<3 I love this country so much! I’ve been without internet since I got here on campus. I apologize if you haven’t heard from me this week. Everything is great! Living here is 100 times better than living in New York because here in Ghana there is a deep human connection you find with others, even with strangers and new people. I feel like the human spirit is more alive here in Ghana then it is back in America. I have met so many amazing people from all over the world, including Norwegians, Ghanaians, Nigerians, and people from all over USA. I couldn’t ask for a better experience. Being surrounded by inquisitive, adventurous, open-minded people is an amazing feeling. Even the people I am meeting who left home for the first time to travel outside of the country, I am impressed because they are so courageous and open-minded! We are all broadening our comfort zone, and I am having so much fun exploring Ghana and navigating the campus together with other study abroad students.
The first morning I woke up in International Student Hostel II (ISH II) there was no running water AT ALL. I also did not exchange any more money, so all of my dollars were completely useless. I couldn’t even afford to buy a bucket from the market so I could use it to carry water to wash with. So, I decided I needed to improvise! I consolidated all of my liter water bottles I kept from the hotel. I used an empty one and I filled it up with well water from the outdoor faucet. I am glad that I am very flexible and that I am a low maintenance girl! I took my “shower” (washed up, that is) using only that 1 liter bottle. I was quite proud of myself and I realized I would have no problem adjusting to life in Ghana! The water did not return until 3 days later but I was fine taking 1 liter showers for the week. Another funny thing happened when I was brushing my teeth that first morning. I was so concerned with the water that I did not pay attention to the tube of paste that I grabbed. I started brushing my teeth and tasted a nasty cream in my mouth. I realized that I grabbed the tube of Cortisol Cream instead of toothpaste—ewww!! Smh (shake my head).
The Night Market… All I can say is YESS! I am so happy that my dorm is on the ground level on the side that the Night Market is on. Remember when I was back at Cornell and I was yelling about wanting to live on the livest part of campus? I was so happy when I was placed in Sheldon in Collegetown right above the bars lol. Well I am happy to say that my dorm in Ghana is definitely located next to the LIVEST area on U of Ghana’s campus! Although it is open all morning, it gets to be pretty exciting at night. The people at the Night Market blast great Hiplife and other Ghanaian music, and they also played P-Squared! He is a Nigerian singer who is hot everywhere, including in Harlem (I often heard Manna’s on 125th street knocking P-Squared). The Night Market is an open market that sells anything you could ever want, including kabob, plates of fried chicken, plantains, beans, vegetables, pasta (YES), beef, Jolof Rice, and many other traditional Ghanaian foods. Ghana has the BEST pineapples and coconuts in the WOLRD! The pineapples are so sweet and they are white, not yellow. It is amazing how great the food is here I think I found heaven on Earth. I made a great friend who has a booth at the Night Market, named Vivian. She hooks us up with sales. I got a great egg sandwich from her for breakfast. It had sausage, eggs, vegetables, and cheese and it was super yummy.
Now that I was able to exchange money, I love going to the Night Market. I got a purple bucket and the prettiest bright neon pink scrubbie! I love it so much! Anyone who knows me well will know how much I am OBSESSED with my scrubbies. This one is so bright and colorful. I think I am in love. My bed is very cute! We got hand made sheets and pillowcases from a local woman, who happens to be the Host Mother whom my friend Kareen is staying with. I also have a light blue mosquito net over my bed that is quite attractive as well. I put my twin babies, AKA my teddy bears, on my bed with my two Victoria Secret doggies. My room feels quite like home for me. I am still waiting to meet my roommate. I heard that she is Ghanaian and YESS I am so excited about that! I definitely was praying that I would get a Ghanaian roommate instead of an American or European because I want become close to her and spend a lot of time with Ghanaians. I already made friends with a lot of the Ghanaian men and women who work with our program and they are all so warm and friendly. I feel so comfortable here in Ghana and I realize that I am even more relaxed and at ease here then I am in America.
We do a lot of walking here in Ghana. We had to walk to all the different departments to register for class. I decided I want to take a Ghanaian history class, a dance class, Developmental Studies, internship, Sociology of the Family, and Twi Language class. Sometimes the walk can be long from one side of the campus to another. But if you are walking and talking with a friend, it is as if time doesn’t even exist here in Ghana. Today we rode the trotro system! It is pretty wild and exciting. The driver has a mate who yells out the window of the moving van and he says where the trotro is heading. The mate also makes sure that the trotro is as full as possible, with 4 or more people smashed together per row. It was quite an experience but I feel comfortable now taking the trotro. I like how my program shows us around and then allows us time to explore on our own. I could not ask for a better study abroad program. Everyone thinking about coming to Ghana for study abroad, make sure you choose the CIEE program! All the people who work for CIEE are so helpful and friendly.
Tonight our program as a big banquet for us! I am sure it will be awesome. I also heard there are two after parties, so I am sure I will check those out with my new Ghanaian friends. Last night we went to the Accra Mall and saw the movie Inception. Best movie EVER!! It is like The Matrix on crack, it is so amazing. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and I was even shaking, I was so engaged. As you know, it is rare for me to watch a whole movie unless it is very engaging. I highly recommend that everyone sees it. The action scenes are awesome and overall it is so freaky, it plays with your mind and stretches your imagination. You leave the movie wondering if the life we are living is real or if it is all just a dream.
Today we had a really fun Ghanaian dance class. We were crumping, bootie-popping, arm swinging and stepping all over the place. It was great and I can’t wait to take my dance class. I am considering auditing a drums class too… you know me, I always sign up to do too much. Well, time for me to enjoy my cold shower (we only have cold water in Ghana) and I am sure it will be quite refreshing! Peace and Love to You All.