Published: November 2nd 2010November 2nd 2010
It doesn’t rain too often in Accra, but when it does it’s never just a drizzle. The rain here is often the kind that wakes you up at night and is too powerful for any umbrella’s protection. I sometimes like to go running in the mornings and today’s weather looked fine until halfway through my run when the sky turned black and those big fat African raindrops started falling. Luckily, I was only about a quarter mile from home at the time because it felt like I was in the shower with the water pressure on full blast. It was only about 7:30 when I got back to my dorm but everyone was outside their doors watching the rain pour down. People just laughed when they saw how soaked I was and told me I better go change before I got sick.
Speaking of being sick, last week I wasn’t feeling that great so I went to Nyamfo Clinic to get a blood test and talk with the doctor. While I was waiting to get the test results, I began speaking with the receptionist about what I was doing in Ghana. I told him I’m a student at Legon majoring in radiology, so he offered to give me a tour of their radiology department. I got to speak with one of the x-ray techs who showed me all of their old machines and the new ones they received just four months ago. She told me how technology is changing healthcare so much in Ghana and it was really cool to hear her perspective since she has gone through the transition of the older machines to the new medical imaging technology. My blood test results were malaria negative but I did have a high white blood cell count indicating my body was fighting off something so I was advised to rest for a few days and come back if I wasn’t feeling better.
Two weekends ago I was invited by the University’s handball team to go to Bojo Beach for the day. I had never been there but I had been hearing good things so I decided to go. I was told we would be taking a bus there but it actually ended up being an old beater van. I thought there were way too many of us to fit but somehow we all were able to squeeze in. For the record driving for an hour smashed in a van with no air conditioning and a group of screaming college kids is not the most fun in the word but I just kept telling myself it’s all just part of the experience of Africa. When I saw the beach and smelled the ocean it was all worth it. The beach was absolutely beautiful and it wasn’t crowded at all. We spent the day playing in the waves, boogie boarding, and playing some beach volleyball. It was a very relaxing day and I even went out for sushi that night with friends, which was the perfect way to end my beach day.
Halloween was a few days ago and I felt well enough by then to go out. There was a costume party at Bella Roma’s in Osu so I went to that with a few friends and we had a good time dancing all night. No one really celebrates Halloween here except for the bars just because it’s an excuse to have a party. Back in the States you are bombarded with so much Halloween marketing that you can’t forget about it like I almost did here.
Construction on the school is progressing. The roof still needs to go up but the materials have been purchased so it should be any day now. The kids have been learning about personal hygiene and health and a friend of mine knows a lot of people in the airlines business so he was able to contact them and asked them to collect soaps, toothbrushes, shampoos, etc. from all the hotels they stay at while traveling. The next time they came to Accra they brought her a huge bag of things, which she passed on to me to give to the children. They were so excited to have toiletries that said “London” or “Paris” on them. There were even a few manicure sets and I’ve promised the 4th grade girls we will spend time during lunch one day painting our nails the bright pink color they love.
School for me is going well. The schedule of finals has gotten a little skewed since the professors were on strike for two weeks. The Ghanaian student’s semester is now extended into January but the international students obviously can’t stay that long so we will be taking our finals over the material covered so far. It’s a bit frustrating since we didn’t get to complete the whole course but that’s just how it goes here I guess. I’m just thankful I get to return to a university that is organized and has some structure. There’s only a month and a half left so I’m not going to worry about things I can’t change and just enjoy the rest of my time here. That’s all for now, hope everyone back home is enjoying the cool weather because I know I wouldn’t mind a break from the heat for a few days… Now I bet you all are thinking you could do with a couple days of 80-degree weather. It’s always greener on the other side huh? Goodnight from Africa.