It was our first day meeting Professor Williams, and he starts to give us a rundown on Accra.
“Lately we’ve been having issues with power…” Like clockwork, the lights cut out. We all burst into laughter.
Welcome to Ghana, where there’s no such thing as reliable electricity, a cool breeze, or sticking to a schedule.
Well, here I am. I’ve been waiting for this for months now, and it’s here. Just got done our first Twi lesson, an indigenous language of Ghana. It’s a tone language, so one word can mean a variety of things by just changing the way you pronounce it. My brain is in overload, to say the least!
WE HAVE A MANGO TREE! AND AN ORANGE TREE! I’m in heaven.
There is SO much to write about. I feel like I can’t even fit it into one blog post. No way. The trip here was relatively smooth, minus Ruth, one of my housemates, not getting her luggage in from London. Mine are all accounted for, safe. Thank goodness.
Once our plane landed, I stepped out to my first bit of African soil. The air was hot and sticky, even though it was almost 10 at night. As soon as I got into the airport I proceeded to the bathroom, where I drowned myself in insect repellent. Okay, a bit tourist-y and dorkish, but who cares. : ) Ain’t no bugs on me.
Our house is really neat. Houses here are big and sturdy. Spacious and empty. Temperatures been in the high 90s and it’s only going to get hotter. Luckily our showers are only cold water. One really cool thing- I’ll be hand-washing all my clothes. I even bought special hand-washing detergent from the market the other day. It’s exciting to be forced back into living a simple life. Not a simple life the way I’ve always defined it, but a truly simple life. Homemade meals. Walking everywhere. No air conditioning. No telephone. No internet in the house. Believe me, I’ve felt like breaking down at times, but when I start to regain courage again… it’s refreshing.
We toured all around Accra yesterday, seeing all the sights of the city. Including the slums. I’ve never felt so blessed in my entire life. I can’t even describe what it’s like. Here I am, in a covered house, out of the sun, and I’m still sweating from the intense heat. But two miles away from me people are fending of diseases without any medicine, digging through trash to find things to live off of, things to sell. The average household income here is $400 a year. A year. I spent that much just on getting vaccinations and medicine to come here.
It really puts everything into perspective, and it’s only my second day here. I’ll be working at a school in one of the poorest areas of the city for the rest of my trip, teaching children English. That will be a life-changing experience. One of the interesting things I’ve learned is that, unlike the U.S., the poorest parts aren’t any more dangerous than the nicer areas of the city. Basically, everywhere is safe if there are people around.
I have SO much to write about. It’s insane. I think I’ll write a book. : ) Oh and today we toured the University of Ghana. It was beautiful! Looks just like any typical southern California university. Also on campus was an Olympic size pool- diving boards, platforms and all. Can’t wait.
I’ll write again soon. : ) Here are some pics!