Accra, Africa, Beach, Blogging, Catch Up, Church, Culture, Daily, Diversity, Food, Ghana, Global Engagement Programs, ISEP, Orientation, Registration, Study Abroad, Study Away, Summary, TacoBels, Tell your story, University of Ghana
One week down. Not counting how many left.
Ghana is great! Last night there was a nice thunderstorm, which at home would arise a few fears with the wind blowing quite strong, lightening which I counted to be about 5 miles away, and the constant roll of thunder. This unexpected company definitely made me miss home.
First I want to apologize for not posting more than once this past week, ISEP has definitely kept us busy! I can even say that by the time I figured out how to successfully post a blog through Ghana Cloud, jet lag was setting in(4-7 days after landing). It just seemed that no matter how much I tried to stay awake I was exhausted in the evenings and the mornings.
To catch you up on the past week:
Thursday- Started the day with an interesting pancake, which after a few bites tastes pretty good, but nothing like American pancakes. We, the group of 14 ISEP students and 4 Student Guides started the first part of our campus tour. Yes, campus is that big. Lunch was then served at a little restaurant called ‘The Basement”. Our journey of the day was only beginning at that point. We loaded up the bus which took us to the Accra Mall. Notice the photos and you’ll understand why this was interesting. This was a refreshing trip though, I was able to exchange money and purchase a phone. The exchange rate is currently 1 USD = 1.86 GHC. Ghana operates on the Ghanaian Cedi. Purchasing the cheapest phone I spent 42 Cedi on a phone, 1 Cedi on a SIM Card and 5 Cedi on minutes (not enough, I have since purchased 20 Cedi worth of minutes).
Friday- Ventured out on what at this point I thought was a brave choice in food: Fried Egg and Sausage Sandwich with Fruit Juice. One, it was amazing. Two, LOVE the bread roll. Three, juice is awesome. I was then met with my first experience of Ghanaian time- we were LATE to our first meeting with a professor. Prof. Agyekum presented a presentation on Ghanaian Cultural Etiquette and Safety Issues. First note: Funerals are very important. Enjoyed some Tacobels for lunch! How Awesome! But wait, this is jolluf, chicken, and a mineral. Oh yea, I’m in Ghana! FYI: Tacobels is NOT American Taco Bell. After lunch we began part 2 of the campus tour. I was feeling quite sick during this time so I can say with a fact that I really did not enjoy it. Not sure what made me sick, I blame the heat. Dinner was awesome, Chez Afrique which I learned means “In Africa” in French. I apologize for no picture, I had accidently left my SD Card in my laptop.
Saturday- Tour of Accra! Very interesting. Drove through a nice part of town, and some not so nice parts of town, at least speaking by American terms. Also made sure to locate the hospital! Lunch was a little Chinese restaurant in Osu, which was fairly similar to American Chinese.
Sunday- Definitely was spoiled on this day. Began the day by having my first EVER Taxi ride to Shadrach’s church. Shadrach is an ISEP Student Guide here in Ghana, he spent last semester abroad studying in Georgia. His father is the pastor at the church we attended. This was unlike any church I had attended in America to an extent. The message was there although most of the service was spoken in Twi(Thank you Charles and Shadrach for translating!) Church in Ghana can last about 3 hours, on average. The church we attended was located in a school where each classroom was occupied by different churches, none of which were connected. Church consisted of Bible Study, Music, Offering, Testimonials, Another Offering and more Music, Sermon and then the 6 ISEP students were introduced. Approximately 35 people were in attendance. After Church was the spoiling part: Beach Adventure! We traveled outside of Legon for about an hour to Sankofa Beach House. Here we were met with appetizers of Sausage Kabobs and then Grilled Pineapple seasoned with nutmeg and cinnamon. I think there might have been one more but I was really focused on the pineapple, which I normally despise. We then made our way down to the Beach located on the Gulf of Guinea! 🙂 Beautiful.
Monday- Finally began International Student Orientation with the International Programs Office at the University of Ghana. Honestly, I felt that this was unnecessary. Everything I heard I had already read or learned in some way or another. Hey Mom, I was prepared! 🙂 Following orientation we traveled via Tro-Tro to 37th where were enjoyed pizza and ice cream at BonJours. The next Tro-Tro ride was straight to Madina. Madina is apart of Accra, as is Legon. We visited the Madina Market, which was unlike other markets we had visited. Madina was full of people, vehicles, trash, waste, and bad smells. Madina was full of heartstring pullers. Madina was hard to walk through.
Tuesday- Another day of IPO International Student Orientation, this was a little more informative about immigration, campus rules and regulations, campus sports and safety around campus. ISEP then toured Global Engagement Programs: Beacon House Orphanage and African Child, formally known as Global Civic Preservation. Beacon House is an orphanage funded by an American which currently has 23 children under its care. African Child is a school for underprivileged. I was drawn to this organization, maybe you will hear more about them.
Wednesday- Consisted of IPO Registration which meant receiving UG Student ID Cards and registering for classes. But registration fun doesn’t end there, tomorrow I get to walk to 4 different departments to find out if my selected courses are offered, and if they are, check that they don’t conflict with other classes. I’ve been warned that this is a very frustrating process. Lunch was then held at Odo Rise. I was able to enjoy fried rice, chicken, fried plantain, pasta salad and a Miranda mineral for 5.20 Cedi. Which is $2.79 USD. We then toured The West African Aids Foundation and Mawuvios which is a school that was started and still ran by a past ISEP alumnus. This is also a school for children who otherwise would not be able to attend school. It is held at a house, though they are currently building a school and orphanage as most of the students do not have homes and are orphans.
I apologize for the length but hope you enjoy it. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. I’m an open book with lots of pages filled with experiences, but many more pages waiting for information!