One Year Later…

It’s been too looong dahhlings!!

Looks like we’ve made it to November 2019…..  It’s strange mentioning that month as sweat trickles down the backs of my legs. I’m sure you’ve all forgotten about me, much like I’ve forgotten about you. Just kidding. I could never forget about my millions of faithful followers. I’d like to blame my absence on the fact that I’m roughing it in the sticks. You know, that image you get in your head when people say “I’m a Peace Corps volunteer” – living in a mud hut in a village in the middle of nowhere, trekking far into the jungle to fetch water,  trudging down a long winding dirt path to market under the scorching sun, speaking to community members in only the local dialect, no electricity, no phone service, no contact with the outside world… The truth is none of these apply to me lol. We call it Posh Corps. 

I live in an town just a 1cedi ($0.20) trotro ride away from the closest city. Many of my friends are able to speak perfect english – although they prefer speaking Twi with me so they can laugh, hysterically laugh, shouting, patting their stomachs, tears streaming down their face laugh at me for my abominable pronunciation. I scroll through Instagram as I lie in my bed. When the lights do go off, I sit outside pouting until they come back on. Water flows from the tap 60% of the time (the other 40% of the time I bribe my students with food from Suzy’s Kitchen to fetch water for me). Cous and I drink champaign and eat bonbons every evening as we lounge in our matching satin PJs… you get the picture (lol jk that last part’s a lie, I’m much more of a silk girl than a satin girl). My town is very much home. I get homesick when I’m away for a few days. I miss my students when they go on midterm break. I know which spots will give free drinks if we stay long enough, and which market women will dash me extra fish on market day. I know the short cuts that avoid grandma sitting on her stoop with hours of stories to tell, and the ones that lead to my friends who I can sit with, laughing until my face hurts. You get the point, the reason for my absence is that I’m busy doing absolutely nothing here and loving it.

We’re now on year two of teaching at my school. Last year I taught mainly Creative Arts with various other subjects peppered in. This year I’m still running around the Primary school teaching 4th, 5th and 6th grade science.  (Hopefully Dr. Ryan never catches wind of this.) My main project however, is the vocational school. I’m sure you recall my begging for money a while back? Well thanks to all of youuu we are up and running! The point of the vocational school is to give kids an option after they complete JHS (Junior High School aka middle school). Even the Deaf kids that have the grades, and money to complete SHS (High School) finish school and are unable to find work because of the limited work opportunities for Deaf people in Ghana. The vocational school is an alternative to SHS. It is on the same campus as the middle school but the schools, teachers and students are separate. The students choose between carpentry, hairdressing/barbering, dressmaking, catering and Batik (fabric making). The goal is for the students to learn their trade over the course of 3 years, take a government test, earn a certificate, and set up their own business. We’re in the first term of the first school year of this goal…. still lots of bumps and question marks, but #byGod’sgrace somehow it’s working out.


^^^This is Rebecca, she is everything I want to become. She is the glue that holds the vocational school together. She’s a business woman, a carpenter, a seamstress, a mom, a hairdresser, a saleswoman, a cook, a plumber… I promise you she can do anything. And if she can’t do it, she figures out how. We spend a lot of time together discuss vocational plans, gossiping about our students abilities, eating the food we cook in the catering school, bargaining with metalworkers, etc. Over the past 8ish months we have slowly built up the vocational school to where it is today.  It’s hard to capture her character in words but here’s a story that might help paint a picture.

A few weeks ago I called a plumber to get an estimate for some plumbing we needed done in the hairdressing room. The plumber shows up, assesses the situation, scrawls the materials that he’ll need for the job and their costs on a paper torn from my notebook, and announces that we should give him 333 Cedis for him to go and buy to necessary the supplies for the job. (This is the typical process for something like that). Rebecca laughs, snatches the paper from his hand, and tells him to go home and come back tomorrow morning to work. “We’ll have the materials you need ready for you tomorrow morning.” The man grumbles for a bit about us women buying plumbing supplies for a man’s work, and then goes on his way. I grab the list from Rebecca (which is about the length of my forearm) and can make out the names of maaaybe 4 items. “Auntie Becky do you know anything about plumbing?? Can you even read any of the things listed here??”. She chuckles softly, “no, let’s go”. Twenty minutes later I’m trotting behind her through the market like a 4 year old trying to keep up with her cool 8 year old brother. We snake through the bowels of the market until we arrive at a plumbing store. Rebecca, totally unsure of what she’s asking for, confidently rattles off mispronounced and incorrect names of items on the list. When the man eventually produces the item, Rebecca looks at it for a minute, then tells him how much it should cost – most of the time cutting the price the plumber gave us in half.

Fast forward thirty minutes and we’re riding home with a taxi full of pipes and valves and bells and whistles (you know, plumbing things) all for the cost of 140 Cedis. (you recall the estimate the man gave of 333 Cedis). Becks don’t let NOBODY rip her off. In fact most of the time I leave shops feeling like I should slip the saleswoman a 20 because we’re ripping them off. She’s a wizard… and iiiii am Scabbers along for the ride :).

