Posts Tagged ‘SOJWA’


Greetings from Ghana!

June 3, 2010

Well, this is the first blog I’ll have the pleasure of posting from teh wonderful country of Ghana! The trip has been going well so far. There was a bit of an incicent that involved a poor combination of malaria medication and a plane cominging for landing after a 7 hour flight, but I suppose everyone has to vomit on an airplane sometime. And now I know better than to combine those two things ever again. Malaria meds are for ground use only.

The initial drive from the airport was fascinating. We got off of the plane and walked down the steps into the tarmac and into a sweltering night. After a long wait at customs, and the anxious search for our baggage, which passed through the black hole that is the Paris airport, we piled into the tour van our group is using to get around for the duration of the trip, and headed off. The roads here vary from major highways and throughways to bumpy pathes made of red dirt or mud, and you can go from one to the other in an instant.

Our hotel is incredibly comfortable, but still different than anything you encounter in the US. Water conservation is clearly an issue here, and you have to milk the faucets for everything they’ve got just to wash your hair. The showers seem to be set up to accomodate a style of bathing where you get yourself wet, turn off the water, soap up, then rinse yourself. But, there’s an air conditioner directed directly toward my bed, and that’s really all I need.

The people here are the most friendly, welcoming, peaceful, and proud that I’ve ever encountered. During a trip to the beach, we were greeted by many vendors, and several of what our guides call “dreadlock boys” who were curious to learn about why we here here, how we liked Ghana, and in general just hang out and talk. The vendors, of course, wanted us to buy stuff from them as well, but once they figured out we were done, they also took to just hanging out and having a good time. Everyone here will tell you that Ghana is a country that is founded on peace and brotherhood, and they are so proud of their nationality. Almost every car has a Ghanan flag displayed somewhere in it. People paint their stores, merchandise, cars, and even houses with the colors of their flag, and incorporate it into their clothing as well.

In addition to the beach, we visited two sites: Independence Square, where Ghana declared its independence in the 1960’s, and a garden where the first President of Ghana, the man who declared independence for the country and led Ghana into its current democratic form, is buried in an elaborate tomb, beside his wife, and surrounded by luxurious fountains and beautiful gardens that hold some of the most beautiful flowers and birds (peacocks, and others). We also took a trip to the art center, which is a market style series of shops where you can buy carvings, jewelry, and paintings from local artists. I picked up an abstract painting of a line of African women preforming a traditional African prayer. I’ll try to post a picture of it later.

All in all, from these first two days, it’s difficult to get a real feel for the culture of this place. You go from traditional style African living to a completely modern area, like the one I’m in now. It may say something about the state of African society today just in that, that in one city the standard of living can change so vastly, and yet melt together to form one complete society. But more thoughts on that later, my time for my internet connection is running out, so probably best to get this published.