and I would join him in Ghana later; he would send me some money to come to him there. I was not looking forward to going back to a boring village life, so we’d made plans to live in Accra instead of the countryside.

Emmanuel seemed to bolt when it was time for him to go. He took all the electronic gadgets claiming he could get money for them and that would help. I did not protest. I was grieving in my own way, so my feelings were not all registering to focus on him. I felt that at this moment someone, him, anybody, should have been focused on me…

I didn’t hear from Emmanuel upon his arrival. I’d warned him about reverse culture shock effects, but he’d pushed that thinking to the side stating that was for “white people”. Insert rolling eyes here.

Upon his arrival we did not talk alot. When we did talk it was about how expensive everything was and how dirty things were compared to the places we’d been traveling. He also reported on how his friends now had “things”. I tried to console him by stating that now he had a job he could get these “things” too. Our chats on the phone seemed to be because he needed someone to relate to his travels more.

I received a WhatsApp message: I do not want this marriage anymore. I am divorcing you.

You still haven’t bought the book. Nothing that you see on this blog is in the book. I don’t know if you’re ready for this roller coaster ride of a faux relationship. If you’re ready then it’s time that you read the book, Wanted: Green Card.


Attack from An African Man

My ex has many faces. One that he always wore was to always smile. It was fake, despite how handsome he looked. Behind the smile he was judging you big time. If you were a non-brown person he deemed you as rich and ripe to give him money. If you were brown, depends on where you are from. Unfortunately I already knew his views on the USA and “black American” women, so I’d asked him never to say these things in front of my family or friends or else…they’d beat his ass.

I guess he was feeling in a sharing sort of mood one day. We were eating ice cream with 2 ladies of whom were teachers, black Americans. Between the 2 of them there is a serious love of teaching children coupled with the fact that they are educated with Master’s degrees in teaching. Truthfully, this type of woman is who I meet all the time in my travels: she is educated and most of the time traveling alone, doing her thang. Emmanuel decided they needed a new type of teaching about the women that they were: black American women who needed his guidance.

He went on to share how black American women are loud and aggressive and they have no idea how to be in a realationship. Imagine the discomfort this caused to the other 2 women of whom were out for a day to relax and enjoy the mall. I was embarrassed. I did the usual social things such as trying to redirect the conversation over to something else, but he wasn’t following me. I even suggested that if he wanted to go to the bathroom, he should…yeah, nothing. I did the soft touches and nudges to try to get his attention…still, nothing. The 2 ladies were getting more and more uncomfortable.

Once Emmanuel finished his tirade of what black American women are and how lazy black American people are in general – the ones of which he’d heard about and saw on television, as he’d never actually visited the USA to know from firsthand experience, the ladies went in. Not in the manner in which he summarized, but in an intelligent sit-yo-ass-down type of manner. He had become what he was mocking, alas, the dumb African man.

In the end Emmanuel and I argued in front of the ladies about how he was insulting other black American women of whom may not have it all together yet and we already had centuries of caucasians to tell us what he was saying. We certainly didn’t want to hear it from him. He called himself dismissing me and stating: “Ah, if we were in my country I would send you home to your father!” I think I was supposed to be offended and I think this statement was supposed to put me in my place, wherever that was, but because I do not have the same background as the ladies in Ghana it sounded more like misogyny and an attempt to shame me which pissed me off even more.

Emmanuel allowed the dumbness to shine through and he let others see what I had been seeing. We have all heard of how Africans do not like African Americans and vice versa. I’ve heard all kinds of statements directly from the mouths of Nigerians I’ve met along the way. It is based in a false sense of being superior.

We can blame nationality, ethnicity, culture, economics and education. In essence there are very little cultural differences between the 2 people from these different lands. There are only egos and a false sense of pride wrapped in the word “culture”. Being ratchet or village – it’s all the same. No judgment needed.


