Saturday, June 6, 2009

In Ghana

Well, guys... I finally made it to Ghana! It's been three days, and I'm already amazed by what all we've done. After that horrible eleven hour plane ride, which I have officially erased from my memory, my days with the Peace Corps have been very busy. In fact, this is the first time I've gotten away to use the Internet!

Anyway, right now I'm in an Internet Cafe' in Accra. We are staying for a couple of days in the suburbs of Accra at a college called Valley View. Today, they split us into groups, gave us about 5 GH Cedis (about $5) each, and sent us into the city to fend for ourselves. We had to hail a tro-tro (a van used for public transportation) and navigate our way to different places by asking locals. We went to the beach, "Independence Square," the football stadium, and through different markets.

Soon, I'll head out on my Vision Quest. This means, from what I've gathered, that I'll be sent out to find an acting PCV at his or her site. This could be anywhere in Ghana. I'll stay with this person for a few days and see what it's like working and living at that site.

My Twi lessons are fun, this guy Moses has been my teacher. I learned Maa-chi (Good morning), Akwabba (Welcome), and the basics like "how are you" and "what is your name." I'll learn more of the language I'll use once I get my assignment, because I may be living in a place that doesn't use Twi, but one of the other seventy languages.

Fun Facts, Edition 2:

- The names of businesses are very religious and over the top. My favorites have been: Virgin Hair, The Blood of Jesus Plumbing, and God is Great taxis.

- The Ghanians, and especially the children, are very friendly and love it when you say "Hello" or wave to them. On the other hand, they get offended if you don't greet/wave at them.

- The landscape is absolutely beautiful, with very vivid colors.

- In Ghana, they have Pizza, Meatball subs, Coke products, Corn Flakes, and Lollipops, but I don't know if you can get these items outside the city.

- Mangoes look like ornaments in the trees, and the termites here have castle-like mounds.

- Buildings here are half-finished because instead of waiting for the total sum of money it would cost to build something, in Ghana they start work as soon as they have some money and wait for the rest to continue building. At first it looked like there were a lot of abandoned buildings, but another acting PCV explained this to us.

- Everyone, it seems, has a cell phone.

- Ghanians consider it to be good to help people out. They don't expect to be tipped or any kind of retribution. And if you get lost, someone will usually take you, or tell you where to go.

Sorry for they delayed post, and I hope to write about once a week, but that will depend on where I am in relation to an Internet Cafe.' Well, my hour is about up, so I have to go back to the streets to flag down a tro-tro. Wish me Luck!

- Katie


Stephanie said...

Loving the religious names. Hi-larious. Keep em coming!

Anonymous said...

GIad to hear you made it to Ghana OK. It sounds like a neat place. It seems they have a lot of the things we have here. Have you had any of the local cuisine yet? It sounds like you are going to have a good time. Well, I had the cast removed from my foot on Wed. I will still be on crutches for another week in a long orthopedic boot. Then I can start putting weight on my foot and start walking again. Yeah!! This has not been a fun time. I am anxious for things to get back to normal. Take care and I am thinking about you. We miss you! Love, Aunt Laura

Theresa Mattiello said...

Amazing. It sounds soooo interesting and I love the religious buisness names. I'm also glad to hear that Ghanians like to do favors just because, and don't expect something in return! I'm certainly glad you are having a blast!! Maybe the PVC you go to live with for a few days will be a handsome bearded fellow, like the ones in the brochure pics??? I'll cross my fingers for you! Haha, no the MOST important thing is that you enjoy yourself!

Anonymous said...

Haha I love the fun facts section! You are a very good writer. Sounds amazing, Katie. I am glad I got to see you a couple of times before you left. Be safe and I look forward to reading about everything you do! Love-Sarah

Emily said...

Sounds Awesome! I can't wait to see some pictures. Also keep up the fun facts!

Anonymous said...

Yay! .. Gotta say i am very curious and you answered a few of my questions!! love ya katie!!!!!!! glad to hear you are in Ghana and didnt get stuck in an airport or anything!! ( : - Dottie

Megan said...

This is awesome, Katie! It sounds like you're having a good time and already learning alot. I'm loving the fun facts and hearing about the city. Good luck out there! We're so proud of you!

meremortal said...

Keep us in the loop Katie . . . we're so proud of you !! - Mom and Dad

Shelley said...

this sounds really good so far! I loved the religious names. everyone here misses you and I hope the weather is hot...maybe you'll be tanner than Theresa by the time you get back! hope you are doing well.

Katie Caldwell said...

I've already got a pretty awesome farmer's tan in the works! ;)