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Akwaaba to Ghana!

Welcome to Ghana in Twi (ch-wee)!

I arrived safely in Ghana on Wednesday evening, all my flights went well and I recommend flying with KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines. Now I say this after a 30 hour Boarding to Landing total time, even after having difficulties. You see, I arrived in Ghana, made it safely through customs and received a 60 day visa. Moreover, the problem came when I began searching for my baggage(term mainly used outside of US I have learned). Both my bags, the smaller 48 lb bag and the larger, 52 lb bag were nowhere to be found. After spending over an hour with Kotoko International Airport Baggage Claims, I was told to come back tomorrow. So that meant that I would be spending an indefinite amount of time with only the items in my carry-on. Which, ironically, makes my post on packing my carry-on very important.

Oddly, in trying to scale down my 52 lb bag in Kansas City, an extra dress got stuck in my purse. Which meant that I would be able to survive for 3 days with clean clothes and underwear, pending I could somehow take a shower. Luckily, Erin of Minnesota was kind enough to let me borrow a towel, a bar of soap and bug spray so I could make it through the future days. She even let me sleep in her room as I didn’t have an alarm clock! Thanks Erin!

Arising the next day just might have been one of the most amazing feelings in a while. I wasn’t freezing under covers, I was comfortably laying on a clean set of sheets (also of Erin’s origin), under a ceiling fan. Ah, comfort.

As I had clean clothes and orientation was continuing I put on my big girl panties and pushed through the day with eagerness, exhaustion, motivation and determination to make the best of what could have been a “bad situation.”

My situation was quickly resolved with the Kotoko International Airport as my bags arrived 24 hours later on the next KLM flight from Amsterdam. Not sure what held them up, but I have TSA tags from Washington Dulles International Airport, but not notification inside that my bags were opened. And, honestly, I enjoyed going to the airport a second time and “people watching” I felt more comfortable and being able to get out in the city assisted in that.

Wondering what I learned:

  1. It’s a good thing I planned well for my carry-on
  2. ISEP has some really great students, all willing to assist another in need
  3. Campus is big(That’s another post)
  4. Jolluf is amazing! I find it similar to North African Kabsa
  5. Seemingly bad situations can become better

Looking at this situation with a couple days to reflect has really helped me out. I can tell that I am ready to take on adventures, and actually can survive in a different culture. I know that I will have struggles in Ghana but I will persevere to Make the Best Better. 🙂

Thank you ISEP-Direct Ghana for assisting me in living the 4-H Motto!

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