Volta Region Mountains

Volta Region Mountains

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pay As You Go

I have learned that everything in Ghana is pay as you go. You buy a certain amount of credit then punch in the magic numbers, and then you get what you paid for! But it’s crazy to think that TV and home internet is even pay as you go! It’s so weird! On the televisions, if you don’t touch the remote for more than 20 minutes, then a message pops up saying that the TV will turn off. Very interesting stuff. Even home internet is the same way. You are given a certain amount of downloads and once you use it all up, there is no more internet for the next 3 months. But it is nice for cell phones here though, especially for travelers. You just buy a sim card and then credit. There aren’t any hidden fees or surprising two year plans, so in a way it’s a good thing. But I did ask why “plans” for anything didn’t exist, and it is because people wouldn’t pay their bills and debt would be crazy high. This way the companies get their money up front. Which is a good idea. Credit Cards are also nonexistent here.

Also, I recorded four radio commercials for the theater that I’ve been working with! They needed an American voice and I apparently have a good one! I was actually paid 10cedi for it! I didn’t know I would get paid so I got extremely excited! I was like a little kid after he wakes up and finds a dollar under his pillow from his missing tooth! So, I’ll be hearing myself on the radio! Maybe If I can get hold of the recordings I’ll try to upload them.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Class Schedule

So, for those who were wondering what classes I’m taking, I’ll write my schedule!
Monday: Social Studies, English, Management in Living, Integrated Sciences

Tuesday: Maths, Food and Nutrition, French, Biology

Wednesday: Social Studies, Management in Living, English, Integrated Sciences

Thursday: Maths, Integrated Sciences, Biology, ICT (Computer class)

Friday: Maths, Food and Nutrition, Physical Education, Biology

This is the Home Economics-Form 2-Term 2, Time Table. It sounds like an intense schedule! But I have still not even had a single class of certain subjects, too bad. School is still fun! My classmates are who I learn from! Also, it’s weird for people to add an “s” on the end of the word “math”, those Brits! I have fun saying it though!

So, a girl in my program WENT HOME the other day…I couldn’t believe it! I talked to her and she said that her grandpa died and she went home to help out but WILL NOT BE RETURNING TO GHANA. Her 6 months here are FINISHED. I was so shocked! I was mainly surprised because I found out when I was feeling homesick, but even picturing me home at this moment seems weird. I’m not ready to be home yet. I still have a lot to learn and see, even if I do miss home every now and then.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I am actually legitimately homesick for the first time. I made a really close friend here. She is here on my program and is the same age as me, she is from Idaho. We became really good friends from the first day of orientation in New York. We haven't seen each other for a month because we have been settling into our new towns. But she came down to Accra to visit me for the weekend! We had an English breakfast, went to the mall, and then went to see a movie (the only cinema and mall in Ghana btw). It actually made us both incredibly homesick. When we have been living our Ghanaian lives and have gotten used to this culture and lifestyle, then we get thrown our American life for a day...it makes us miss home like crazy. Because at this point, we were used to everything and loving everything, then we realized how much we miss our lives back home. And the fact that Amy and I have so much in common, it made me miss Sara (my bff).

Then I got really sick over the weekend as well. I was throwing up like crazy. I missed not having my family, especially my mom, to help me and take care of me. It just made everything worse.

I miss my friends and family.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Red Obroni? Electricity? 4:30am wake up calls? SOUNDS FUN!

So, While I was at the beach and in the sun over my long weekend, I got extremely burned. My skin was literally red. And when I went to school on Monday, as each classmate walked through the door and gave me their morning welcomes, they each looked at me and I could tell they were thinking about something...haha. Then I could hear people whispering, and whenever I hear the word "Obroni" I know they are talking about me (not in a bad way, everyone is so nice!) so, they chose someone to come over and ask me "what has happened to your face? It has become red..." HAHAHA! And later throughout the day I had other questions asked like, "What have you put on your face?" and "would you like a tissue to take the stuff on your face off?" LOL it was so funny! I guess they have never seen a red-white person before haha. The questions were just so amusing to hear because it was so funny to see their reactions to something they have never seen before.

Now, I never thought that I would miss electricity. Before I came here, I was told that the power goes out A LOT. But recently, it has been going out All DAY, ALMOST EVERY DAY. It's fine that the power is out during the day, but when it gets dark at around 6-6:30pm, that's when everything goes downhill. I cant open the fridge to get food, It's difficult to take showers, I can't find anything, the AC and fans don't work, and I can't charge my phone (which doubles as my alarm). I also can't cook anything because all of the appliances are electric. It's not a huge deal, but it really does make night time difficult! Especially when the one flashlight you have goes out as well...which happened. I'm practically blind at night! I just never knew that I would miss electricity lol.