Ghanaian woman in a trotro

The same single moms in America are equally caring for their children in Ghana. In Ghana they will reserve their words and pray about it rather than react to it in a way that acknowledges that they are really stressed about that Ghanaian man leaving them with all those kids and the fact that she is working hard to maintain the household alone. Reacting and not reacting become the disease which equates to the loudness or the slowness to the black American lady or the West African woman. The Ghanaian lady may have some relief by having a small community of people to send the child elsewhere – the same happens in the USA. This can lead to an aloofness of care. Either way the stress will remain at home with the mother who will pass it on to the child in one form or another. Overall, if you continue to send your child to someone else’s house because you cannot cope due to depression or any other ailment, then you don’t notice that little Emmanuel is developing sociopathic tendences and you may need to pay attention to him so that he doesn’t grow up to be an asshole. Also, mental problems are not seen as an issue in Ghana. You simply pray about it and it will go away. We all know it does not go anywhere, it only gets worse. But to further admit there is a mental issue will mean that you will be placed in the crazy house a facility of which you may be chained to a tree for the day. Ghana is on the humanitarian watchlist for such acts.

If you visit west Africa, the masses of the people are locked in the same circumstances as poor African-Americans. The only difference is that it may look shabbier. In observation, both groups, from both lands seem content to do nothing other than what they are currently doing. Emmanuel’s own personal plight was the exact same. He had no forwarrd thinking plans that he had ever shared with me. All of the plans were mine because I was on a mission before I met him. My track record was filled with winning and losing, which further showed my ability to be flexible and adapt while still moving forward. I had no problems sharing them with him because if we’re on the same team, then we need to assist each other in meeting these goals and know the others’ weakness to compensate for those times.


African American woman in the USA – tending to her business. (Oprah)

When I would ask him he would say he wanted to have his house built and own a big screen television. I’d already had this and was looking forward to something else in life. Later he would state that he wanted to go to the USA in order to “get a job”. I had to always remind him that the jobs he saw on television were if you had the education to obtain the job or start a business of your own and don’t forget that there are those who are born in that country who are looking for jobs too. If you did not have that, then you were in for a few years of hardship and struggle in order to arrive at that point. Emmanuel had no higher level education so that would mean that he would have to obtain a GED and then get in to a university or college while I was supporting us still or while he worked parttime at WalMart or at a restaurant. I did not want what he was saying and I’d made that very clear even before we said “I do”. Besides, how are you going to get those things that you speak of without a clear plan of action and reachable goals? All the items that I am even listing such as a parttime job, means of housing, etc, he had not even mentioned. He only had his sights on reaching the promised land known as the USA. Emmanuel relied upon me to bring the ideas, reach the goals, and to bring the money for him to step up and out of his situation. Emmanuel had not held down a job nor an entrepreneurial pursuit in years before I met him. The plan was that I was the plan. His sisters and his mother provided for him, so he expected the same from me. They had already instilled and perpetuated a sense of entitlement. No hustle whatsoever other than to use.

In his lack of knowledge, education, and insight he failed to even realize that when you visit parts of West Africa you will also notice there is not really a sense of pride in the way those of us of whom are not born there have. I used to attend African drumming and dance classes weekly while living in Atlanta, Georiga. You have to ask  around to find that in Ghana. And when you find it it is not filled with the locals, but foreigners. The traditional drumming is a hustle for money, not to indulge in culture of the past or to enhance the cultural bond. As is the visits to the slave dungeons. I’ve been personally offended, like my soul was on fire, from visiting a dungeon in Ghana to find that the locals were living in it and weren’t very clean with it either. You are also expected, as a black American to pay double what the locals would pay. The money is used for their everyday pay, not to refurbish or maintain the integrity of the place.

So the stereotype that Emmanuel was referring to and had decided to make a part of his doctrine of life on black American women is in his own country. There are exceptions and all that, but parenting “as an oppressed, working-class, tired and alone woman does not come with manuals nor support collectives, but we’re so glad that you can sit there and just look while you are entertained.” (quote from a dope therapist, Iresha Picot – gasp! A black America, with her educated self.)

African American women, and our sisters of other beautiful brown skin tones, why do we have to explain anything at all? I think I just had an epiphany: we don’t. Do you, talk to someone about the issue and stay on your path to greatness. Do not allow the beating up of our image nor personality with its perfections and flaws to become a post that someone else can beat up on because their penis is shrinking due to being challenged on their b.s. Misautogeny – hatred of one’s own race .

Share this post and make certain to buy the book, Wanted: Green Card. Nothing that you read here is in the book – it’s waaaayy juicier. 