Here’s some evidence that I did in fact use the grant money for the school and didn’t spend it all on FanChoco and muffins (my fav midday snack)








My fav midday snack (the froyo in my hand not the girl sitting next to me) ft the muffin particles in on my tongue #stillclassy


Wow here I am going on and ON about these boring details when I know all you want to hear about it Cous! Gosh I really didn’t want to make this about my cat …. you push to haaaard but I accept. Last time we chatted I believeee Cous was still a tween.


So young, still stealing my phone to take selfies


since thennn

She’s popped out one batch of lil appetizers … (ft Cous staring into the cold hard eyes of motherhood.)


Thennn a second batch of snacks  (Cous is a hippy that lets her toddler breastfeed)


Cous and lil cous were actually pretty cute together… All of the kittens have been given to friends. Lil cous was an angsty girl who enjoyed tap dancing on my chest to wake me up, and defecating anywhere BUT the litter box. She’s since run away to shack up with her sweetheart – the school carpenter’s rascal of a cat. I’m not too upset about her absence.


aaaand now we’re pregnant again.



The past year has been filled with successes and failures and rock bottoms and crazy highs and pregnant cats and my students driving me to the brink of insanity and then making me so proud. Here’s a highlight reel in pix because let’s be honest it’s 2019, no one tells stories anymore.

2019 Spelling Bee – Five of my students weaseled their way into the finals of the National Spelling Bee. (What??? Deaf people can spell??) Over 400 students from rich, hearing, private international schools qualified for the final rounds. Godsway, village boy from a Deaf government school got 4th overall. Ghana was shook. (Also yeah we are TV famous now)

The spelling bee (perhaps more importantly Godsway’s 5 minutes of fame on Ghana DSTV) sprung a chain reaction at the school. The picture below on the top right is my two most stubborn students (most often found wandering into class around 11am after hanging out at the towns “Soccabet” joint all morning) sitting in the back of the class paying absolutely no attention to the teacher, but diligently quizzing each other on spelling words.


Funerals – Funes are weekend affairs. Whether it’s your best friend, a coworker, or someone you bought banku from last year, you go to the funeral. On Saturday morning you throw on your black and red and hop in the bus, taxi or trotro heading to the burial. From morning until evening you sit, talk, eat, dance and drink.


Sunday morning you change into your white funeral wear and you’re back at it for a morning church service, then more sitting. Not my fav thing in the world but you gotta pour one out.

Weddings!! You know the drill.

Some things I do with my friends: swim, get caned, drink Palm Wine, get schooled on the football pitch

Camp!! Occasionally us Peace Corps Volunteers and members from our schools and communities will come together to host camps for our kids so we can crush them in relay and three legged races.


The man I’m three legged racing with is Shaibu. He’s my best friend at school, my football teammate, and my Deaf bible. The Deaf community is tight. There are 14 elementary and middle schools, and 1 high school. Everyone knows everyone. When you don’t know someone they’ll use location, appearance, and relationships to describe them to you. “You know Shaibu. Teacher in Accra, bald spots, football skilled, best friends with the white girl that teaches at the school.” I interpret for Shaibu and his wife and in return he drags me along to various Deaf events and answers every question I have about Ghanaian and Deaf culture.

^^ some random pics of my students being amazing.

Most important update of all —- a visit from mumsy and n8dogg!! Any occasion to throw other obronis under the bus for a moment of peace while my friends have a field day laughing at someone who is not me for a change.

I know I cannot possibly satisfy your insatiable appetite for updates on Suzy’s riveting life but I hope this is an adequate attempt. Describing my life here is impossible but this gives you a bit of insight. Stay tuned for more because Cous Cous is VERY pregnant and what kind of person would I be if I kept all my cute kitten pix to myself.

Until next time,



Cous cous is a friend, not food

Hello from across the pond! It’s been a while so I figured I’d throw my thirsty followers a bone. Life here has drastically changed since I last updated you. The peacefulness that I naively perceived as ~boring~ when the students weren’t here has been replaced with the interminable buzz of 300 elementary and middle school deaf students.

School opened about 6 weeks ago so we have lots to catch up on. I’ll rewind to the beginning. In the beginning God created heaven and Earth… In the days before “the first day of school” I didn’t understand why there wasn’t that preparation bustle that happens at the end of the summer in American schools. Aaand thenn the first monday came and I suddenly understood. The students are the ones who prepare the school here. I think about 15 students showed up at first day. Aaand they cleaned. As the week dragged on and more students continued to trickle in, I realized I wouldn’t be teaching that first week. Soo the teachers use it as a week to catch up with each other and plan their lessons, andd the students scrub every inch of the school. I think that’s what they call a win-win? A Symbiotic relationship?

