Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Ga Ga Ghana.....
Oh April, what a month. I never realised how much I missed heat rash….. I thought it was a figure of my imagination, but once I crossed the border back into Burkina, it appeared. Its like a pet that has on an invisible collar, it cant follow you everywhere, but once your on the perimeter the dog is all over you.
On a more serious note, the hottest month is over, and May promises rain. We even got a little preview last week. I forgot how much I love rain, not even just the actual rain so much, but the wind leading up to it, and the lighting show that follows, its also knowing that everything will be turning green soon.
I recently took a trip to Ghana with some other volunteers. After this trip I’m glad I wasn’t a volunteer there. It was really hard to talk about people and things when everyone speaks your language. (In Burkina if I want to discuss the price of things at the market I speak in English and no one knows) In Ghana there is a lot of choices of what to eat and where to eat, plus the super markets have a lot of nice American food. Ie Betty Crocker and Aunt Jemima.
Being in Ghana was like experiencing another world, sometimes I did not feel like I was even in West Africa. I also never realized how poor Burkina is, in comparison to other West African countries. Burkina is so happy and when I am in village I don’t need for materialistic things. In Ghana more people have cars and cell phones, and they wear more Western style clothing. Sometimes when we were traveling, I felt like the African, either my clothes were dirty, mismatched or I was waiting for public transport rather than getting into my own vehicle.
Besides being a completely different experience than I expected, Ghana was nice. There is a lot to do, and I saw only a small portion of it. The details are as followed:
We left Ouaga at 9am and sat on a bus all day. We stopped at the border of course, and 2 other times for bathroom breaks. We finally arrived in Kumasi at night in the rain. The next day we explored Kumasi. We went to the market, which is supposed to be the largest in West Africa. We spent most of the time exploring the city.
The next day we headed to Cape Coast and finally saw the ocean! While in Cape Coast we saw the slave castle. This was a fort built on the water to export slaves to other countries. The castle I went to was built in the 15th century by the Portuguese to export gold, ivory, spices and slaves. Over the years it passed hands from one country to the next. After they didn't use the castle for slavery, so converted into schools, churches or used for governmental buildings. The castle I went to was the same one O’Bama and the First Lasy visited a while back. We took a tour of the castle and got to see all the ins and outs of the fort.
The next day we went to Kakum National Park. This is one of the few last rainforests left in West Africa. Along with the park there is a canopy walk, which is AMAZING! It seems really scary, but really fun. You start by taking a walk through the park, then end on a series of 7 brings suspended through trees. Its pretty high in the air, but I'm not for sure of the exact measurements.
Later that day we headed to Buswa beach. The rest of the time we spent at the beach, it was really relaxing and our place was a small shack, but right on the ocean. Each night we heard the waves crashing into the beach, as we fell asleep. We spent 5 nights on the beach. One day it rained, but mostly we spent out time collecting shells, getting sun and just relaxing. We went in off season, so there was not a lot of people, which was great.
After leaving the beach we started heading back to Burkina. It took two days. The last leg of the bus ride, which was from Kumasi to Ouaga took the longest, and also the bus broke down. Something in the engine didn't work, so we waited 4 hours for the mechanic to come and fix it, which took all of 10 minutes.
Over all the trip was really nice, but I never want to experience that bus ride again!!!
Once back in Burkina, I have been busy. I went to 2 schools(which I rarely make it too) to do health talks, I helped a women make pourage for her child, and this past week I was at a conference on Mother to child health. Right now I am in Ouaga with PSDN, a peer support group. It seems like I am never in village and when I am, I constantly have things to do. Time is flying....
Upcoming events:SHANNA IS VISITING!!!!
Conference on Girls Clubs.