You Won. You’re You!

During a bad relationship you simply are not yourself. There were times I would go out to network with other entrepreneurs or simply wake up in the morning and know that something was off. It was so subtle that I could never place it.

Whenever I feel this way I assess if I have done something wrong or if I should correct something, but during this time I could never place exactly what I’d done wrong. My household was simply…off.

At the time, little did I know that my husband was saying things to my daughter that would make her wonder if she was the cause of the house being off-centered. It would be long after Emmanuel abandoned me that I would learn this, which is probably for the better. Essentially, making statements to a child about how she should not have the opportunity to travel and his dead wife should be in her place is beyond disturbing. Again, probably for the better that I learned of this later.

Yes, in learning this the household should have never been functioning – which is exactly what was happening. Since I was the breadwinner of the relationship I had to always be on. When I would grab feverishly for a moment to myself I was always met with statements such as “…in my culture the women do not…”. Fill in the blank with things such as: go out or dance like that, because I love salsa dancing. Further, the things that women in Ghanaian culture did were: cook everyday, have sex on demand, and were there to cut the husband’s toenails – especially the hard one that was hard to clip; she’s supposed to make it soft by soaking his feet.

In a balanced relationship if this is what the husband and wife decide they want to do, then kudos to you 2. In my relationship with my ex he wanted these things on demand despite the fact that he did not bring any money to the table and always seemed to be waiting for me each week to escort me to the ATM.  That felt like oppression to me.

I was often compared to Ghanaian women and started to wonder why these women put up with this shit. With the little activity that was expected of a Ghanaian woman I was beginning to feel like I should be in my 80s with a bad back and not able to walk, not in my 30s and ready to be the best Latoya I could be. Certainly not the Latoya whom he met who loved to travel and meet people and yap it up with friend girls over a weekly brunch.

I was expected to suppress my American side and take on being a full Ghanaian woman. How do I do that? I’m not from there directly. We’re at least 400 years removed if my ancestors are indeed from Ghana, so I was in very unfamiliar territory. As the demands became more stupid, for lack of a better word, I started to think: Umma need you to go and marry that Ghanaian woman that you’re speaking of and why hook up with an African American in order to try to convert them to being a Ghanaian?

It wasn’t enough for me to simply be Latoya. I had to be someone else…someone Ghanaian. It made me wonder and question aloud that if Ghanain is what he wanted, why didn’t he simply marry that person instead of me.

I’m still getting to know Latoya, so me trying to be another person simply won’t work. Latoya is still evolving and making mistakes so trying to pretend to be someone else will only slow down the progress. It will also water down the Latoya that I am. Imagine a Latoya without the ability to express herself as I have in this blog. I’m matter of fact and forcibly to the point most of the time. I don’t even wear out on being that way, so I can’t imagine being a demure Latoya. My friends do not use the word demure and my name in the same sentence. Or worse, a Latoya that sits waiting to clip her husband’s toesnails after she has worked all day and he has listened to music on the internet all day or chatted with women about his love for them.

With this realization there must be a revelation. There is no race nor any comparison. I won. I’m me!

Ladies, if you feel that you are so caught up in his culture that you forget that you too have a culture of your own, reshift and rebalance. Learn from my mistakes and buy and read the book, Wanted: Green Card.

So Romantic

When Emmanuel and I were in the honeymoon stages of our relationship and relaxing in the house watching movies we watched a movie called “The Odyssey”. He said it reminded him of us and our relationship and how we would be. I was touched and thinking how romantic. You know how we get: romantic thoughts on how he is thinking of us and how romantic it is that he’s being romantic.

We settled in to watch the movie. It was one I had not seen before, but the plot was very familiar. I couldn’t recollect all of my literature classes, but this was Odysseus from the Greek tales, at least I could remember that.

In the movie, Odysseus bec0mes lost at sea. Ok, that’s cool…lost man in the sea, that could happen in his profession… He comes across numerous islands – all of which have beautiful women and he ends up being seduced or enchanted to sleep with all of them…on each island. Da hell! This is what reminds you of you and I?!