As for my Navy Cadet training, I have 4:30AM wake up calls a couple of times a week! And we all practice for the 6th of March! I get to miss school though when I go to the practices, which is awesome! I love the group! It's like one big family, and everyone helps everyone, and everyone jokes around, It's a lot of fun! But when we went to rehearse at independent square with the other groups (Air Force and Army) we had to stand in the scorching sun for 5 hours and people were dropping left and right! Our group started with 30 kids, and 5 hours later, 15 were left! I lasted all 5 hours! I was getting freaked out though because all of a sudden I would just hear "thump" and I would discretely (we aren't allowed to move) look over, and girls AND boys are lying on the group with their eyes rolled back, and then the ambulance guys come with a gurney to take them away! It was intense! But I probably drank more water that day, than I have in my entire life haha

Anyways, Ghana just keeps getting better! Hope the next 5 months go just as well!

Love and miss everybody!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Awesome weekend at Cape Coast and Axim!

I had a very nice and relaxing long weekend on the road to the beautiful Cape Coast on Thursday! We took a fast van from the bus junction to the house in Elmina, which is practically Cape Coast, and enjoyed a delicious green curry vegetable stew from one of the best cooks in Ghana! It was absolutely delicious! On Friday morning I went to Kakum National Park, and went on the canopy walk through the rain forest! The 7 Canopies are 120 feet up, and sway as you walk! It was scary but so much fun! The rain forest was not nearly as green as the pacific northwest's forests, but it is the dry season at the moment. But it was still beautiful to see the undeveloped palm trees and shrubbery!! Then when I got back into Cape Coast City, I walked around for a while. I like Accra much better, living wise. Cape Coast is so quiet! It is a nice vacation place, and the buildings are old world colonial which gives the city a special vibe and beauty, it just doesn't have the the liveliness as Accra. It is so funny to see goats and chicken roaming about and crossing the road, it makes me smile haha. If a goat crossed the street in Seattle, the entire city would shut down! In Cape Coast I took a tour through the castle/slave holding place, the same place Obama went to! As bad as it sounds, the castle was so architecturally beautiful! I hate saying that because the Governor at the time held Africans captive and killed them there! It was so creepy and heart breaking to stand in the dungeons that people were chained to, it gave me the chills to even imagine it. My jaw dropped more and more as the tour guide went from dungeon to dungeon and explained which rooms were used for certain procedures. The worst room, in my opinion, was the room where they chained the slaves to the walls, they had no light, food, water, or even oxygen, and they just let the slaves die. They didn't shoot them, they just let them suffer for 3+ days. It was intense. But the next day, I got up at 5am to take the tro tro to Axim! It took three hours, on a crowded van with 18+ people. Not a bus, but a van haha. It was a lot of fun actually! The fare is incredibly cheap! But it's funny, because you see all different kinds of people. A couple were going to a funeral, some looked professional, and some had a bucket of fish haha. It is truly exciting and fairly efficient! You just stand at the side of the road and make the hand gesture to where you want to go, and then if it's the right tro tro, you get on it! 3 hours later, you're at your final destination! So, Axim was GORGEOUS! There weren't mass developed hotels and buildings, just palm tree lined pristine beaches! It was wonderful! I'm so burnt though...hahaha, I will tan soon hopefully! After my stay there, we caught two tro tros to get us back to Accra, 6 and a half hours later, I was home! I feel like I have been on vacation for weeks! Everything is great here! I love it all! Ghana is awesome!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sir, YES, Sir!

So, I found out that my school here has a Navy Cadet Chapter! For those who don't know, I want to be a pilot, and I have always contemplated whether I wanted to try for military work and what not. But I joined the school's chapter here and started training! It is every day after school for a few hours, so, I'm glad I will have something to keep me busy! I will also learn about the political history of Ghana, and information on their current president, President Mills. If I am good enough, I will be able to preform and compete with my school's group on March 6th (their independence day)!! March 6th is a party for the country of Ghana, it is supposed to be like one huge carnival! So, I'm working extra hard to get the drills down and the posture and everything that goes into being a Navy Cadet! And the group assigned me a really cute boy to train with :) so, everything is really good! Haha! But it was funny when the group found out that I wanted to join...the commander, which is a girl actually, looked me up and down and took me as a joke. But now she says that I'm catching on quick, and now she refers me to her white baby (which is good lol). But if I go to the Independence day parade, I will be the only white person in uniform there, which will be hilarious haha, but they won't want to get Obama mad, so they won't say anything. HAHA but I'm excited!