Ghana-Week 3 and 4: Unexpected Incidents

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February 11th 2013
Published: February 11th 2013
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The smushed Chicken I talked about in the last post.
With my luck, week 3 started with a visit to the University of Ghana's Public Hospital... as I twisted my ankle on my way to register for the traditional dance class. Ironic, I know. After going through the typical system of an outdoor hospital and telling myself that I was totally fine, as I looked at my swollen foot. I was sent off with a $1 (USD) icy-hot cream and $10 (USD) 2-angles x-rays. So, as I got back onto campus with my U-Pal, Atsu (pronounced: "Ah-choo", like from Robin Hood Men in Tights...but actually means twin in Twi) I went and registered for the dance class.

So I had one class registered and set at the University, I was still waiting on one more, but for some reason out of the hundreds of classes being offered, I just couldn't find one that I really wanted to take. I am horrible at final exams, and when I was told that the final exam is pretty much 100% of your final grade, it was definitely not a turn on. Then the two most fantastic words popped off and out of the course booklet, "Creative" and "Writing," how in the world could

they have a final exam? And could I actually make this semester about getting back into the "Arts," that I loved back in middle school? I mean, I did just finish my 5th book since I've been in Ghana...if I'm reading more now, and I'm going to be dancing again, why not start writing again?

It was all set, my U-Pal, Hannah, is an English major and would be in the class, and because it was clearly meant to be, the class was on Monday at 11:30am, the perfect day and time for me to fit into my schedule. So I went to register for the class at the English department to then be discouraged to learn that I had to be accepted into the class by the professors because it was a continuation of the class from last semester. Being rejected, I really had nowhere else to turn to, as I told Hannah, she said, that it would be fine and that once Monday came around, I would go to class with her and then ask the professor if I could stay in the class, because I am an international student, exceptions are always made. As I crossed my fingers for the entire weekend, and waited to go to class that Monday morning, I was welcomed by the professor with a game of “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,” to be of course the one who they decided would be kicked out as there were a few other international students who decided to stop by into the class. Confused and lost for words, I just stared at the professor absent-minded, as he continued on with going over the syllabus for the semester. Was I in or out of the class, I couldn’t even tell if he was joking or not. As the two hour class came to a complete end, I just turned to Hannah and asked her if I was in the class or not. She said “Yes”, so I went to register for the class, still keeping my fingers crossed.

So that was week 3, uneventful besides my hospital visit and figuring out my class schedule. With all of that finally complete and my ankle tied up in its ankle brace from home (yes, I do come prepared), week number 4 began. (Oh, in addition to the 3rd week, I got measured and bought some fabrics to have some clothes made, which I have to say is really fun.)

I started dancing during my dance class, ignoring all of the random jumps now and then; I got into the rhythm and began to “boogie down” as the dance instructor says.

On Thursday, I ended up going to the Medina Market with my U-Pal, Angela, we only spent about an hour at the market that late morning, but it was enough to get everything that we both wanted/had to buy. Angela, who was actually doing errands, was buying everyday necessities for her new room on campus, whereas I was there to buy more fabrics and futbol jerseys and to have the general “market” experience in Ghana.

I ended up buying three different fabrics, before Angela told me that I bought enough for the day, and I got a Ghana futbol jersey…even if they did not make it to the final of the African Cup and on Saturday, lost to Mali, so ended up in 4th place overall. But I figured that I should have a small souvenir as a remembrance of watching every single Ghana futbol game of the African cup 2013.

The market in general was what I would say a typical outdoor market. While it seems like it would be chaotic, it is actually quite organized. All the shops that sell the same/similar things are next to each other and there is a grid of where the shops are located…not a physical grid-map, but when you walk it, you can quickly adjust and understand the layout.

Then Saturday came along and I went to the Shai Hills once more, because I clearly cannot get enough of nature and well, Ostrich peaking at my hand…it’s just an odd feeling that it’s quite entertaining. And the Baboon babies are just super adorable… and so human like, it gets a little scary when you stare at them for too long. With 3 other lovely CIEE (liberal arts) ladies, I found myself taking 3-4 tro-tros to get there, with the last ride sitting next to the CHIEF of the Lasi clan of the Shai people. Who ended up showing me two horns, one from a goat, another from a sheep that he was going to use for his shrine at home. And then proceeded to tell me his name and phone number so that I

In Shai Hills, they're planning on bringing crocodiles here soon.
could visit his clan sometime. I know…only in Ghana would something insane like this happen at the back of a public vehicle.

Once we arrived to the Shai Hills Reserve, after the 2.5 hours of transportation, we decided on a 2 hour walking-guided tour to an area that I did not go beforehand. I have to admit, this time around, the experience was more fun, because of the interaction of the baboons, the actual walking aspect of it, versus the drive through the flat terrain, and the long and somewhat strenuous climb up the hill to the cave (compared to the three boulders climb with the help of ropes). The experience was just…more real, is the best way that I can describe it. And another insane aspect of the adventure was the fact that during the hike, I ran into 2 guys who I met in the line going through customs when I landed in Ghana, at the La Beach, and now, for a third time, at Shai Hills. I figured that Ghana was a big country, but even so, I still have been able to run into familiar places in such strange and different environments.

And that’s
The upward pathThe upward pathThe upward path

Rocky path going up...doesn't look as bad as it was.
how week 4 ended. A trip to the market, meeting a chief on a tro tro, going back to shai hills, and running into two people I kind of know.

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