So, Penelope, his wife stays faithful to him during his long time away – which I believe amounts to over 15 years. She believes her man is coming back and waits in the kingdom raising their son. Other suitors come  and ask for her hand in marriage, but she puts them off feeling that her husband will come back to her. The men then begin to force her to marry someone and set up camp in the kingdom to wait – they demand that she marry because she is a queen and must have a king to rule the kingdom. She weaves a tapestry and tells them that as soon as she is done with it she will announce who she will marry. The men don’t know that she is undoing the tapestry each night in order to never complete it.

Meanwhile, while Odysseus is lost at sea he is getting his groove on with the beautiful ladies. Calypso, one of the women who seduces him while on his voyage, had him with her for 7 years! He claims he is looking for his way back to his wife…but first a lil booty action. I do not recall how long he with the other woman on her island. Eventually he makes it back to his wife and poses as an old man. He includes his son in on the set up and kills all the suitors of whom were trying to force his wife to marry.

In one scene I thought that perhaps Penelope went in to the water so that she could get some sexual stimulation from the sea – hell, she’d been celibate for a long time and why not?

Yeah, not so romantic for the woman whom had to wait while the man was out soaring his oats on the sea. Pass!

*Latoya is the author of Wanted: Green Card. Nothing on this blog is in the book – it’s waaayy juicier, so buy it today.

If you are reading this then perhaps you have been, or are a part of a marriage where the man is really seeking a green card. Sometimes it’s all about chatting it out. Send us a note and Like the Facebook page.


A Good Catch

I decided that while I was in Ghana I would check out a possible business venture. I met Patrick online because he posted about his company needing marketing help. His company was just getting started and he was researching, testing, and using his own funds for fish feed, the aquaculture field. I thought that was admirable and I could immediately see a possible marketing angle to reach the fish farmers. I also had a keen interest in the topic as I read about it as a past time on home fish farming. We started chatting online and I met with him about me assisting with his fish feed’s product line. We hit it off and began correspondence for moving it forward.

Patrick explained that he always went “in to the fields” to get to know the fish farmers. I was already down, well, because it’s on the go, where I belong. We were set to leave to some rural parts of Ghana. Before we left he told me to check with my husband to be certain it was ok. “Darling, are you serious? Where they do that?” No, he will understand because this is business. This topic actually was a part of the agenda of 2 of our meetings, as I was the only lady with himself and another guy who was over accounting. I let them chatter about this supposed issue and told them I would be ready when the time came. I also had to decline being the secretary and taking notes for each of the meetings. I suggested that we each take turns until he found someone to hire for such a duty. The note taking became less of an issue when it was their turn to write for the meeting.

We set off on the bus and it took a while to reach over the horrible roads and bad traffic, but we finally did. We did not stay at a hotel, as that was not in the budget. We stayed at a friend of a friend’s house on a compound. Compound life in rural Ghana is interesting and very communal. I love it! When you wake up you greet the elders sitting outside waiting on everyone to wait on them. haha – now that’s the ultimate gig. The younger girls fetch water to warm in the open fire pot so everyone can take a shower, and another team of ladies get food ready. All this while the children are playing and the different types of chicken and fowl are clucking about the yard.

We awoke early the next morning – the part I am not a huge fan of. It seems that all over Ghana a regular and normal time to begin calling people and knocking on doors is 7a.m. Yeah, too early. I think 9a.m. sounds MUCH better. Anywho, we set off on dirt roads and fields to visit the handful of fish farmers in the area. The goal was to give out samples and also to sell for future orders. Patrick’s challenge was his youthfulness in his age and the age of his business, so I consulted that he focus on his empirical data and research and show that information. It was working! Many of the fish farmers were particularly interested in his price points too.


Fish responding to the feed

We walked and caught taxis all day and did not finish until the sun went down. We were both dirty, dusty, and hungry.

“What will you be cooking us tonight?” he asked.

“Not a damn thang.” was going to be my first response, but then I did not want my Alabama southerness to come out so instead I balked. My next reaction was to chuckle as surely he was joking, right? We both had been in the fields all day and you’re asking me what I will be cooking. That’s a quick way to get cussed out.

I informed Patrick that I would not be cooking. His company would either be paying for us some street food or providing the food to the compound so they could cook. As for me, I will be there to eat alongside of him. He only half smiled and got quiet.

