Monday, June 13, 2011

Kaba kaba

Last week I traveled up the Volta lake for a few days. We ended in Yeji and made our way up to Tamale and then over to Kumasi. I'm so glad I got to do some last minute traveling because I saw some really amazing and beautiful things.

Theboat trip was really really great. We could go up on the roof of the boat to sit. At first it was kind of scary becasue it didn't have a rail or anything but it was so nice. The lake is really beautiful. And the boat stoped at some very small, small fishing villages. Most of the villages were about 10 to 20 huts and fishing canoes up the beach. Seeing something like that made me feel really really privileged. After the boat trip we went up to Tamale.

To get to Tamale we took a rough road up through again some small small villages. They are about the same size as the ones on the Volta lake but the houses are different. The home is circular with mud walls and the roof is made of straw and grasses. Some homes had a smaller one near it for showering. This was something really interesting to me because this kind of life would be so different from life on the Volta lake, Ho, or the south of Ghana. In these towns formal education is done under trees if at all. Tamale, though, is much more developed. Its the biggest (not the most populated) city in Ghana. Tamale is a Muslim city. Even some of the school uniforms are muslim dress. Also sooo many people ride bikes. I couldn't believe it. I would walk 15 steps and about 5 bikes would pass. Good thing Tamale has sidewalks!

Ok so I don't think I've explained water here. Purified water is sold in little plastic bags almost everywhere in Ghana on the side of the road or off peoples heads. Most towns have their own brands. Ghanaians can drink from the tap but in much of Ghana there isn't flowing water and in big cities like Accra there isn't enough water for all so they keep jugs of water in their homes. This is only used for showering, washing, and cooking. For drinking, Ghanaians often buy pure water. Anyway when I was in Tamale they had a brand of pure water called Obama! Obama buscuits are also sold!

Kumasi. I was only in Kumasi for a short time but wow. I was surprised by how many people there were. Its a really busy, busy town. In Ho, past 10:30, there are no cars out, but in Kumasi cars are out at all hours of the night.

Ok after that I came back to Ho and I was the Master of Ceremony at church! I wore a Kaba and Slit and scarfed my hair. I really couldn't believe it was my last day of church. Its so crazy to think that its all coming to an end.

The rest of my time here is booked. Tomorrow is my last day in Ho. Ill say my goodbyes before going to Accra. There I'll spend a day with my sister. Thursday I have an AFS orientation at Boti falls. Friday I leave. Its all happening way too fast. Yea, I miss home so much, but leaving Ghana...I'm not quite ready. I'm also feeling scared and nervous to come home, but more than all this I'm happy. I've had a great experience. I've learned and seen so much and I cannot express how thankful I am for it. Anyway thank you all so much for reading my blog. I'm glad I got to share my experience. I don't know whether or not I'll be able to post again so me va kaba lo.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

vida vida

Alright I'm sorry for the lack of posts. This is just a small small one to let you all know I'm at home in Ho and all is really really good! I can't believe in leaving in just three and a half weeks! I'm feeling really comfortable here now but I'm still missing everyone at home. I can't wait to see you soon!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Alright today is kind of a random post. I really wanted to post to say I got my hair braided! It took three and a half hours. It was long. I think everyone noticed on my way home. haha. They were so excited and said I look very Ghanaian.

Ok heres some random pictures

I think I've mentioned how my younger brother Richmond can have fun with anything he has. Well here he was running around with this tire using sticks to guide and spin it. He's actually really good at it.

This is my family's dog Shap. Isn't he adorable?

Ok this is another picture of Busua. It was the first town I traveled to in April. I don't know if you can see the Island in the picture but we swam to it. Stupidest thing ever because there were sea urchins there. I had a foot full of urchins and a scraped up leg by the time we swam back. Anyway its a really pretty Island.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Holiday part II

Aright so here's the second half of my travels. Okay so I left off at Kokrobite where I spent Easter and my 100th day in Ghana with Camille and a few other AFSers.

From there we went to Cape Coast. Here we went to the Cape Coast castle. It was very similar to the Elmina one but a whole lot bigger. We also learned how to play these things called koskas (I think). There like two balls filled with rice connected with a string, and they're played by twirling one around your hand. I don't know how to explain it. They're simple but fun!

After Cape Coast we headed to Kakum. There we stayed at a hotel that was right on this lake that had crocodiles in it! We ate lunch right next to the water and two crocodiles were in the water with their heads out of the water all cute-like! And at night some were just laying on the bank. I thought it was pretty cool. We only stayed for one night before heading back to Accra.

In Accra we met up with other AFSers and spent the day before I headed back to Home sweet Ho!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Alright, wow, I have a lot to say. First I would like to say that all is well and I'm having a really, really good time traveling.

The first place I went was Busua. Its a tiny town right outside of Takoradi. A whole lot of the AFSers were there. It was so good to just hang out with them again. Pretty much we just read, played cards, and swam.  Oh and also we tried to learn to surf. It was so much fun but extremely hard. After much practice I could actually stand up on my board! Wahoo! I got this massive bruise from it though :( We stayed in an adorable hotel and the owner made us free pancakes in the morning! They were so good!

The Surf Shop
This was a really perfect start to my holiday because I just relaxed and got to catch up with everyone.

