My third week in Ghana I spent at my university going to class and getting acclimated to life in Legon (Legon is the suburb that I live in outside of the capital, Accra). My week felt somewhat “normal” until I felt very sick on Wednesday and Thursday. I had a horrible fever and my Ghanaian roommate, Esther, told me to go to the hospital. I went to the clinic that I heard was the “best around”, and ended up being there for seven hours, mostly waiting and feeling so sick. I do not know for sure, but my symptoms were Malaria symptoms so that is what the doctor prescribed me medication for, which helped within a few days. I definitely gained appreciation for American health care during this experience. One nice aspect of this week was that my friends, Ghanaian and international, really took care of me while I was sick. It made me feel at home.
All in all, life here in Ghana has been amazing! I am happy every day and love Ghanaian culture! Life is more relaxed here in Ghana–people don’t stress about things and rush everywhere like they do in America. I’ve never felt more calm and at peace than I have since I have been in Ghana.
10 Things I love about Ghana!
1. You can say “hello” and have a conversation with anyone, even complete strangers! People are always willing to chat, especially in the local language in Accra, Twi.
2. The beautiful beaches, forests, and red dirt.
3. The fresh and organic fruits and vegetables!
4. “Ghana Time”, everything here is slowed down, and takes forever!
5. The market women and adorable Ghanaian children.
6. The love of football (or what we call soccer in the U.S.)
7. The beautiful African sunset (the sun is very round here).
8. The tradition of music and dancing. Ghanaian music styles include azonto, high life, hiplife, and traditional.
9. How people here are genuinely happy and welcoming.
10. A lot of the Ghanaians call me “Obama!”
Things I’ve Done in Ghana so far that I’ve Never Done Before!
-Traveled and lived outside of the United States
-Took a Taxi and Tro-Tro (a Tro-Tro is a mini-van type vehicle that works like a bus and taxi combined.)
-Drank out of a fresh coconut
-Showered with a gecko
-Danced Azonto! (The popular type of music and dancing for young Ghanaians today. It is a mix of traditional African music and Western hip-hop.)
-Ate plantain and banku
-Been a racial minority in the area that I live
-Attended a school larger than 3,000 students (The University of Ghana is around 30,000 students in population.)
-Hand-washed my own clothing
-Visited an old slave fort castle
-Hiked in, walked in and spent the night in the Rainforest!
-Fell asleep to the sound of monkeys
-Went on a date with a Ghanaian man
-Took classes from Ghanaian professors
-Unfortunately, contracted Malaria