Ok so the first week the students prepare the school. And the students know that’s the game plan.. so most wait until week 2 to show up. Smart kids. (Not sure what the other 15 kids are thinking..) for my school real classes started the second week. This is totally dependent on the school. Some of my friends (which I have ok) at different schools didn’t start til the 4th week. It just depends on your location, headmaster, students, access to buildings, etc. I’m technically teaching creative art for Primary 4, 5 and 6. However since school has started I’ve taught primary and middle school art, Basic Design & Technology, Information Communication & Technology (The assumption that all Americans are technologically saavy might be my demise), religious and moral education, math, aaand English.

^^ First week of school – playing 7-up a timeless classic

^^ compared to 2nd week of school

Students are still trickling in and were approaching.. I believe week 7? My classes generally have 20-30 students in them. 20-30 is a hectic number of teenage Deaf students but we manage… That is if you consider a classroom on the constant brink of turning into a good old mtv dance off managing. Oooh my god my students like to dance. Which actually works to my advantage because if they behave we do dance off Fridays.

^^two students rehearsing for the dance off – not messing around.

So apart from setting up So You Think You Can dance Ghana, one of my first projects upon school starting was helping raise awareness for the HIV club. (The school with the best HIV awareness gets a lil prize $$) so i made I made ribbons and posters for the school. Ok ok my students helped me… Omg fine! I showed 2 students how to make the ribbons and left them to their own devices but what would you do if you had free laborers right at your finger tips! Sooo I delegated my excruciating ribbon making task to these girls…

And then delegated my poster making task to cous

^^thanks cous very helpful

Other than Teaching I spend most of my time cooking, thinking about food, shopping for food, resolving middle school girl conflicts, hanging out with other teachers, helping my students with their homework 👍, etc.

The market is something I am slowly getting th hang of. Haggling for a white girl like myself is generally more difficult than for the average Ghanaian. I know, its crazy! Despite my bronze tan the market women can still tell I’m not from here and assume I probably don’t know the going rates… Which is still very true.. however im learning from my Deaf co workers and think i may be getting somewhere. Only thing is the whole market thinks I’m Deaf… Don’t blow my cover.

^^heres my most recent haul. My favorite part of the market is what happens when people return for their trip to the market. They like to lay their food out and brag about how little they paid for everything. ( Aaand then laugh at me for how much i paid.) But it’s fine.. I’m just very invested in stimulating the economy here.

The number 1 question I get from home (other than “oh you’re still in Ghana..?”) Is what food I eat. I’ll do whole post on thay someday.. i know I shockingly have a lot to say on that topic.. In the mean time I’ll fill you in on my most recent accomplishment which is living without a fridge – I am aable to keep most of my food from spoiling by reheating it every morning & evening. A little tomato Tang never hurt anyone ~ except for maybe my bowels~. Howeveerrr After a few too many run ins with the neighborhood bad boys (turns out I’ve been supplying food for entire colonies of aants for months now..) I came up with this sweet ant free zone for my food. (Martha Stuart best watch her back)

^^ a lil DIY moat around my castle of groundnut soup (I think martha calls this one “pot floating in water”) Ft the evil dragon that guards the outside … Lol just kidding cous is useless.

Let’s seeee what else to tell you… Oh! I’m also a part time hair dresser now. Always good to have something to fall back on for when PC decides they’ve had enough of me.

^^ that moment when you finally find your calling in life!! 🙌🙌

^^lol no idea why I was allowed to do this

Alrighty i tbink thats all ive got for you for now! On the docket tonight is devouring this kenkey 👍👍 (ghanas favorite fast food – fermented, mashed, balled, and cooked corn with fish and ground pepper, onions and tomatoes) aand finish washing my clothes 👎👎

^^ kenkey 🤤

^^ my forearms arent sore yours are!!! (As always, sponsored by Crocs)



Suzy & cous

No Bicycles Used In the Making of This Blog Post

Owusua, Sister Suzy, Auntie Yaa, Yaa Owusua, suzdog2222222222 signing on.

^^ a handful of names that I now respond to (the last one is just my God given name.. nothing new).

Many Ghanaians have a plethora of names that them depending on the context. Since arriving here I too have acquired a few new names.

My first day in Ghana my host family asked me what day of the week I was born on. Like most normal americans, I didn’t know this off the top of my head. So I just picked my fav day of the week ~THURSDAYYY~. Aand I became Yaa. I thought this question was more of a horoscope situation than a *your answer right now dictates what people will call you for the next 2 years* situation. As time went on and more people started referring to me as Yaa the more the guilt began to eat away at me. Finally it was too much to bear and I scrolled all the way back to October 18, 1994 (mark your calendars, send gifts, etc) on my phone to see the truth. For some reason I was surprised when my 1/7 odds didn’t work out in my favor. I can’t remember now but I think I was actually born on a Tuesday? (Can we pull out the ol’ birth certificate and get a fact check on that one mumsy?) buutttt I was too far gone. The Yaa train had left the station and Yaa Owusua (pronounced Yaw Oh oo see ah) was on board. (For those of you confused as to who to address your already purchased and wrapped birthday gifts to plz stick with Susannah Wright thank you).

