Things have been going fantastic here in Accra, Ghana. Every day I meet more people, and every day I realize how different it is here compared to the United States. In the past few days since I last blogged, a lot has happened…
We got to take another tour of some different things in both Accra and a town called Tema. We first went to visit Lake Volta, which is the largest man-made lake in the world. Before we got there, we stopped at a bank for everyone to use the restroom and we ended up meeting some extremely interesting people. There was a group of women and children that were selling some local food which the braver of us decided to buy and try. The incredible thing is that they all stand around with the food balanced on their heads as if it is no big deal… amazing. A bus full of elementary students also ended up stopping there while we were there, and we got to play with the children for quite some time. They were so happy to see us! After a bus ride that seemed like forever, we finally made it to Lake Volta…it was BEAUTIFUL! We walked along a path in the mountains (more like large hills) and took a tour of the dam that is responsible for the majority of the electricity production in Ghana. It was enormous and it was actually extremely interesting.
After the dam we went to a restaurant that was located on the Volta River (one of the three main rivers flowing into Lake Volta). There was actually a wedding taking place at this restaurant because it was such a beautiful place, but we had tables set up on a gazebo outside that was overlooking the river and the wonderful green landscape. While we were waiting for our food (a choice of a combination of fish or chicken with rice or chips) two young boys came riding by on a fishing boat and ended up giving a few of our students a ride around on the lake! Very cool. Although our food took quite a while to be served—which was our fault because we did not call in advance and there were almost 50 of us that needed to eat—we had a great time talking and enjoying the scenery. We even saw some crazy lizards that seem to be very common to this area.
Before we made it to our last stop, the Botanical Gardens of Ghana which had all of the trees that are indigenous to the area, we got stuck. By this I mean that on our way up the mountain, between the bus working extra hard and the air conditioning being on full blast, our bus overheated. While the driver, our tour guide Emanuel, and the professors worked on the bus, the rest of us wandered into the town to talk with the local people there. We met a few and ended up talking and playing with a group of children there. There were wild goats and chickens everywhere! At the Botanical Gardens, we saw a lot of very cool plants and trees and had a very nice walk in the breezy outdoors. My favorite was the cinnamon tree that we could actually smell through the bark J.
Then… we witnessed our first rain, which is why it was such a cool day. By cool I mean about 85 degrees with a breeze. To be honest, it was actually extremely refreshing because it has been between 90 and 100 degrees since we have arrived here.
A few of us have also been spending a lot of time at the Art Market that I mentioned in my last blog. Although it is a place where many people work, create drums, masks, baskets, paintings, jewelry, clothing, and many other fascinating things to try to sell, we found out that it is also a great place to just hang out. We spent a lot of time with a group of drummers who actually gave us some drumming lessons and talked with us for quite a few hours. They also walked us down to the beach where we spent some time walking along the sand and talking. Although there was a lot of garbage on the beach (as well as some pigs and chickens) it was the most beautiful sight to see, and the people that live there are some of the happiest and most interesting people I have ever met. We also got to talk and play with some of the children that live there as well. Here the word for “white person” or for anyone that is not from Africa is “Obruni.” When the children see us, they come running out and dancing, singing “obruni obruni obruni!” It is absolutely adorable and the kids are so much fun!
That’s all for now! We have lots of exciting things planned, though so a new post will be coming soon!