Volta Region Mountains

Volta Region Mountains

Monday, January 18, 2010

Shocking but pretty AWESOME!

Accra and Ghana is so cool! I've been adjusting to so many different things! Even looking out my window is completely different. Here are some things that I keep remembering...

1.We went to church on Sunday, it was 2.5 hours long...I have never been to a church service before, so it was very different. There was a lot of standing, kneeling, praying, and sitting. I just followed what the locals were doing. Everyone stared because I am white, but I'm used to it now. People take pictures, and I just smile. I just go along with it. It is the best way to deal with stuff. When they call me Oboni (in twi:white person) you just smile and say hi. People here are just curious and want to meet you.

2.The water safety and other health concerns are kind of a joke. You cant control anything. I take my malaria medicine, and that's all I do. People laugh if they see you wearing sunscreen or putting bug spray on. The water is of course is a concern, but "You adapt to it". I use it to brush my teeth and wash my hands, it's not a HUGE deal. The stuff I bought in America can't control half of the things that I am warned about. I.e. the city is dusty. Not smoggy, but legit dust in the air. It gets in my eyes and in my throat. And if you leave your clothes out to dry, it can cause infections on your skin, due from the dust and sweat mixed together. But I'm not really worried.

3.The electricity goes off unexpectedly. The power just shuts off...it's kinda fun though, it's like a surprise! It turns on eventually, apparently they are shutting off the power in Accra from 8am to 5pm one of these days. I don't know haha

4.The food is different. It's not terrible. But I NEED sugar and salt. They don't use either ingredient in their food. I usually eat rice, chicken, seafood, vegetables, noodles...all topped with a SPICY sauce. I don't like spicy food...YET!

5.Everything you buy on the streets comes out of a Pouch. Water, ice cream, milk, etc. It's fun! You just bite off the corner and suck it out haha

6.Every guy wants to marry you. I am white and somewhat blond, paired with blue eyes. I just greet them, and tell them I have to go. They leave me alone if I talk to them for a couple of minutes.

7.Language Barrier and accent is very difficult to understand. I am learning Twi, it is exciting! French is spoken here and is on a lot of signs and buildings, and there is a guy who is Belgium French, so we have talked a little. I love french.

8.There are "nick-names" for everyone depending on what day they are born. I was born on Monday, so my name is Ajoua. If a Ghanaian asks what your name is, and you give them your Ghanaian name, they are very impressed! Except...one time I was talking to these little village kids that were watching me, and I said "Me din de Ajoua! Bra!" = "my name is Monday, come over here!". But the 'j' in my name sounded like 'sh', which changed the word to "prostitute"......now I know why they ran away............

9.The weather is HOT. And it changes every day. But is always hot. I'm ok with it though. I would rather sweat than shiver. My wish came true. It is extremely humid here.

10.The drivers are CRAZY. There are no rules and people drive on the side walks. The stop lights don't work, and when they do, they are optional. It's kind of fun, but kind of scary. I'm pretty sure our bus hit the car in front of it, and they just yelled at each other from their seats then drove off.

11.There is no water pressure. The shower just drizzles. It makes showers annoying, but I'm getting used to it. Also, the nozzle for the toilet is on the opposite side, so that trips me up haha

12.The music is fun! There is some American music mixed in, but for the most part, it is techno-contemporary.

14.EVERYTHING is dirt cheap here. I'm going to get a nice church dress made for me soon. I choose the fabric the style and everything about it! I can even get matching shoes! all for 25 dollars! "couture!!"

15.There is no such thing as time here. We are constantly late, like 2 hours late. To everything. It's normal, but it bothers me and stresses me out. I'm always early. This will be a bad habit...

16.Ghanaian s have ZERO patience. They don't follow rules either. They rush to everything, and don't like people blocking the way, but they walked annoyingly slow, it's very confusing. They only time I saw order and patience was at church.

17.People apparently aren't registered. And there is not a "data system" like in America. People don't have forms, registrations, or proofs of purchase. They speak English, but their culture is oral, not written. They expect foreigners to be smarter technologically and critically.

18.Ghana is 'phase 3'...phase 1 is America or Europe, phase 2 is Asia, and phase 3/4 is Africa...which means that Ghana is not up to quality. But people from phase 1 say that about phase 3 countries...so of course they are going to say that Ghana is in trouble! I think it is fine. If people grew up this way, they would know no different and think their country is just fine. It's just the way of life.

Anyways, this is long, and I need to get going, I'll update you the next time I find internet! By the way, they have wifi here, so, it's not the most undeveloped country in the world. I don't want to proof read this...I'm lazy and uncomfortably sweaty, I need to walk around. So, I apologize for grammatical errors! Until then!


  1. Awesome. I love reading about everything. I can't wait to see your "couture" clothes. Love and miss you. Mom

  2. celea,
    i can't believe it. everything. it sounds so cool! i miss you like crazy! and i legit cant concentrate on studying for finals because i cant stop thinking of you! i love you!
    your best friend xoxo

  3. Celea,
    I will try to keep up to date on your postings. Sounds like quite an experience so far and so very different than what we are all used to.
    Love, Aunt Laurie