My point here is that the Ghanaian naming process is a tad bit different than in the good old US of A. The names that many people introduce themselves with are the day names. (Ie Yaa)

Sunday= Akosua/Kwasi

Monday= Adwoa/Kwadwo

Tuesday= Abena/Kwabina

Wednesday= Akua/Kwaku

Thursday= Yaa/Yaw

Friday= Afua/Kofi

Saturday= Ama/Kwame

The day names are also super helpful because you have a 1/7 chance of instant friendship upon meeting someone (I need all the help I can get).

Ok, you get it, day names are big – next, they have a name that is most often passed down from an older family member. Mine is Owusua after my host family grandmother. Thenn there’s the family name (basically a last name). And last and maybe least there are “school” or “christain” names. From what I’ve gathered these names are used exclusively in school, or when introducing themselves to an obroni for the first time.

The prefixes sister, auntie, and mama are used depending on your age compared to the person addressing you. (I’m now realizing I don’t know any prefixes for men ~ sorry for the reverse sexism boys). Sister is used for someone around the same age as you or younger. Auntie is for someone older. And mama is used to refer to someone who has basically ever helped you do anything. From breastfeeding you to showing you where the flour is at the market. As a generally useless person I have a lot of Mamas.

And that’s all I’ve got on names

Ok! Now that I’ve got you all on the hook with that riveting intro let’s dull things down a bit.

As of about a week ago myself and my 32 colleagues, government issued friends, fellow victims of culture shock, what have you, are officially the newest batch of Ghana Education PC volunteers. *~woohoo~* (For those of you not re-reading my blog posts in every moment of your spare time: -first of all get a life-secoond up until we were sworn in as volunteers we were trainees.. lil baby gazelles learning to walk in Ghana) the swearing in ceremony was fancy and air conditioned and included ~american finger fooods~

^^deaf Ed gang

^^ my GSL trainer

^^ i swear i have friends

^^half of my home stay fam

^^i swear I have friends part 2

^^my host sis using the ceremony as a big money making opportunity for her toffee business

SO!! What happens now?? I have left my homestay fam and my training fam and have shipped off to site! Departure day was chocked full of teary goodbyes, long drawn out hugs, somehow acquiring a kitten, and marking my homestay family’s wall calendar for when I would visit.

Here’s my cat ~ and here is where my blog rapidly transitions into a “I know you hate cats but I promise you my cat is the cutest” blog.

I think I almost killed her on my journey back to site but she quickly forgave me when I dangled a can of sardines over her head.

You know when Moses is in the basket getting rocked by he sea as his mother scrambles to try to keep an eye on him? At one point during our little trip I was switching vehicles at a trotro (van-like bus) station and my kitten carrier (a soggy cardboard box that I frantically stabbed with a machete for air holes) was snatched out of my hands by a well-meaning but aggressive gentleman. He proceeded to plunge into a sea of Ghanaians all of whom were shouting and grabbing at me to get in their vans.

Yes, I am comparing my kitten to Moses.. and myself to moses_ mother.

Anywho, we both made it and have since been slowly learning how to integrate to our new life styles. Kitten’s biggest struggle thus far has definitely been grasping the whole “litter box” concept. This has been infuriating but I suppose understandable. Like, imagine growing up being able to dance wherever you want. Then one day some foreigner rolling up, tossing you in a box, jostling you around for 5 hours, then telling you oh by the way – see that 2by 2 space in the dusty dank corner over there? You can only dance there. And don’t even try dancing anywhere else or I’ll grab you by the scruff and throw you in your dust dank dancing corner.

So we have definitely had our ups and downs since arriving butt I rly think we’re starting to see eye to eye on the whole ~plz don’t defecate on my belongings~ thing.

Luckily I have this fun and effective form of punishment in my back pocket for any curve balls she throws at me

Lol I’m kidding I would nevvveer!! I’m much more of a dog meat gal.
let’s see what else can I tell you about kitkat? Umm she’s obsessed with bathing .. Soo we have nothing in common… Aaand ya that’s about it!

^^” I love bathing”

Ok enough kitten talk for today let’s talk about ME

I start teaching when school starts and in the meantime have dedicate my time to meeting my community, learning Twi, and obtaining the necessary possessions to make my living space functional.

^^making friends at site

The most difficult tHing ive have to obtain was my lil cooking stove. The nearest home Depot was a bit out of reach so i went to the next best place.

After trolling around my market area for what felt like a decade, I saw in the distance the shimmer of a gas tank sitting on the road side. I did my best to haggle it down to a reasonable price then dragged it to the nearest gas station to fill it up. Of course the first gas station was out of gas. And the second, aaand the third. So I wept great tears of sorrow, did some grocery shopping, and lugged my empty tank home. The next day I set out again in search of gas. I was fortunate enough to find it pretty quickly and was about to take a taxi home (because I love myself not because of any lack of strength ok!!) when I ran into my 13 yr old neighbor nonchalantly carrying a tank much bigger than mine on her head as she walked towards our homes. I had no choice but to hoist the tank onto my noggin and trudge onwards next to my chipper neighbor. The taxis whizzing past mocked me all the way home.

