So, just to be clear, I have made it safely to Accra. Our plane landed at the Kotoka International Airport around 9PM GMT on Sunday night (for those of you confused, I landed around 5PM EST on Sunday). It was a flight that lasted in total 18 hours. The plane food was ... great. We had to eat on the plane because there wasn't much time to eat during the layovers. But, what matters is that we're here, we're safe and we're healthy.
We are staying at a student hostel near the University of Ghana at Lagon. Lagon literally translates into the hill. We each are paired two to three to a bedroom with the boy, Jordan, staying in his own room downstairs...he can keep it, there are massive cockroaches that come into his bathroom and I think it has to do with the fact that he is ground level. No roaches yet in our room! Thank GOD! They're larger here than what I've seen in the US.
Anyway, our hostel is great. A very nice woman named, Amelia, owns it and runs it with her two worker-helpers that have bringing water to our rooms every morning due to the lack of running water, and have been washing the dishes despite our requests to wash them ourselves. Very, very nice men.
We have been assigned our internships, finally! Our placements, though not official until the end of the week include:
1) The United Nations International Programs Organization
2) The ARCH Foundation-- to help women and children, including a shelter for battered women
3) The Human Rights Foundation
4) The Ag Foundation
We are staying at the hostel here with other university students that attend Lagon. One is from Nigeria. Though we have only met a handful of our house mates because we have been so busy.
We recieved cell phones and yes, I can recieve calls. It's very cheap! So, I am thankful for that. Though I am looking forward to getting some video chat on Skype set up ,as well.
Today we toured the Kwame Nkrumah National Museum. It was absolutely amazing! I LOVE NKRUMAH. I am hoping to find some of his books at the Lagon University Library. I am fascinated with the history of this nation and with the socialist ideas that were supported by Nkrumah, his allies, and the movement toward African Unity as well as Pan-Africanism.
We have also taken a small tour of Accra. And have been eating a lot of Ghanaian food. Main dishes include:
Waakye (prounounced Wa-chay)
Rice Cakes and GroundNut (Palm Oil) Soup
and many, many other dishes.
All the food is fresh, natural and healthy. We have been eating a lot of fresh fruit, including mango, pineapple, watermelon, grapes, and apples imported from South Africa. The juice is all fresh. The soda made with Cane Sugar. I wish that Americans ate as healthy, it's such a beautiful diet and way of life.
I hope to post pictures as soon as possible, but we'll be traveling for the next week and half.
Tomorrow we will be getting fitted for African-Ghanaian Style clothing for our welcome ceremony. Then we'll be learning to bargain in the Medina market and being taught how to cook the dishes.
Thursday we'll be going north to visit the Wli Village and the Wli Waterfall. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!
Let me know if you have any questions. Oh, yes. People carry EVERYTHING on their heads..men, women and children. Also, it's really hot. And we sweat a lot.
If you have a post request, tell me! I would love to fill y'all in on life here. It's new and fascinating.
Miss y'all much. And love ya!
FYI I can't write much tonight because I don't yet have my converter totally figured out. So, I apologize for the post being all over the place! Hope to get a connection by the first few weeks of March.