When I am not traveling around the country, I am experiencing student life at Legon. Here is a description of my typical week day…
I wake up and jump into the cold shower generally with some bugs and/or gecko friends. I normally have a relaxing oatmeal and coffee breakfast at Tasty Treats, the small and very, very slow restaurant in our dorm. I then head to campus for lectures, which is generally a 30 minute walk through the red dirt paths and roads of Legon campus. After class I may go to the International Programmes Office or run errands on campus, and if I am in a good mood I might grab an iced Nescafe at Aquafo hall. This entire time I am sweating because it is very, very hot here, although my body has accustomed quite well. I then head back to “ISH II”, my hostel, wash the red dirt off my feet and spend time in my room. I get online, message friends, read, journal and sketch, and work on homework. I normally go to the “Night Market”, the small market right behind my hostel, for dinner. In the evenings I normally spend time with friends in the dorm watching movies or out somewhere. I interact with people all over the world each day! Sometimes we even catch a pick-up game of football in the parking lot. Every night have several bizarre dreams because of my anti-Malarial medication, and do my best to keep cool.
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