Baaasically the story ends with Suzy now having a flat head. Which is honestly a relief!! My lil bean shaped head teetering atop my noodle neck can only sustain so much weight.

Ok on that note I’m off to go put my stove to good use!!

Ok one more pic for the road


Sister Suzy

Update: still here

As I sit and write this I can think of nothing but the lizard I just watched shimmy into my room. Where ya headed lil buddy? Is your entire family slithering around in there? Are you going to film parent trap 2 ft Suzy as the evil step mother? Perhaps you’re extremely pregnant and are on your way to give birth to a plethora of baby lizzies? I’ll keep you posted.

Anywho! Hi again! I’m sure you’ve all been experiencing long sleepless nights as you waited to hear whether or not I made it back to my home stay village. I can happily report that I made it back in one piece at the small price of whatever remaining dignity I still had! The children were ecstatic to have their playmate back. Equally thrilled were my homestay parents, aunts, grandparents, adults who linger around the house, etc who can now continue watching their favorite live reality series “what will the obroni do today?” (A Netflix original thus far only released in Ghana). I have really only been placed here to provide comedic relief for this family.

I am rapidly approaching the end of my training so my life mostly involves presentations and tests and the mashing together of whatever loose ends still remain. Here is a v brief highlight real through pix of some of those things

^^a cooking contest which I’m convinced was just a ploy to get us to feed all of the children in the town. We made Eto which is a combo of mashed plantains, onion, pepper, groundnut paste (peanut butter here), avocado and egg. Don’t knock it til you try it.

^^a shockingly successful intro to signing class the Deaf ed group put on

One thing training has been extremely useful for is teaching us how to make things that we can later teach kids at our schools

^^handmade reusable pads!!


^^the finished product ft Deaf Ed group looking as professional and knowledgeable as ever

Staying with my homestay family has been a lot of my desperately trying to convince them that Americans can indeed perform simple household chores. When I first arrived, any attempt at helping was met with an uproar of concern and laughter as I was nudged into the nearest chair. Surely I was exhausted from just offering to help. Howeverrr the longer I am here the more they trust me to do these painstakingly difficult takes. My homestay mom finally trusts me enough to cut an onion, wash my clothes, sweep my room, do the dishes, and even stir a pot (my 11 year old sister still supervises this because she doesn’t believe one can truly stir food correctly with their left hand).

I have worked hard to gain enough trust for them to permit me to help with these tasks. My 1 year old brother ~ who can most often be found wandering around the house with a foot long knife ~ was a responsibility I had to work less hard for. Nana (said 1yo) is constantly hip surfing around the town. I will be walking down the street to class and all of the sudden a 10 year old will hand him to me and walk away. It took Nana a while before he didn’t cry at the sight of my white skin (same Nana) every time I held him but we’ve reduced it to only a small whimper. So just to clarify ~ washing dishes? Must have immediate supervision. Caring for a 1 year old? Just don’t let him stab anyone with his fav toy The Machete.

^^ the key is tossing him on your back so that he will eventually forget about your blinding skin color

One task that my homestay mom quickly and enthusiastically delegated to me was helping my sister with her budding toffee business. Together we have a sweet 50/50 setup where I generate the business and she keeps all of the profits. (Which is totally fine because I am just raking it in as the 6 figure volunteer that I am )

^^the toffee production line ft my homestay mom (pink shirt) being a bamf

My homestay family (like most families in the town we’re in) generate income through farming. Aaand ~more excited news from the front line ~ it’s harvest szn!! This basically means they built a new house out of corn.

^^new digs

Just kidding. That’s just a pile of corn patiently waiting to be stripped.

^^ after it is stripped we bring it to the mill (lol not we – my lil sis – I’m just the photographer along for the ride)

^^the mill turns it to powder

^^we bring the bucket of powder back home ~my arm is sooo tired from being such a good photographer

^^the powder is cooked and eventually turns into one of the various Ghanaian starch balls and eaten with soup

(Only here for the #farmtotable meals)

Ok sorry for the onslaught of info & photos. I hope this is enough to tide you over until I next have time&internet. In the meantime, I’ll be bathing in corn.



Still in Ghana

Coming to you live from the city that never sleeps! *(the small village where the roosters never sleep)

Ok before we get into any boring details I need to get this off my chest ~ last night was the first night that I was truly ready to leap out of bed and terrorize the voice out of ever rooster in town. I mean reaaallyy traumatize them. Like, make them watch Chicken Run but stop it in the middle of the scene when they’re trapped in the pie making machine and there’s no hope of escaping from Tweedy’s Farm. Muahah

Lucky for the rooster population, I, being the selfless, caring and compassionate Peace corps volunteer that I am, did not pursue that dream.

