Saturday, January 21, 2012

I am starting to condense all of my blog posts onto this one so bear with me. The following is my single blog post while i was in Ghana last year. Since I was in a village, there was seldom access to the internet and to be honest, I got lazy.

Original Post: April 28th, 2011
Hello All! So I’ve been put to shame by my friend David’s blog (check it out: into writing about my experiences so far in Ghana. Being the most horrible journalist I can be, and essentially disregarding the expensive three years of training at Northeastern’s finest Journalism department, I forgot to pack a notebook and it seems impossible to find one given my bush residential circumstances. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, I live in a small town named Kasoa, almost directly between the capital Accra and the second largest city Cape Coast. But its safe to say, I am in the bush, not literally…literally and figuratively. (Haha) However, it has been the most unique and eye-opening experience of my travels thus far. Echoing my friend Dave’s sentiments, living and working abroad is an entirely different creature than studying abroad. Firstly, I’ve never lived in a pink house while studying abroad.

Yea, my house is bright, and we have a dog named Grace who is the cutest. I wake up around 6am every morning to bathe the children and get them prepared for school. In the afternoon, I look after the little ones (under 9 years old) and in the evening, I bathe them again and serve dinner. This work, although it is simple, has had the biggest impact on my outlook on life, especially my family. I have reconsidered many things I thought to be decided about my future. I guess its all apart of growing up, and growing abroad.

My weekly schedule keeps my very busy and naturally leaves me very tired. From Monday through Friday, I read, and sleep during the evening with some small exceptions like our parties at the local petrol station. (don’t ask) Life is pretty simple here but I thoroughly enjoy every moment of it. However, the weekends are absent from routine and simplicity. Here, no matter where it is (Kokrobite, Cape Coast, Accra) is where the magic happens. I meet people from all over, and get to experience the wonderfulness of Ghana. Kokrobite (Coco Beach) was one of my first destinations. A small beach town oasis of sorts, it has proved itself to be an obroni’s (foreigner’s) paradise. Its about 40 minutes away from our small town and is a guaranteed good time. Its a watering hole of sorts for the volunteer and recent expat community. Friday is cultural night and Saturday is , you’ve guessed it..... reggae night. Needless to say, in the last 3 months I’ve grown tired of any and all things Bob Marley.

When the charm of Kokrobite wears off, and I need a break from the repetitive crowd at Big Milly’s, I head to Cape Coast. The Cape is about 2 and a half hours away, depending on how heavy your tro-tro driver’s foot is. It is a city with a small town feel, which really reminds me of Boston. It lacks the hustle and bustle of Accra while offering posh bars and lounges as well as local drinking spots. And of course there’s the beach. Though for me, the beach is neither here no there. The waves are too rough on this part of the coast to swim safely, especially if your not Nemo. Unlike the clown fish, I won’t be found if I was carried far from shore.The Cape offers other attractions, more fitting for a journalist though. Slave castles. They were my first stop when I got a chance to visit. A two minute walk from my hotel was one of the most visited, and few slave castles that is open to the public. On the outside, the fortress looks run down and poorly restored. Once white stone walls are now a washed up grey. It almost looks as sad on the outside, as it should look. And this is no Hollywood production sad, this is real. Years of human suffering, injustice, torture and death occurred behind these walls. Visiting Cape Coast castle has been one of the most unforgettable and emotional moments of my life. My soul has never been moved the way it was while standing inside the castle. About 20 km away it another slave castle at Elmina. Although it has a similar history to the one at Cape Coast, there are important differences. Both are worth a visit.

Ohh Accra, the beloved capital city. I have a love-hate relationship with Accra. Traveling there by tro-tro/car/bus/foot/mule is a nightmare, but once there, it is pretty easy to navigate. Since I seldom spend time in the capital, any weekend in Accra is a luxury, and I spend money as such. Taxis comfortably replace tro-tros, dinner is served in restaurants with tables and eaten with cutlery instead of wooden benches and fingers. Most importantly, it is the premier place to party and Osu is where most of the action happens. From the posh night clubs, Bella Roma, to the jumping drinking spots, The Container, Accra is the pub crawler’s and party hopper’s haven. It’s the best of both worlds. Also on the coast, it offers a beach and amazing luxury hotels to lounge in(and not spend the money to stay) My favorite so far is Labadi Beach Resort. It has the perfect “hangover breakfast” Served buffet style, it captivates stomachs that have forgotten the comfort foods of home, and its main attraction: REAL CHEESE! Not the Laughing Cow stuff they try to spread on anything and call it “cheese” This is the real deal, cheddar, Gouda, Swiss, mozzarella….you get the point.

Until next time,

“Obruni Bye Bye!” (Kids in the street say this to us)

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