Blogs from Western, Ghana, Africa

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Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi July 25th 2014

I now have less than a week left in the Western region of Ghana. I will then be going to primary school where my friend Iddris teaches in the Central Region of Ghana and I will be doing whatever I can to help out there. In the orphanage there are 16 children who Mr Samuel (the founder of the orphanage) provides food for, and they attend a state funded school (primary and junior high school- JHS, depending on their age). DJ (whose real name is Ebenezer) and Isaac are brothers aged 16 and 14 whose father died in a fire and were therefore abandoned, and they have two older brothers in Inchaban (a small town close to where we are staying) and Tema (near to Accra). DJ is hard working, already going through his Senior High ... read more
Left to right: Isaac, Veronica, Cecelia, Aba, Qwacy and at the back is Mary

Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi July 10th 2014

This will be my first blog entry in Ghana. My first week and a half here has been interesting, challenging and eye-opening. Its difficult to know where to start, but I will write a few of the observations I have made. Roads aren't as bumpy as people say (although of course there are bad areas) and we the passengers will rarely wear a seat belt- only the driver. They do however have a number of road bumps to slow down vehicles. Tro tros are mini buses which carry a fairly large number of people, but they are often jam packed to the rim. They are the cheapest form of travel and have a family atmosphere where children will sit on laps and people will chat to each other they barely know with ease. There are a ... read more
On the road leading to the Orphanage
Entrance of the Orphanage

Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi June 28th 2014

Ghana I have learnt is a place of peace, hospitality and warmth. As the first African country to become independent, I have become so drawn to Ghana's history, development, and culture. I have become immersed in as much of Ghana as I can without actually being there, listening to their popular music (e.g. the famous Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie) and trying to learn some of the main language there (twi, said chwee). There are over 79 languages spoken there, with English being the country's official language as it is an ex British colony. I have also made a number of friends my age in Ghana via a Ghanaian friend in the UK, and have come to see how white people are highly regarded by Ghanaians without much reasoning behind it. I have seen that life is more ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Western » Humjibre July 25th 2013

I didn't know what to expect from my journey to Ghana. Really, I had no idea of what I was getting myself into. Maybe it was the constant studying and fear of failure from my nursing studies that kept my mind preoccupied with seemingly more vital day-to-day tasks; or maybe it was the daily reminder of my bodily deformities and chronic pain that left me wondering if I would be well suited for such a physical adventure; or maybe it was the ugly blackness of depression looming over me that made me believe that I was not good enough; whatever it was, I was fully unprepared to leave the comforts of home and head to Africa - and so, expected little. In truth, Africa was never on my list of places to visit in my lifetime. ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Western » Humjibre April 7th 2013

Time. I’ve heard it said that “time is a valuable thing”. We have too much time or too little time; time goes by too fast or too slow; people are too busy or too lazy. Well, these past few months – maybe the past year even - I feel like I just haven’t had enough TIME. I can’t believe how I have managed to compile everything into the last month. First there’s the things that actually needed to be DONE: finishing my courses, writing exams, moving out of my apartment, planning (and the cancelling due to weather) a fundraising event, visiting Ottawa, going to my family’s cottage, and trying to gather everything that I need for this trip. Then, there are the mental challenges: keeping my brain charged while studying for exams, battling anxiety, and trying ... read more

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Africa » Ghana » Western » Tarkwa January 27th 2013

Our second week in Tarkwa was spent taking the VPA system live and ironing out any issues as they arose. I tried my first “Local” meal on Friday and it was an interesting experience. My Lunch consisted of a starch called Fufu and a Fish and Beef Soup. Fufu is made by boiling starchy vegetables like cassava, yams or plaintains and then pounding them into a dough-like consistency. We spend our Friday evening at the rec-club playing pool and enjoying some drinks. The original plan on Saturday was for us to go out with Gert and Heidi again but that did not happen as Gert was called into the Plant to sort out some issues. As Andre van de Laar joined us only on Monday he did not get to go to the beach with us ... read more
2.Pool Rules
3.Tarkwa Pool
4.Lunch At the beach

Africa » Ghana » Western » Tarkwa January 20th 2013

The first week is done and after a half day of working on Saturday we spent the rest of the day and Sunday relaxing a bit. At 15:00 On Saturday afternoon we did got our swimming licence for the Tarwka club pool. The Test involved swimming two lengths of the pool treading water for 2 minutes and diving a golf ball out of the 2.2 meter deep pool. I have to admit I did not succeed on my first attempt I just floated to the top :) The Water in the pool was not a lot cooler than it was outside but it was rather refreshing. Strangely enough the gentleman that did the test is also called Martin van der Merwe :) Gert and Heidi invited us to a braai at their house which was a ... read more
99.Pool At the Club
Armstrong Beer
Beach Chairs

Africa » Ghana » Western » Tarkwa January 13th 2013

My Trip to Goldfields Tarkwa Mine has been a rather interesting introduction to a number of new Things. My First Business Class Flight. My First trip into Africa outside South Africa. First Time that I live inside a Mine Compound.... read more
Business Lounge OR Tambo Airport
Airplane
Amazing leg room

Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi November 7th 2012

Hello! It has been a very busy and exciting few months in Takoradi, I have a lot to share so here it goes... Each year on October 15th, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world; this is Global Handwashing Day. Diarrhea kills more people than AIDS, malaria and measles put together; handwashing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal & acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries. Together, they are responsible for the majority of all child deaths. Together with the staff and students at the YMCA, we discussed the importance of washing your hands and the benefits it will have on the entire community. To demonstrate just how easily germs can be spread we chose ... read more
Christa teaching on Global Handwashing Day
poster for Global Handwashing Day
Students doing a condom demonstration during HIV/AIDS workshop

Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi October 10th 2012

Hello everyone! I'm so sorry it has taken me this long to update my blog, but here's what I've been up to over the past couple of weeks. Our first week in Takoradi we were able to meet the staff from the YMCA who we will be working with over the next couple of months. All of the staff and the students are so amazing, it is going to be a blast getting to know everyone! We successfully completed our first task which was to create a workshop on "innovation", to illustrate to the students how to use innovation to help develop a successful business. The students at the Vocational Training Institute (VIT) at the YMCA can choose to study either catering or fashion; although it is a female dominated program, we do have one male ... read more
Helping the students with their activity
Canopy walk at Kakum Natrional Park
At the first of 7 bridges




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