One Year In

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Feb 20, 2014

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Where I stayed
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What I did

Flag of Ghana  , Eastern Region,
Sunday, May 6, 2012

Yesterday marked 1 year since I first came to work in Ghana full time. Although I started on the project in Feb 2011 and had come to visit site for the first time in Oct 2010, the 5th of May 2011 was the start of my first full 6 week rotation. And in that 12 months, I have only been home once for 3 weeks. That is probably why I am really looking forward to returning home this coming break (9 days to go!), especially because the last time home was fully packed and I felt like I only had 1 day to myself. This time will be different. Plus it is shorter (2 weeks). I arrive back in Perth on 17th May, and fly back 29th May. So, anywho, 1 year down. Some days it feels much longer, especially this week just gone when I had a few moments of frustration and doubt. At the beginning of my international assignment, those things that annoyed me about working here were quirky and interesting. Now they are just purely annoying. But that is the challenge I have set myself working here and it takes a very patient & tolerant person to succeed and I'm still committed to getting better at that. I just need to carry a stress ball around with me hahaha.

The other component of my bad week was that my work laptop contracted a Trojan virus that has infected any USB device that I plugged into it. That then spread to my personal laptop. In the process, it 'wiped’ all the content of my USB devices and corrupted my work email folders. Not a good thing. I spent most of Thursday with the IT guy trying to sort it all out and I have managed to bring the majority back. Stupid thing is that my personal laptop anti-virus intercepted the virus, but the work one didn’t – both of them are the same brand! Throughout the whole process, I was surprisingly calm and cool-headed even tho a virus was eating away at all my documents. See, the pre-Ghana Ross would never have been so calm. Just imagine how tolerant and patient I will be after 2 years here!

The highlight of the swing so far was a trip to Accra for a 1 day seminar last Monday. I spent the weekend down there, which would excite almost anyone else but me. I just don’t have the confidence to venture out in that city. Which is absolutely ridiculous because of all the places I have travelled and some of them much more dodgy than Accra. But I just stayed in the hotel the entire time. If someone else was there to go out with, then I would be more keen to explore. But my company issues so many notices about security that I am so paranoid and fearful it is ridiculous. The second highlight of the swing was May Day celebrations. The compound gets overrun with the nationals and I have decided that I will go to the town restaurant next time one of these functions happens. It is impossible to get food and unenjoyable for me with the loud shit music and general feralness. But it was one of the guys birthdays and once the free food ran out and the locals consequently left, it turned into quite a fun night.

I tallied up some details from my USA/Canada break. It was the most expensive break yet! $10,988 in 2.5 weeks. Yikes. And I travelled 1,333 kms in the hire car thru Canada. Plus I learned that gloves don’t work on touch screen mobile phones.

See you in Perth! So many birthdays in May and I look forward to cracking some champagne to celebrate and hearing Australian accents where I don’t have to repeat myself 2-3 times to be understood.
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