The Robbery

We all have these strange, dark fantasies of how we’d act during a moment of crisis. Some of you may know already, and maybe it’s your job to know. And some of you just may have happened along a man lying on the tracks, with a train rumbling towards him, and you ran over to pull that man to safety (Hi, 2!). Maybe you’ve been mugged or got into a terrible accident. Maybe you grew up in a neighborhood that required staying clear of the windows not knowing what might puncture them and then you. And if that’s the case, you’ve had so many of these moments they’ve become a way of life. Gosh, some of you have gone through quite a bit. And, if you’ve seen some shit, have been through some shit or are still in the shit, well then, I hope you keep going. I’m not necessarily happy to have one of these moments, and it might not be comparable in any way to yours, but it happened. And I’m happy to know myself a bit better than before.

So enough of that; let’s get to it. There was a robbery. It was an armed robbery that put myself and others in a danger I had personally and thankfully never known prior to that night. I can’t give too many specifics because there is an ongoing investigation. As much as you might be interested in reading riveting details, I also need to respect others’ privacy and of course not say anything to undermine the investigation. There were some moments of sheer comedy through it all and others of terror. Mostly, I want to tell you that I’m all right.

Now, a lot of people whom I’ve had the pleasure of seeing during my sojourn on the Island, asked me why I’m going back.

Why am I going back?

Why am I going back?

Why am I going back?

Well, I learned that in a gun-to-your-head moment, I’m calm, focused, compassionate, and if you don’t mind me humble-bragging for a moment—quite clever. This has been an invaluable lesson, and I feel more confident in myself than ever before.

I also believe in the work that I’m doing and the Ghanaian colleagues I work alongside. They’re leading (no exaggeration) life-saving projects on early-childhood immunizations, maternal health and wellness, ending corporal punishment and child marriage, and protecting natural resources. It might be an inflated sense of self talking, but, dammit, I want to be there for that. I came here to do a job, and I intend to see it through. That’s how Julez raised me.

The robbers didn’t take too much from me, and the last thing I want them to take is this experience filled with wonderful friends, adventures, and lessons—and it’s just the beginning.

So I’m back in Ghana. Try not to worry, and if I have one last request, while I still have your attention, please please do not let this incident negatively distort your view of Ghana, especially not of the people that live here. I still love Ghana. I still have faith in the kindness of strangers, and I hope you do, too.

Take care of yourselves.