At night the Ghanaians drummed, sang, and danced around a campfire on the beach.

Next Camille, Acadia(another American AFSer), and I went to Green Turtle Lodge in Akwidaa. We slept in a tent on the beach. It was a really touristy place, so we ate good food that night. It was really nice to just have a girls night. We talked about Ghana and how homesickness is treating us. I just cannot tell you how good it is to be around my dear AFSers again.

After green turtle lodge we went to Takoradi, spent the night, and left for Elmina in the morning. Here it was just me and Camille. We went to the Elmina Castle. This was a castle used for trade and also held many slaves during the slave trade. It was a really, really interesting place. It really made me think. Anyway we spent two nights in Elmina.

Next on our list was Cape Coast but instead we went to Accra. Camille has had these awful bites on her legs and they really were giving her pain. We were worried they were infected so we went from Elmina to the hospital in Accra. Since we were in Accra, we went to a beach just outside of it called Kokrobite. Here we met up with other AFSers again and just spent time on the beach and way way too much time shopping for souvenirs.
Dorm in Kokrobite
 Ok so I know its just a quick update but just know in doing good. I hope all of you had a great Easter!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Study Tour

Alright so I went on a study tour with my AFS group and it was AMAZING! The study tour was in the Volta region so we stayed in Ho. The hotel was like a 10 minute walk from my home! Anyway I cannot tell you how amazing it was to see the other AFSers! It was so exciting!

Ok so the first place we went was Wli falls. It was really fun to come with my AFS group. It had rained just before we arrived so there was a lot of water and all these bats were flying overhead while we swam. We didn't stay long but I am super glad I got to come again!

The next day we went to Mt. Paradise and hiked down to a river valley. No one knew quite what to expect but when we got there it was really beautiful. There was a fall and a pool of water at the bottom. We didn't bring our swim suits but a few of us swam anyways.

After that we went to Monkey Sanctuary. This was also amazing. All we did was walk the the tree line and then they were like everywhere! We would just hold up a banana and they would open it and eat it. They were so cute. Some of them even had babies clinging on their bellies!

Then on Sunday my school went on an outing to Grotto. Its like a catholic place of worship. There was this huge Mary statue. Then we walked around to smaller statues. Each one was a stage of the cross and had a prayer that went with it. Then we sat for a long mass. and I mean long. It was just over 5 hours.  

Ok so back to normal life. At church on Sunday was pastors appreciation day. See the offering!

Alright I also wanted to mention that I've past the half way point of my adventure. I think that the second half will be pretty different from the first because I am now done with school! I was only signed up for one term of school, which is now over. Whoots!

At the end of next week I leave for the cental region. I'm going to be traveling around the south of Ghana for two weeks with one of the AFSers from Belgium. I am so excited! Sorry for all the sideways pictures! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sleepover at OLA!

This weekend I slept over at OLA from Thursday to Monday. I am so glad I got to have this experience. There were good but there were also bads in this experience.

Where I slept
Dining hall food
Let me first give you a feel for the school. After classes lets out the ladies immediately change into their house dresses. These are different colored check uniforms. The 1st years wear brown (brownies), second years wear green (greenies), third purple (purlies), and 4th years pink(pinkies). They keep the same color all four years though. I wore one of Esthers checks for the weekend.

Another thing thats sets a tone on the campus is that the upperclassmen are allowed to tell the underclassmen  what to do and punish them if they don't. Because of the house dresses' colors, its easy to see who the underclassmen are. The upperclassmen often would stop a brownie or greenie to have them wash their dishes or get them something for them. If they didn't or if they do it wrong then they can punish them. Punishment can be anything from making them go in every dorm and go a dance to kneel on the ground or close to anything else. This was something that was hard for me to see. I saw this happen a bit during school hours but seeing it happen around me all weekend really wore on me and I'm not even an underclassmen. They think of it as a stage in your life. They think that if you can survive your first and second year then you have the privilege of benefiting from it your last two years. Another thing I don't agree with is caning. Teachers will cane a student if they are late to class or if they sleep in class. This is another thing that they think nothing of but makes me more than cringe.

One more thing about OLA is that the ladies here have there own little terms for certain things. For example toilet is cabo. If you say cabo anywhere besides OLA they will have no idea what your talking about. They have a whole lot of these terms which where pretty fun to learn.

ANYWAY every night we went to chapel. Chapel at night is completely run by the pinkies so its like an hour of worship songs and a whole lot of dancing. I wish I could tell you how much energy was in the chapel. It was just amazing. They sung and danced with their whole being. No one was afraid or embarrassed. It was pretty amazing!

After chapel is prep. which is like a study time. So we went to the classroom and studied. I think prep was about two hours long. After prep is bedtime! Bedtime was so much fun! It was like girls night! The ladies at OLA love to laugh and just have fun.
The dorm

On Sunday I went to my first mass. It was interesting. Standing, sitting, kneeling, standing again. It was cool to see everyone in their chapel cloth.

I actually really enjoyed my experience at the boarding house. Its a whole lot different than school at OLA. I'm so thankful I got to experience it and hangout with Esther more!

Oh and its been brought to my attention that my grammar is not wonderful. I'll try to slow down a bit but I'm sorry if it doesn't get any better.