I'm also keeping a blog at jeff-ghana.blogspot.com. Here was my first post from January when I arrive in Ghana. Since this post I have gotten very adjusted to living here - but each day a new challenge appears. Enjoy reading about my adventure!
I'm already technically into day 3 of my journey... I left Monday, January 18th at 11:30am and finally arrived Tuesday the 19th around 4pm. The program is through AIESEC, a cultural exchange experience. I will be working with junior and senior high school kids, helping them learn about AIDS and HIV and how to prevent it. I will know more about the work once we start...
So, some AIESEC members picked me up from the airport. The one runway landing zone is what it really is. Customs and Visa check points were pretty organized and they moved quicky. For customs I'm not really sure what they told me to do, so I just walked away and out the door. I'm not arrested yet so I think that I'm safe.
We then traveled via Tro-Tro (combination of a bus/taxi system) to Kaneshie Station - which is like a main hub for all the buses. They told me that you can get anywhere in Accra from this point. Now, its not what you might expect from a bus station. Dirt roads, old vans that hold about 15. No signs, and people just everywhere. Apparently it just works. Also, I felt bad since I had my giant bag which took up the space of a whole person.
From Kaneshie Station we got onto another Tro-Tro to reach our destination - the AIESEC house/apartment. This whole trip took over an hour and I'd say we went about 10 miles...maybe. The place I am staying is fairly big. About a dozen bedrooms, a big common space and a kitchen, which is pretty jank (Jank = not old or broken but just not right). Overall it looks like a crack house, but a nice one. I wish I had brought a computer since they have Wi-Fi! No running water right now because the pipes are ... malfunctioning? but hopefully next week. I showered with a bucket yesterday. That was fun.
At this point I'm trying to break through culture shock and cope with the heat. It's a bit warmer than the midwest.... Dinner last night was chicken and rice. It was actually not bad, but my stomach is still freaking out from all the travels.
There are 2 other interns with me, both from China. Apparently 6 more are arriving today and 2 more are somewhere for something. Basically, I have no idea what is going on. But we have internet and a lot of UPN shows. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper is a favorite.
The plan for today is to convert some money and get a cell phone. Wish me luck!