Patrick is in his early 20s, dark and handsome. With his passion for the business he is definitely on his way because of his entrepreneurial mindset. As in Ghana, and in many other countries, he lives with his parents at this moment. He talks all the time about his land and how he will build a house before he marries so his wife and he can immediately start their family. Does he sound like a good catch, ladies?

*Latoya ended up having to quit the team because it seemed to always be a question as to her loyalty because she was posting on Facebook about all the fun places she was going and enjoying her time while in Ghana. As per Patrick, women do not go out like this all the time. He asked Latoya for the 3rd time about her being loyal to the company and Latoya quit so that she would not hold up any more of his mental agenda as to what she was doing on her own time. Now you can read the embarrassing journey of being in a scam of a marriage – Wanted: Green Card



Wanted: Green Card by Latoya Brown

Thank you for highlighting this journey. Make certain to visit the blog, Paving My Author’s Road.

Paving My Author's Road


Wanted: Green Card by Latoya Brown

Genre: Romance scams, Fiction

Date of Publication: October, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9796214-1-3 Publisher: Brown One

Pages: 471

Book Blurb:

Marriage fraud is an international issue that is growing momentum. It can happen to anyone as everyone falls in love. Many hearts are broken as well as time, energy, and money. The women who fall for these romance scams set off to build a family unit while the man they have married has a green card mission. Take a journey through one woman’s experiences of being married to an African man from Ghana who had an agenda to get to the U.S.A.

The book uses an experimental presentation featuring what a relationship of romance scam looks like starting online. A proclamation of love follows quickly and it’s a whirlwind of emotions from there. Read along with chat conversations and emails of what it usually looks like…

View original post 56 more words

Experience Is Education

“You spent $2000 on a China trip?!” Emmanuel bellowed. He was livid and upset about how I had spent my money on my daughter. He continued with his idea on how if I had not spent that money on her that we would now have money to use. I’m not certain how he came up with this math. Since I met him he had not had a job and was not contributing. He had used up his savings on our wedding day and since then I had been paying the bills for everything. So, 0 from 0 and carry the 1…yeah, still zero.

My daughter enjoyed herself and it was a well placed investment of $2000. She got to visit China for a student program to learn about and volunteer with pandas while also exploring China. I was excited for her because she had been learning the language of Chinese for a few years, so this was a good program to place her in so that she could see the language in action. It helped that there were other teens on the program tour whom she bonded with and made friends with.

Emmanuel continued his sputtering about how Americans put money in to their children in a frivolous manner and that’s why they speak about us in such a demeaning manner. Mind you, he was referring to television shows as he knew nothing of what he spoke of firsthand. I reminded him where his daughter was: only exposed to the village, at a bad school, and peeing outside. In my book he was failing because he knew better and seemed to only keep the better things for himself while she lacked exposure which equated to true education. If I were to only listen to him I would think that all Ghanaians treat their children this way.

Still, with all of my thought process there was still the fact that Emmanuel was upset about how I chose to invest in my daughter instead of just giving the money to him.

You cannot do epic shit with basic people. I’m learning that. The book, Wanted: Green Card, is now available. Nothing that you read on this blog is in the book – buy it today!

Blended Family

My daughter arrived. It had already been like hell to get her to me, but she had finally arrived to Ghana. My mother was not approving of “this African” who was making me move to Africa. Little did she know that I was the one who wanted to move and moving abroad completely had always been in my vision.

My daughter arrived and I could not place how I was going to make it work with us now living in such a small village. No tennis nor Chinese lessons, sometimes no lights and questionable internet. The dark ages to us. I couldn’t place what she would do in order to continue pursuing the path she was already on educationally. A part of my brilliant idea and response to this was to stop homeschooling and to have her join the other children at the local school.

The best local school in the area was Christian lead and USA affiliated. I was skeptical on both counts. I went to visit the school. There was not much to it. It seemed to share a campus with some adult nurse schools and sat with 3 buildings on it’s immediate campus. Emmanuel and I were given a tour of the school and the Assistant Headmaster was thrilled to have us there. Our daughters lagged behind us pretending they were not interested in the children who were looking at us curiously.

