My Ghana so far

Long time no blog, I know, I know. I’ve transformed slowly from overwhelmed to busy and excited, and there’s not much time to reflect during the pauses in between. Until now!

So, Ghana. As you may have noticed, I had no idea what to expect before I came here. I had Google images and blog posts from anonymous former expats and volunteers, but not much else.

In the three weeks I’ve been here, I’ve learned an incredible amount about this country and there are still many lessons yet to come. I’ve had a great time so far, and it’s almost impossible to condense all of the experiences I’ve had in a single blog post…but here goes nothing.

These are some basic observances from my time in Ghana so far (keeping in mind I haven’t even ventured outside of Accra just yet).

The sounds. 

The beat of fufu being pounded into a sticky glob outside my bedroom window. The car horns filling the night air. The hiplife music blasting from homes and speakers. The hissing of people trying to get your attention. The calls of “obruni!” from schoolchildren. The barks of dogs, the meows of cats, the clucks of chickens, and the bleating of goats.  The taps on the car windows from touts trying to sell something, anything. The accents of people from everywhere in the world. The calls from mosques and the singing from churches.

The sights.

The blue ocean, always close. The weird and wonderful items for sale on the street. The huge piles of goods perched atop a woman’s head. The colours of crumpled Ghanain currency passing through hands. The yellows and reds of taxis sitting in traffic and swerving through the streets. The greens and whites of coconuts cut open with a blackened machete. The packed tro-tros with colourful religious statements scrawled across the back.

The smells.

The unpleasant odors arising from open gutters. The sweet scent of plaintains being roasted, fried, spiced, eaten. The smell of fire from street side barbecues. The wafts of gasoline clogging the air on Oxford Street. The fruitiness of sheesha smoke clinging to clothes.

The tastes.

The roasted, salty groundnuts. The warm water, never cold for long. The cheap shawarma wraps filled with fries. The Star, the Club, the local liquors that make your head spin. The creamy salads and spicy rice. The blacks and reds of unidentified sauces, sure to set a mouth on fire. The slight plastic aftertaste of water sachets, so much cheaper than the bottles.

The challenges. 

The constant bartering. The lack of specific street addresses. The frustration of a North American trying to understand and accept African time. The lack of sidewalks. The common power outages. The heat and humidity. The rains that seep through bedroom windows, flooding the floor. The feared mosquitos and spiders.

The fun.

The hot nights spent on plastic chairs with new friends. The plans for future adventures. The constant lessons. The days spent on beaches or by pools. The long walks and drives winding through new areas, with so much more to be explored.

The experiences.

Falling into an open gutter on my second day here and experiencing the kindness of Ghanians in full force. Being stopped by police armed with large guns for no reason and accosted for huge sums of money (and bribing my way out of it). Learning how to “azonto” from anyone and everyone. Eating and drinking and meeting and growing.

2 Responses to “My Ghana so far”
  1. says:

    Great hearing from you Kelsey…I’m sure you are having a great and informed time that you thought you would. Keep in touch love Noel & Muriel

  2. Julie forte says:

    Hi Kelsey, great blog, very insightful. Take care over there and stay safe, Julie forte

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