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July 23rd 2012
Published: September 1st 2012
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The plane pulled up on the tarmac and everyone seemed relieved to finally disembark. And here I was, my first step on African soil. We took a shuttle to the terminal where we were processed through, having our prints and pictures taken. Once we got out our hosts were there to greet us. Matron Comfort and Sister Arcade awaited us and were eager to take us to Sacred Heart Hospital located in the Volta region. But first a drive through Accra, the capital with around two million people, to take in all the sights and sounds and get some good ol' culture shock pounded into us. There was definitely some sensory overload that went on. The streets bustled with traffic and human life as well as pleuthora of other creatures roaming about. People were shouting, laughing, waving, and hustling to sell produce and products alike. Many would come out to our tro-tro in an attempt to sell us all sorts of items, certain people were curious and just felt chatty. Our first calls of obroni (white) were being shouted repeatedly. Our tro-tro was packed with our gear and we had several stops to make, first to exchange some money into Ghana cedis, then a stop at Makate market to pick up food and grab a bite. We stopped at a small restaurant within the confines of the market and tried some authentic Ghanaian cuisine. I ordered Fufu, a dish made up of mashed plantain and yam and served in a sauce along with a piece of Talapia, and of course, we got right to sampling of local beer. I tried STAR (Stand Together and Rejoice) and I thoroughly enjoyed this first encounter and promised to have many more. I ate in the traditional way as well, with my right hand. I could get used to this dietary etiquette. Our hosts graciously foot the bill.

Eventually we all loaded back into our tro-tro and departed east for the Volta region while listening to varied African tunes as the sun descended. We arrived in Abor a few hours later to the sitsope lodge, a few minutes away by vehicle to where we'd be working. The place was much nicer than what any of us could imagine. Everyone was wiped and soon passed out.

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