Second Week In Ghana
Trip Start Aug 13, 2005
17Trip End Jan 03, 2006
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No one worry I am still alive (which seemed to be your big concern in my good-bye and b-day card). Not only have I survived a week in Ghana, I have also survived the jungle. The Carleton Crew and I headed up to Kakum National Rainforest on Saturday morning. We took a bus to Cape Coast (about three hours from Accra) and then taxied ourselves to Kakum. Instead of staying at the popular Hans Cottage Botel, like all the other tourists, the group and I decided to rough it and stay in the rainforest. So we all slept on this little wooden platform with only a mosquito net for protection. It was an interesting experience. Although I didn't get to see any forest elephants (they have 56 in the park), I did get to hear lots of monkeys and see all kinds of birds. I also walked the canopy which is a serious of ladders with wooden planks nailed to them and suspended by cables from tree tops
Emotionally I am surprised at the culture shock I am experiencing. I thought I was prepared especially after Haiti. Although, I have great support from the Carleton Crew I do feel that I am really going it alone. The people of Ghana are really nice and extremely friendly but I've become a little home sick, especially for the conveniences of home. Its really hard to eat here, and although some of the food is quite good, even those without dietary restrictions are limited in their food choices. But I guess that's the reality of the developing world, resources are limited.
It's tough to see the children sleeping on the streets or selling beside the highway late at night
Other adjustments are with the pace of life. There is not the hustle and bustle of the developed world. Everything here goes at a much slower pace (the notorious "Africa" time...which, really, many cultures claim to have, but they really mean it here). I have found the lack of time keeping really beneficial (although often also frustrating). The relaxed atmosphere allows for people to develop really close relationships with those around them. The women in the night market have created a tight knit supportive community. They really help each other out and spend a lot of time socializing with one another.
My favourite thing so far, besides all of the kind people, is the music. High-life is really popular here, as is reggae and gospel. People are singing and dancing all the time whether at work or play, and the enthusiasm for life is contagious.
Hope all is well at home. I picked up a cell phone here last week. I'm still trying to figure out what the number is for calls overseas, but I will list it soon.
Miss you all.