Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oh Ghana

Day two in Ghana! I stayed in a hostel in Accra the first night before traveling with the rest of the group to Cape Coast. The traffic outside of Accra was awful (most likely because there are very few traffic rules... we went off-roading to avoid some of it), but it only took around three hours. We had a short orientation in the Proworld office before we took a tour of Cape Coast. I think I've got the directions down for the most part (I was the only person this morning who remembered how to get from my house to town and back :). The city is a really nice size... not small but not huge. The area by the coast is gorgeous but not swimmable because of the strong tides (and pollution and fishing). My host family is really fun, but it's pretty overwhelming because there are so many of them. Some of them don't speak much English, so communication is a bit of a challenge. There are 3 little kids, an uncle, two aunts, three teenagers, and then the house mom. One of the boys asked me if I partied last night and then blew me a kiss before I left the house this morning. I told him definitely not haha. My house mom made me a huge dinner this evening. Then, while I was watching some soccer, one of the aunts in the house brought me outside to dance. They are so fun! Sharing a bathroom with 10 people will be a challenge, but so far so good! I like the other volunteers who are here and am glad to have people to spend some time with after work and on weekends. I start working tomorrow and am so excited! My NGO likes to work early, but I'm happy with that since it's so hot here during the day. I can't believe that this is the cool season!
We toured Cape Coast Castle today. The scenery is beautiful but the history is terrible. Even after reading about cave-holding sites like this one, it was still shocking to see it in person. We also went to the Sunday market. The streets were packed! It's tough to navigate between the cabs and the open sewers without sidewalks haha. I think I would definitely rather get hit by a cab than fall in the sewer though. People just pee in them in the middle of the street. One reason why Ghana is one of the least sanitary countries in Africa! The goats and chickens all over the place don't help the smell much, either. At our hostel yesterday, we thought that someone was trying to get in and then saw hooves under the gate. Pickpockets and thievery is a huge problem here, so everyone keeps locked gates with glass or barbed wire over the top.
I've already experienced "Ghana time" and have barely settled in. Our van driver was an hour late yesterday morning (frustrating since we'd woken up at 5:30 am), and one of the Ghanaian staff was almost an hour late for our tour this morning. Apparently Ghanains are just not worried about's a pretty laid back culture. Nice in some ways, but I could see it being frustrating when you are trying to get something done (i.e. the plumber has been "on his way coming" to fix the toilet in the proworld office for a month now).

1 comment:

  1. ahh i love it! i hope you get your toilet fixed soon so you don't have to pee on the streets :)