Anywho enough with the lackluster pleasantries. I am nooww approximately on my 7ish week of PC training. (Still a phony, not yet a real volunteer). Unlike my perpetually perspiring pits, training is a biiit dry ~ i.e. lots of hours of my tush being parked in a chair going over PowerPoints.

However! Some exciting news did come our way last week when our permanent sites where disclosed to us! This was followed by a week long site visit. My tush was ecstatic to have a week outside of it’s parking spot. Unfortunately I am not at liberty to discuss any specifics about my location per sctrict orders from the white haus. I can say that I am not too far from Accra so when all of you come to visit I am just a stone’s throw away from the aeroport.

The journey to my site involved 5 hours of confusion and shouting and vehicle hopping and oh my God SWEAT, with a little bit of being ripped off peppered in there. Buutttt I eventually made it. I am VERY happy to report that the Packing Queen™ lives on. I was somehow able to squash all of my belongings in order to relocate to my site. This was especially challenging considering how many cubic cm (that’s right I’m a metric gal now) of things I’ve acquired since being here. My suitcase ~aka the evil twin of the Monster Book of Monsters~ (sibling pic ft below) protested for quite some time before finally agreeing the close.

^^ a fellow teacher & me smilimg bc we found my bags after a few hours of tjinking they were put on the wrong tro (bus) & we’re on the home stretch of our journey to site

Im suure it will come as a disappointment to most of you to hear how lavishly I will be living at my site. Most Deaf schools are boarding school so I will be living in a dorm with a plethora of boisterous <20ish yr old girls. (I have a hunch that my parents called PC to request payback for my angst packed teenage years). Perks of living at a government funded school include electricity, a shower that works at select hours of the day, AND ~wait for it~ a toilet that sometimes flushes!! I have no idea what I was doing SLUMMing it at Chauncy Estates for all those years.

New digs^^

A few highlights from my week at my site incluuude: my teaching an impromptu long division class (lol I swear I remember how to do that), an 8 hour funeral which from what I’ve gathered just means party here, a disappointing amount of loose stools due to a mishap in my water filtration system (my immune system has really been hittin the gym this week), a 3.5 hour church service of 400+ people during which I was called to the front, handed and mic, and told to “tell them about myself”, aaaand massive portions of delicious Ghanaian food for every meal. I have acquired a few new mom’s here, all of whom have made it their life’s goal to fatten me up. I’m really leaning into it.

Pictured below is the famously delicious “fufu” ~whats that? You’re expecting to see a spoon to assist with the heavy lifting required for the consumption of this? Don’t be silly, you eat it with your hand!! But don’t use your left hand or else people will think ya nasty~

Next in the docket is returning to my homestay village for 1 more moth of tush-parked training. I am terrified of the prospect of finding my way back there but am excited to see my homestay family again. Aaaand it will be nice to return to the safety of knowing that someone will either be speaking Twi at me or signing at me – never both at the same time. (Twi is the language spoken in my homestay village and at my site). My brain hurts from trying to decipher the strange language that has been created at my school from the mixture of signing and Twi.

Ok that is all I have for you for now. I shall be back in a Ghanaian minute ~ that’s like a New York minute but stretch it into the most ambiguous measurement of time you can dream up. Like anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 years. Stay thirsty mis amigos.



The moment you’ve all been waiting for, refreshing you WordPress tab for, YEARNing for, has finally arrived. Buttsonbicycles has been resurrected!!

Fiirst let’s get everyone on the same page. I am currently residing in Ghana & regret to inform you that ani & gugz will not be joinimg me on this adventure ~ i KNOW, i know im suffering as much as you are. However I’m sure that with enough prodding we can get a celeb post from both of them. Anywho, I (Suzy, in case that wasn’t clear) will be using this site to inform my fam that I am indeed still alive. And also to fill them in on a few updates that may have slipped through the cracks during our chaotic bi weekly phone calls. (3+ person speaker phone free for all’s can only be so effective). I’m suuure I could take the time to find Wifi, swankify this page, and accrue million of followers because of my painstakingly written and riveting blog. Buutttt im not going to. Sooo for any stragglers still on board ~ feel free to stay along for the ride, or don’t. Either way I promise you my butt will end up back on a bicycle at some point. Aaaand im sorry you have to read through my poorly punctuated sentences and fragmented thoughts… But you’re the one still reading.

Brief overview to catch you up – I’m on week 4 of my 10(ish) weeks of culture, language, Peace Corps, medical, teaching, etc training that I must go through before I become a real PC volunteer (specifically an education volunteer, more specifically teaching art at a Deaf school). For the majority of these 10ish weeks I will be living with a host family in a small village in the South. My house & room are quite swanky here. I don’t want to brag but I have electricity AND a ceiling fan. I’m currently coming to you live from under my bed canopy – a lil DIY project I’ve thrown together since being here. It’s pretty authentic but you might be able to find something like it on Pinterest if you really dig. It’s constructed half with my sweet complementary mosquito net ~special thanks to Peace Corps & malaria~ and half with my parially dried clothing draped atop it to give it a lil pizzazz. It started raining JUSt as my clothes were almost dried today which was a bummer BUT now I get to sport that natural *rainy musk* scent that Chanel is constantly trying to attain #glamour.

