Friday 28th February 2020

 

8:36am @ Airport View Hotel

Dear Book

So today will be my first full day in Ghana!! I am currently in my hotel in Accra; only stayed here the night as I will be getting a domestic flight to Kumasi in a few hours. My current biggest worry is that when I arrive @ Kumasi Airport, I will not be able to find the O.V.O.M staff * who are coming to pick me up. A similar situation happened yesterday night:  When I arrived at Kotoka Airport, my hotel transfer staff were nowhere to be seen but some random guy came up to me and ended up helping me find them, However, guess who started demanding for money afterwards! I ended up being pressured to give the man 5 cedis for his shitty help. I hadn’t even been in the continent for more than 15 minutes and already being finessed!! Did he not have any shame! Things like this only worsen peoples initial perceptions of Africans. I was so dissapointed.

Anyways sha, let me dwell on what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to meeting my host family and finding out where I will be living 🙂

Random observation but I’ve noticed that there are a lotttt of men here. My mum told me before I departed that I should not trust anyone in Africa. With women I would naturally be a lot more lenient with that advice, but with men, they don’t stand a chance. Obvs I was fooled at the airport last night but trust me, that will never happen again.

*(~future sharon typing this up talking~ I’ve changed the name of the organisation I volunteered with so that I don’t get in trouble or anything pls. So I’ll be referring to the organisation as OVOM)

 

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10:05am @ Kotoka Airport

Dear Book

I think I might change the way I address you in this book. I’m going to start saying Dear FS, ‘Future Sharon’.

So I’ve checked out of my overnight hotel and now I’m currently situated in Kotoka Airport again but at the domestic departures section. Waiting for my flight to the great Kumasi!

I’ve noticed that people don’t pester me, and allow me to go about my day uninterrupted when I just keep my mouth shut and look like I know where I’m going. Everyone is surprised when they find out that I am not a Ghanaian.

Also, I am currently feeling a lot calmer than I thought I’d feel. Travelling to another continent completely by myself and having no connections here, I thought I’d be feeling proper lonely and all sorts, but actually I’m feeling confident and fine.

 

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5:29pm @ Host Home

Dear Book

I’m now in Kumasi! I arrived at my host home a few hours ago, and my host mum (Aunty Eve) seems really lovely! However, after arriving in Kumasi and then going to town to get a SIM card and my money exchanged, I now feel really tired.  Fred (the voluntary project organiser) took me to town in a tro tro and the experience was interesting but not as crazy as I’d thought. As long as I keep my mouth closed and my accent to myself, no one really bothers me, which I like.

My host home

So the home itself is very lovely, not as rural as my conditions in Cambodia at all. The living room is big and spacious, and my bedroom looks pretty much the same size as my room in the UK. (~future sharon typing this up~: so that was a lie from the pits of hell. I’m currently back in my UK bedroom and my room is actually a lot tinier than the room i had in Ghana)

I have a comfy double sized bed, AC fan, and a desk in my room. I’ve already had a delicious nap on my bed. Nice and comfortable. I could get use to this.

My host family

The host mum Eve is a pretty young lady; she looks about 35 and has 3 kids. One is 2 weeks old, one is 2 and the other is 4.  Eve is soo friendly. And also I’m happy there are kids in the house, to give it character. There is also the nanny present to look after the kids, and Eve’s mum is currently present also. For the first time since I’ve arrived in Ghana, I’m actually surrounded by ladies and not men! I like that :). Aunty Eve told me that she has actually lived in the UK; she lived in Kennington for 4 years to study. She seems really lovely and I am looking forwards to getting to know her more when I’m less tired.  Living in a majoritively English speaking county such as Ghana has made life so much easier, compared to when I was in Cambodia. The main differences between me being here and my experience in Cambodia are:

  • I’m only here for a month, whereas with Cambodia I was there for 3
  • I’m in an majoritively English speaking country
  • I’ll mostly be observing during my medical placement, rather than doing stuff
  • I’m not in a rural environment

However the one niggling thing on my mind is the fact that I’ll be doing all of this alone. Well, the travelling to work part. Fred told me I’ll be travelling to and from work (which is 40 mins away) on my own.  From what I’ve gathered, work is only one long trotro ride away, but as it’s my first time in this foreign land, I don’t think I feel comfortable travelling alone just yet, especially in transportation like the tro tro.

 

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9:00PM @ Later on in host home living room

So I’m just chilling here with my host mum and her neighbour Toby, and they’re making me feel a lot more comfortable about my stay. Aunty Eve is very spiritual and is telling me to really respect and honour my mum, because it’s her prayers that have kept me safe.

 

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