Blogs from Ghana, Africa

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Africa » Ghana » Greater Accra July 28th 2014

July 28, 2014 Yesterday was a crazy day. Some of the volunteers took the kids from the new orphanage to a beach. We cooked food for about 6 hours and then we packed it all up in 2 taxis and met the kids at Sango Beach. We cooked them spaghetti (with extra vegetables) and fried chicken. We also cut up a ton of fruit. In all we served food to 44 people. Despite all the work that went into the crazy morning and early afternoon seeing the children enjoying the food was so worth it. They don’t always get complete meals like that, so whenever we cook them food we try to have protein, carbs, and lots of nutrient filled fruits and vegetables. The kids had a blast at the beach! Some of them got covered ... read more
Ebenezer on Uncle Max's shoulders
Getting dirty
Starting the race

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 » Greater Accra » Teshie July 21st 2014

July 21, 2014 I know it’s been a couple weeks since my last entry. These last couple weeks have been insane at the house with people constantly coming and going. The house is literally overflowing with people. Currently there are 33 volunteers with Dream Africa. Jamal finally moved out of the house to his own apartment where he finally has some privacy. That gave us another room with beds and another room was just finished outside, but even with those two rooms (eight more beds) we’re still struggling to find enough beds for people. There are so many nationalities represented. There are 4 Americans right now, quite a few English, a group of Northern Irish, 6 Spanish, French, Japanese, Swedish, Ethiopian, Greek, Italian, Austrian, Swiss, Italian, and even a Nigerian. Most people aren’t staying very long ... read more
Big Milly's beach
Big Milly's
Shop at Big Milly's

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale July 20th 2014

Three days. Three attempts to contact God. I don't know if He was listening, but apparently it's the thought that counts. On the first day I succumbed to peer pressure and curiosity about my physical limits, and agreed to do a day of fasting with the family. For Muslims, Ramadan is 29 or 30 days of fasting from dawn until dusk, no food, no water. I barely made one day, let alone over four weeks. At the moment it is light here from just after five until just before seven, so I had almost 14 hours without water. In Ghana. Which is quite warm, in case I haven't mentioned it. I was up by half four for breakfast, then back to bed for an hour or so. I got up for the second time and cycled ... read more

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

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Africa » Ghana » Greater Accra » Teshie July 7th 2014

July 6, 2014 Where the river meets the sea…that’s Ada Foah. My first weekend trip was quite interesting. A friend of ours has a place on Ada Foah, which is an island between the Volta River and the ocean. Some of the volunteers stayed at Amos’s house, and the rest of us stayed at a hotel with huts on the beach. We were celebrating a volunteer’s birthday, which was on Saturday. Those of us staying at the hotel had to take a boat back and forth, which for someone like me who likes boats and water was fun. However, that wasn’t the case for everyone. I was glad that there were 4 other Americans with me on Friday to celebrate the Fourth of July. We had fun telling everyone what we do to celebrate our Independence ... read more
Fishing boat on the Volta River
Boat on the Volta River
Jamal in his life jacket

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale July 6th 2014

After the mild chaos of my first few days in Ghana, week 2 saw me fall into a fairly steady routine - up at first light, 5.45 (the family are up earlier for their prayers), run or practice Taekwon-do in the small window of time where it is light but not too hot. Breakfast, shower, cycle to work for 8.15. Sit talking to the staff for half an hour or so (it would be very rude here to go straight to your desk and start work - relationships are way more important than this 'efficiency' thing that British workplaces aspire to). I have been working on a manual of financial procedures whilst overseeing their accountant redoing their financial records and producing budget to actual reports for their major project. So it's not all play. Lunch is ... read more

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 » Greater Accra » Teshie June 26th 2014

June 26, 2014 During my class at Faith the other day there was a distraction in the back of the class. Apparently the bench had broken and the two boys were trying to use their shoes to hammer it back together. These schools have very basic supplies and furnishings, but those still break and need to be replaced. It’s important for the children to have a working classroom. Dream Africa has quite a few projects and Jamal works so hard to keep them going. I may have only been here for 2 and half weeks, but I’ve fallen in love with these children and want to do everything that I can to help them succeed. I’ve already talked to Jamal about some ideas I’ve had that could help with fundraising. Currently on the DACF website there’s ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale June 25th 2014

For those of you who just want the key facts, as you are worried about my safety/looking for a quick laugh, here is a brief summary: · I don’t have malaria, but the mosquitoes are doing their best · I haven’t spent more than the usual amount of time in the toilet · I am not married to a local · I haven’t taken part in any bizarre local ritual involving dancing, drugs or both · Yes it is very hot For anyone wanting more of a narrative, read on. I arrived in Ghana at 5am on Tuesday 12th June, just before dawn, and it was hot (high 20’s). Somewhat bleary eyed I made it through immigration without too many difficulties and hung around waiting for my internal flight. We were bussed out to our very ... read more




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