You know you live in Ghana when…

Happy new year! I have a feeling 2013 will be a crazy year and so far it’s off to a good start.

I’ll be heading back to Ghana the day after tomorrow and I’m excited to get back into that African heat, even though I’ll miss Canada and all of my loved ones that call this snow-covered place home.

That means I’m packing a bit of my life into a bag yet again, and this time I have some interesting additions that only a twenty-something girl living in Africa would need.

a) Lantern

Photo on 2012-12-26 at 18.23 #2

One lesson I’ve learned in Ghana: power outages are the worst. They’re especially annoying when they happen daily/when it’s dark out/when you’re getting ready/when you’re working. There have been several times when I am stuck in a dark room with a dead laptop, dead cellphone, and flickering flashlight, and these times suck. BUT! Darkness no more. I now have an intense lantern that will light up my digs so I can at least read without holding a flashlight under my chin (tip of the day: this causes what I call ‘power outage neck pain’). Yay! Light! Now I can get ready for a night out during a power outage without wondering if I look like Boy George. Score.

b) DVDs

Photo on 2012-12-26 at 18.32

My DVD collection describes me to a tee.

One thing I’ve had to get used to in Ghana is not having a TV (since I live in an apartment that costs less than some dinners), but that’s usually okay in Canada (I had no TV in my dorm) because the internet is the best thing ever. The problem is that Ghanaian internet isn’t the fastest in the world, so YouTube/anything streamed basically never works. In the two months I’ve lived in Ghana so far I’ve spent more on iTunes movies than on food, but each movie takes about one to two weeks to download. SO ANNOYING. Thanks to Santa I don’t have to wait for the internet Gods to bless me anymore, because I now own DVDs (remember those, Netflix addicts?). Hours of mindless entertainment in store!

c) Wipes for everything

Photo on 2012-12-26 at 18.27 #3

Face wash wipes, oil absorbing wipes, nose wipes (otherwise known as Kleenex), hand wipes, toilet paper (otherwise known as…never mind)

Living in Ghana doesn’t bode well for the looks department. Frizzy hair, sweaty everything, and constant dirt. Dirt under the nails, dirt covering the feet, dirt dirt dirt. Wipes are fast and get the job done/kill germs. As for the toilet paper, 80% of bar bathrooms do not have toilet paper. Enough said.

d) Laundry stuff

Laundry powder, clothesline, stain remover stick, Febreze, pop-up laundry hamper

Laundry powder, clothesline, stain remover stick, Febreze, pop-up laundry hamper

I’ve had to adjust to a lot of things over the past few months, but one of the suckiest things is laundry. I don’t have access to a laundry machine and I have yet to find out if laundromats actually exist in Ghana, so I’m stuck with doing laundry by hand. Mix that with not being able to dry things outside* because I don’t own an iron/ironing board, and you’ve got a giant annoyance/room covered in wet things. Anyway, this stuff helps a little.

*In Ghana you have to iron your clothes to kill the eggs of the tsetse fly, which lays eggs on clothes hanging out to dry. These eggs hatch and the creature buries into your skin after you wear those clothes, and not long after a worm will crawl OUT OF YOUR SKIN. Sweet dreams. 

So on Sunday, with all of these goods in my overweight bag, I’ll be headed out of the Great White North. My first stop will be Istanbul, where I will spend my 30 HOUR layover. I plan on visiting the Hague Sophia and the Grand Bazaar, but we’ll see if I actually make it to both in time. That will be followed by my return to Ghana. Stay tuned!

2 Responses to “You know you live in Ghana when…”
  1. vaniasze says:

    THANK YOU Kelsey. The lamp is an awesome tip (and eww the tsetse fly). Can’t wait to join you in the field!

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