Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ghana, Week One

When coming to Ghana, I really didn’t know what to expect. I tried to research it, but the information I found wasn’t adequate. I knew I’d have to go myself in order to get a frame of reference from my own perspective. Would it be as impoverished as parts of India? Would it be developed? Would there be good food to eat, beautiful sights to see?

Well we’ve been here half a week and so far it’s been unlike anywhere else we’ve been.

These are my first impressions so far…

For the most developed city in West Africa, Accra is surprisingly undeveloped.

However, it’s not as undeveloped as Ouazazarte, Morocco.

For some reason, the slums in Ghana don’t bother me nearly as much as the ones in India. There’s slums surrounding the outside of Rising Phoenix Magic Beach Resort where we’re staying.

We’re at the time of year where there aren’t hardly any white people. In the summer, I guess, it becomes overwhelmed with college students coming to do a good deed.

I’d like to volunteer with an organization myself, but of the 20 some odd organizations I’ve emailed, only one has gotten back to me, and it’s for a project that won’t begin until the beginning of December. I’d like to be involved with something, I really would, but it would require greater energy than I presently have (ie, go door to door asking) to find something. If anyone reading has any suggestions, please comment.

No one carries anything in their hands, it’s all on their heads.

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This was meant to be the King’s house, but somehow it fell through, so it’s not used for anything. It’s shaped like a typical African stool.
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Everyone dresses so vibrantly.

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Food

A lot of potatoes. Below is jolof rice from the food court in the mall. It’s flavored with Indian-tasting spices. And… I eat salad here. I eat raw tomatoes here. I have not gotten sick. It’s a miracle. There’s a vegetarian restaurant on site which I love.

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Jacob and I have both caught on to the nation’s favorite drink, which is like sweet nonalcoholic beer.
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People from the slum dry their clothes on the lawn.

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This building is our next-door neighbor.

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Jacob got this little boy from Niger, who was cuddling up next to him like they were best friends, some coconut juice.

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Internet

The internet situation here is pretty rough. No place has wifi, anywhere. Here we are getting registered for an internet stick. We have to pay per download which means I may be waiting to upload any videos until we leave the country.

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Gyms

There are no good gyms in Accra. Zilch. We’ll go to the one at the national soccer team stadium and Jacob says all they have is a squat rack. I think this is going to cut our visit short.


“Do not pee here or you will have to pay 50,000 cedis” this is equivalent to $35019.40. Ironically, this is just outside the slum. You can bet everyone is urinating there.

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People

There are many, many people here who seem to want something from us. It makes us doubt people’s intentions. They are extremely friendly. I went for an hour walk and got 3 phone numbers. But do they want my money or my friendship? Only time will tell… Two women that I met wanted to give me an African name. They asked me what day I was born on. I told them I didn’t know. They were shocked. “You don’t know the day of your birth? Was it a Wednesday?” they guessed. “I think it was Saturday.” “Ahh, then your name is Almah,” they said.

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The view of the Gulf of Guinea from our place is the best part. 
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2 comments:

oh said...

You were born on a Saturday.

According to the nursery rhyme:

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Keep up the hard work of living!

Sally Lou said...

you HAVE to buy one of those bright dresses! they're so beautiful! if you get one that's immodest, you can always wear a shirt under it.
i love the picture of the boats out on the water. it reminds me of a children's book.
do you remember richard sam from vienna? he was from ghana.

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