So much fun! I mean really. It was absolutely awesome. Think Amazing Race. We were given teams and tasks and had to accomplish them and make it back. So the university we are staying at is sorta on the outskirts of town – background info. The task we were given was to find the Center for National Theatre and the surrounding ministries. Then we had to find Tema station, which is a popular bus station. That’s it. We were given 10 Cedis, aka about 6 bucks and set free. No phone. No addresses, not even for where we were staying. It was awesome. We had to go walk outside of the university and hail a tro-tro, which is a sort of van/bus/taxi. We waited and waited for one that was going straight to Accra, with no luck. All were going to Madina. So we decided to go to Madina and get a tro from there to Accra. Within maybe 2 minutes of being on the tro, the door falls off. Yes, the door fell off the bus. It took them about 10 minutes to put it back on then we were again on our way. We got to Madina and walked around a bit there. It is like a dusty giant market. VERY VERY dusty. We find a tro to Accra and again we are on the way. This tro was in much better shape, very pretty! We get dropped off directly in front of our destination, the Theatre. We found an open side door, so we walked in. In a back room we saw some weird robes. I thought they looked like professor robes, but my teammate thought they were some sort of religious things. So we wander around and find the actual theatre open and jam packed! Everyone inside was dressed to the nines, so we found a program. It was a matriculation ceremony for a university. So, what else do you do when you are in a new country, learning about their culture, but you crash their party and watch the entire ceremony! It was kinda fun. Then we walked around the place and found the ministries. Then off to find the bus station. Along the way, we were touched by a bunch of little kids. They just came up to us and touched our skin. We got lots of hellos. And a smile works every time! We found the station, but saw what looked like a market up ahead, so we headed that way. That market was gigantic! Fish everywhere! Dried fish, I still can’t get the smell out of my nose. It is very distinct and pungent and strange. There were fruits and veggies and spicy peppers. Then we stumbled upon the cloth and I wanted all of it. I got to haggle for a bit trying to get 2 yards of fabric for a towel. Mom, if you are reading this, which I hope you are, please send a camp towel! Anyway, so I was able to haggle for 2 yards for only 5 cedis, which is what I wanted to pay. That’s about $3.33 for 6 feet of fabric, which acts as a towel, sheet, wrap, window curtain, whatever. I just hope it really does work as a towel. Anyway, so then we headed back to the bus station after experiencing a crazy site. I mean there were things everywhere. I wish I could have spent a whole day in that market. I can’t wait for the market at my site. At the bus station we did some research on where all the buses there go. Then we hopped on one headed for Madina. We had to stand on the bus because all the seats were already taken. Along the way back to Madina the bus stops in the middle of the road. A police motorcycle pulls out and clears the other side of the street. Then another. And another. And another. Then a motorcade and there is a car with the flag of Nigeria flapping in the wind. BAM President of Nigeria on the second day in country. THEN the Ghanaian President drives by too. Two for one deal! Cheap bus ride and a show. We get to Madina, see a hilarious sign, I hope I can post it. And look for a tro to the university. We find another bus headed that way and get in line. I tried some street food – basically a fried sweet ball of dough – much like a donut, but so much better. I need to find the name. It was only 50 cents and incredibly worth it.
We get on the bus and it moves about hmmm, 2 mins, then stops. Long story short, we get stuck in traffic for probably over an hour. All because Ghanaians don’t really have stop signs or lights outside of main cities. Plus I haven’t seen a speed limit sign. We finally get moving and get back. We were the very last group back. I thought surely there would be a lot more people not back yet. I guess a lot of people just finished their task and headed back. We really took the time to “geniess” the sights. I can’t think of a better term, much better than enjoy. I loved it, except for the fact that I was covered in dust, hadn’t sat down in over 5 hours, completely drenched in sweat, and just frankly dripping in yucky goo – most of which was sweat. But it was so worth it. Such a great experience. We traipsed around Accra without really using a map and not knowing where we were going – relying solely on people to help us. Ghanaians are extremely friendly and so willing to help. Even in big cities like Accra.
Later that night we learned some survival Twi (pronounced “three”). Maadwo (ma-jo) – Good evening. I can’t remember how to spell it, but Maache is good morning. Maaho is good afternoon. Wo ho te san? Me ho ye. No ho wson e. (I think that last part is right). How are you? I am fine. And you?
That’s a lot for four days and I am sure there is so much more to come. They said that training is the most difficult part of service. You are basically slammed with so much stuff in 3 months. Also, I find out my site October 15! That’s one week. So crazy.