More on my living situation later. I am in the process of learning Ghanaian Sign Language (GSL) ~ from what i have gathered it’s basically a more initialized version of ASL. (This means they use a lot of similar signs, but are more likely to incorporate the handshape that correlates with the first letter of the English word that is most closely associated with the sign). I’m slowly adapting but my GOODNESS if I sign IF the ASL way one more time I’ll have no choice but to saw my pinky off. (Just kidding don’t worry mom I’ll do my best to maintain all 10 of my digits). Luckily, it’s relatively easy to know when you’ve incorporated a little ASL into your sentence because it’s generally met with 30 blank stares gazing up at you in confusion. My most recent classroom mixup was a glorious blend of both my cultural and linguistic misunderstanding of store vs market. I spent a little too much class time trying to coax out of my students examples of food they buy at the store. After an eternity of acting out and drawing different versions of this food store a quiet girl in the back of the class understood the issue. She took pity on me and asked if I meant to sign market. They don’t buy any food from the store because they don’t have food stores. Food store is just not a sign that exists in their lexicon. Thank god the children are smarter than me or I’d probably still be in that classroom trying to convince them that they buy their food from a store.

I digress.. Anywho, I’m in the midst of practicum right now which is a couple weeks of my trying to figure out how to get a classroom of 20-30 Deaf students to share limited art supplies without stabbing one another. I can proudly report that we have yet to have a single stab wound soo things are going swimmingly. I’m teaching primary classes (same thing as elementary school in the US) so the kids can be anywhere from 7ish to 16-17ish ? (big question mark here – it’s nearly impossible to tell their ages). In general, Deaf classrooms here have a much broader age spectrum than hearing schools because of the lack of access to or knowlege of Deaf schools when the child is younger/ living at home with a hearing family in a hearing community.

Okay so sorry I’d love to stay and chat but I must go bathe otherwise my host grandmas will call me a stinky white person to their friends and I JUST got their approval on my dish washing so we can’t have that.

I hope this was an acceptable overview of why I’m bothering you with more blog posts.



there’s no place like home

Hello fanatic followers!
Coming to you live from Westborough MA. The sleeping beauties are pumped to finally get in the proper number of hours required to maintain such stunning complexions. (bedtime is still a strict 9pm)


Anywho, here’s a brief overview of our last week as homeless wanderers. After Seaside we headed up to Astoria (the official ending location of the TransAm). In Astoria we experienced the biggest test of our physical and emotional strength as we conquered this hill – 99.9% grade or something like that – WHILE simultaneously being mocked relentlessly by an onlooking child. “Just wrapping up our xc trip!” we said through tears as we swerved from one side of the ride to the other to prevent ourselves from rolling backwards.


Astoria was lovely. Next we headed back to Portland and spend one more night with Pat and Beth (our former Portland hosts). Twas another beautiful night with these two awesome ladies! And look – we found Ani’s missing sock! (He’s been slumming it with one sock since we left last time. You go Girl!)


After another goodbye (just as many tears as the first time around) we scurried on up to Seattle. As we were biking into the city a scooter appeared next to Suzy and asked the question we love the most: “where ya headed?!” To this Suzy responded “Seattle!!” They gave her a confused look and scooted away. Suzy then realized, this was the moment she’d been waiting for for 70 days.

We did tourist things in Seattle:

The Public Market



Seattle’s newest attraction – Gugz and her fav hat:


Chihuly Garden and Glass:


supah cool


Thennnn we moseyed on up to Edmond (an extremely taxing and strenuous 16 mi ride) to visit some family friends and fellow cyclists (also future xc cyclists!! – Laurie is doing the TransAm next summer!! Good luck Laurie!!) As you can see Suzy and Gugz splurged on a new outfit in order to fit in with the Seattle tourists.


After 2 nights with Shelly, Laurie, and Ben it was time for another goodbye – to our lovely hosts and to our bikes (Edward and Bella). Our bikes are being shipped back to meet us in Westborough, until we meet again, shimmering stallions. Auf Wiedersehen, trusty steeds. Au revoir, frames of steel.

With our stylish, trendy, and wildly ergonomic bags packed we were ready to say goodbye to the West coast and head to the airport. At this airport many weird glances were shot our way. We must have the post xc bike trip glow to us or something.

Watching the country flash beneath us in a matter of hours after spending weeks conquering the beast is… an experience one may say. Another may say degrading, but nonetheless we arrived home safe and sound and are now struggling to adjust to life as a “normal human being”. If you happen to see us wandering the streets, or maybe find us asking if you have a place we can sleep for the night, just do your best to ignore us and send us home, the habits will break, the psychological trauma with subside…

Well that’s all we’ve got. Adios dear readers, it’s been a pleasure sharing our journey with you, and thanks for following our melodramatic stories and adventures!

