18 February, 2006

At the beginning...

(Caroline Lucie and Matt at the Airport)

Week 1
This was officially the longest day of traveling I have ever had!

We all met up at Heathrow airport early in the morning, and said goodbye to those who had come to see us off. The 12 hour flight was a good opportunity to get to know each other better, as we had only met once before, at a meeting with David from Africatrust in December.

The food was interesting on the flight (isn't it always) but by the time we had arrived at Lagos in Nigeria for a stop off, we were all wishing we had kept the random nasty cakes and crackers, as we were feeling quite peckish! By this time we had already been in Africa's heat for a while, but stepping out of the airport into pitch black humid Ghana, it was apparent how hot it could get here!

We were met at the airport by our two fantastic co-ordinators - Charles and Joseph, (who we have all grown to love over the last few weeks for each comedy moment, as well as the general sense of wellbeing they give us.)
We were driven to our beautiful hotel 'The Golden Spoon' in Tesanao. Completely bewildered, and all very tired from the day of travelling, we fell staraight asleep in our air-conditioned rooms.

For me, waking up was the real shock!

Once I had remembered where I was and what I was doing there, I realised everyone else was already outside. Mr and Mrs Adjei(pronounced Add-jay) were there to greet us with their huge friendly smiles. They spoke to us about their village - Bawdia, where two of us would be spending our 6 months work, and we all introuduced ourselves to them and gave our personal reasons for being in Africa.

We then left them and went on a mini-tour of Accra. We were taken to the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, (he was the first President of Ghana, and led them to Independance in 1957.) It was a beautiful place, very well looked after, and although the tour around the museum and gardens was brief, we all learnt a lot about such an important man in the eyes of Ghana.
More travelling was ahead of us as we made our way to Cape Coast, our next place of residence.


On the way out of Accra, you get a feel for how the majority of shopping is done! Every time you stop, or are held up in traffic, all number of things would be offered to you through the windows, from maps to watches, to bags of water. They have small square plastic bags of water that you bite a corner off and suck out! Very surreal, but handy in the hot car! Anything you could think of selling can be sold, and all balanced on the head of the seller, transported from car window to car window. (Gonna try the balancing act myself at some point, not sure if i'll master it though!)

On the journey we went past a myriad of small villages, complete with mud huts and chickens running around. (Most animals here are free to roam, even on the roads, and it made us squeal whenever a baby goat wandered right in front of the car!)
Once at Cape Coast we went to stay at a gorgeous Guesthouse where Joseph (one of our Project co-ordinators) has a friend working and we all got to enjoy the luxury of the air-conditioned rooms, with spectacular views over Fosu Lagoon.

To settle us in to Ghana we went on from staying here to the family home of the Renner's, where two of us will live while working in Kakumdo.
Living at the Renner's are: Ama (mum) Jeffrey and Yvonne (her son and daughter) and 5 month old cutie Esi (Yvonne's daughter.) The house is huge - and the only downfall being occasional power cuts and water shortages.


During the induction course we visited some of the best tourist spots on the coast of Ghana, and every morning we had lessons in the local dialect (Fante) and the history and culture of Ghana. At luchtime, our new friend and wonderful cook Mary (see photo) introduced us to typical Ghanaian dishes (I will write more about these later - just think spicy, red and almot always served with rice!)

(Written by Lucie)

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