The school building where the youngest would be was simple and open. The chalkboard looked worn and tired from the weather and years of usage. There were no lights on in any of the buildings. The school building where the oldest would be was simple and open. Not much to talk of in the way of decorations. There were none. The students’ chairs with desks were the highlight of the room along with the weary looking chalkboard. We sat down to talk about the fees while in the office of the assistant Headmaster. He mentioned the rate and I calculated the Ghana cedis in to U.S. dollars: the equivalent of about $40 for the semester. I was not excited I was worried about the cheapness of the price and what that would entail to them learning. Also, supposedly, this was the best school in the area.

I paid the money in full for the 2 girls for the semester. I noticed the fee for a computer lab, but could not recall seeing such a room or building. It was explained that the building was yet to built. I wondered how they would have computers running if there was no electricity. I later learned the fee had been tacked on for a few years now with no computer lab building in sight.

The girls would receive their books once they attended in full uniform. We set off to get measurements for their school uniforms. These were ugly uniforms – a lime green long skirt and a white shirt. The uniforms were easy to attract the wafting dirt from the roads so then the uniforms would look permanently dirty. The seamstress agreed to the price which was equivalent to $30 for making 2 uniforms for each of the girls. Emmanuel warned me to only pay half now. If I paid all of the money upfront I may not get the uniforms in a timely manner if at all. So to avoid me coming back later to have an argument at this seamstress’ shop, I paid half of the money upfront.

The girls seemed to be in the honeymoon phase with their schooling. His daughter had never attended this so called “best” school in this area. She had only attended the public school which was closer to her grandmother’s home, but she knew many of the children from her area. She did not seem to be doing well in her class and I had to step in to evaluate where she was in her learning. It seemed she was very far behind. Her English reading was very low in speaking and comprehension, however, she could read the words on the page. I could feel the stubborn nature clench down as I tried to help her with her comprehension. I concluded that she needed to be taken back at least 2 grades for comprehending what she was reading, otherwise, she would just be passed along without knowing what she is reading in order to  matriculate. I continued to work with Manuela and hoped that she would catch on. Each Saturday morning she would come to the house and we would proceed to simply chat in English and the book became secondary to these tutoring sessions.

I think that my daughter was using the school for social hours. I read and reviewed her work from her notebooks and it was standard textbook items. One day she came home and announced: “They don’t do anything.” I smiled and was proud because she realized it on her own. She continued to share that most of the day the class is talking and the teacher is on her phone. In between that the teacher tells them to stop talking, they eat, go for recess, then finish their day sitting in the class. Other times the teacher would say some notes from a book, but otherwise, there was no schedule. She decided to change from learning Nzema because they mostly spoke English in the class. She changed to French and learned that there too mostly they were speaking in the pidgin English. I left her in the school to give her a lesson in non-productivity. It worked because she would come home and do the homeschooled assignments with zest.

When we lived in the USA I was always heading a homeschool cooperative or involved in something for the after school programs. Here in Kikam I decided to get involved. It would seem easy enough because no parents were involved. They were all busy tending their farms or thought that the school was there as the authority so therefore they did not have to get involved. Since I was seeing the cracks in the system I visited the school to see what I could do to assist.


I wanted to put in to place a garden. The children could tend to it and learn some

hands on science and it would beautify the school grounds. It was suggested that I pay for this improvement. I chuckled at yet another time that I should pay for it and work to make it better by myself. This was not the first time this was suggested. Since I was being asked to share my money, naturally I wanted to get down to the budget of the school. Why are there no funds for beautification? Was it necessary for there to be a fee increase in order to sustain this?

Me and my American ways. At this small school the money came in, but many times did not make it to where it needed to be. I followed the online trail to the school’s USA affiliate, NGO, and sponsor. The online look boasted supporting a school where the children were smiling and just happy to be alive. I even recognized one of the girls from the school in the photos, so this was recent photography. The NGO was proud to record the amount of money being sent to the school. They even had a photo of the new projector that was gifted to the school – why gift it if there are no lights, I thought.

I pointed this out to Emmanuel and he advised to leave it alone. He shared that that is how they are making a living by getting funds to use for their own cars, homes, and education elsewhere for their own children. If I got involved they would probably find a way to get rid of me or to put roots and voodoo on me in the name of Jesus.

One of the more laid back posts, but now you are getting a jist of the background to the book, Wanted: Green Card.