Clipping out,
Suzy, Gugz, and Ani


Day 66: we made it *<;D 

Words cannot describe our feelings as we soared into seaside yesterday , so I’ll let Kevin Rudolf say it for us:

 I looK up to the sky and now the world is mine I’ve known it all my life I made it I made it 

So to recap our 72 mile day from Hillsboro to seaside we started out with a sad sad goodbye to Sarah – a fellow cycle sister. After that, a surprise climb over the coastal range. Thumbs up Gugz you’re almost there!!! 

(Little did she know that there was a second summit in store for her)


After climbing up and down miles of farmland

After clearing through herd upon herd of viscous attack dogs 

After powering through 800 mph gusts over the high desert that is the mid west 

After too many choco pies (or not enough 😉

After dozens of dark frigid mornings where our hands froze into the handlebars

After countless rounds of gin rummy (we have a running score for the entire trip that is in the thousands)

After meeting more nice people than we knew existed 

Finally…. Drumroll please

It really happened. We made it and put on big smiles for all the haters who didn’t believe. 

Our celebratory dinner. 

West coast baby (don’t worry guys they still have kfc) 

We want to take this time to thank everyone who has helped us along the way. Without fail in every state we have met kind people who have gone out of their way to help us. Even during our lowest lows everyone we’ve met along the way has managed to lift our spirits. We truly mean it when we say we couldn’t have done it without you! 

Kisses to everyone !!


Ani’s flight doesn’t leave for 3 more weeks so he’s heading down the coast to Cali for some gtms there. 

Suzy and Gugz have a flight from Seattle and will continue making their way up the coast. 

Goodbyes were rough, tears were shed, long drawn out hugs were had, but alas… All good things must come to an end… Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened… Cheers

Well there’s really nothing else to says. Thanks for all the support. We’re still fundraising if you’d like to donate.

From here on out we won’t be documenting our journey daily, but expect an update in a week or so! 

Clipping out, 

The transAm riders 

Day 65: in anticipation we writhe

Disclaimer: no biking or harm to cyclists occurred  in the making of this post #restdayinportlandpart2

This morning was not a goodbye but a “until we meet again… ” with our favorite bouldevardier and marathon runner…  We had a super fun stay with these two lovely ladies and will definitely be seeing them in the future

We managed to dry our tears in anticipation of the legendary voodoo donuts. We actually just  casually met a couple of friends there… You know how it is… Bike across the country and grab donuts and coffee with your friends (coast to coast imagoites if you will)

Just a close up shot of the Lucky sardines themselves (though it’s hard to identify them sans uniforms and braces)

We the. took advantage of the diverse scene in Portland an indulged in some tasty Indian food (to those of you wondering we don’t actually bike… We just go from place to place in search of food) Suzy and Gugz were unable to decipher the complicated menu until their strong manly Indian Friend arrived and was able to guide them to the best possible choices. He’s a real Sacajawea folks.  

After physically testing ourselves by stretching our stomachs so much, we decided to mentally test ourselves and see if we were still literate by paying a visit to the Powell bookstore which is an entire city block. It was a little dicey for a while but after finding “go dog go” we came to the conclusion that we are indeed still literate. Our parents should be proud’.

Well that’s all for tonight folks but stay tuned… Word on the street is that BoB (the clever acronym for buttsonbicycles)has some big things planned for tomorrow….

Clipping out,

The sneaky cyclists 

day 64: cyclists hit Tha floor 

After a blissful night of cuddling with mr buddy Bruno we sprung out of bed and lept tush first into the saddle of our unloaded bikes. (Rest daaayyy in Portland) 

Oh ya by the way: Beware of biker corpses in the street portland

First we hit up the rose garden. Feast your eyes 



A rose between two thorns 

Next we stopped at the Japanese Garden 

We’ve been craving a dose of zen for a while now and Lemme tell you the feng shui here did not disappoint 

We feel very at peace with the world now am ready to tackle whatever the rest of the country  has to throw at us (including but not limited to soda cans) 

We resisted the urge to hop into the koi pond with these handsome young fellows though the above 40 degree temperatures and sunny skies were quite a shock tous…. We felt rather underdressed today wearing nothing but *gasp* shorts and a Tshirt. 

Our stomachs yelped as we hopped on our trusty steeds and darted towards food cart nation. Overwhelming is one word. 

In the end we decided on some pulled fork and this scrumptious falafel to satisfy the anxious groans of our forever empty and endless pits. 

Well after our  lovely day spent wandering portland we are very happy to be sitting around playing cards and eating cookie dough (Suzy’s beady eyes are filled with self hatred  as she continues to stuff handfuls down her gullet. Fortunately b tomorrow she will have forgotten about this experience and will be ready to eat her own body weight.  She is incredibly resilient)

Clipping put, 

The grouchy ghouls

Ani, Suzy, and Gugz bike across the country! ~and other tries and tribulations~