Yesterday marked my two week anniversary of arriving in Ghana. Crazy. I can’t believe that I’ve been here for more than two weeks already, time is flying! The transition here has gone way better than I could have ever imagined.
“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark. This was what I felt the first day I woke up here. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing, or how I was going to find out. But I was HAPPY. Any worries I had quickly went away the moment I stepped out of my room and met people. I felt as though I had a welcoming committee just for me. Everyone was so FRIENDLY. I know I’ve talked about the hospitality here before—but It’s just something I haven’t ceased to be amazed about. I’ve come to realize that each day I’m here I like better than the last.
There have been challenges, of course. The first week was a lot of adjusting and learning. I’ve learned to get over my hesitation about asking questions. Like I said the transition has gone really well…but there are three things that stand out to me as the biggest <surprise?> <difference?> You’ll never guess what they are.
Hospitality: Let’s just say…when I get back to Coe and start saying “hi” to EVERY SINGLE PERSON I SEE, people are going to start giving me some weird looks. Although I think that Iowa is one of the friendlier states in the U.S., it has nothing on Ghana. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s awesome :) Everyone considers everyone else their “brother” or “sister” and treats them that way.
Electricity (or lack thereof): Oh boy. The internet connection here is random at best. It’s caused a bit of challenge for staying in touch with people, but it’s gotten a lot better since the beginning. Also, I’ve eaten meals in the dark a couple of times when the lights just go out. Can’t forget…I WASH MY CLOTHES BY HAND. New experience, that’s for sure. Got laughed at and complimented all at the same time. The first hint for people that I was new at this was when I brought my clothes down in a suitcase.
Spiciness: The food here is spicy…Spicy…SPICY! Everything. I stay away from the shito (really spicy) sauce, and other things that add extra spice. But still! My stomach was mad at me for the entire first week, but I’m getting used to it slowly and surely.
That’s all for now folks. Stay classy.