Welcome to my blog! I’ll be spending the next 10 weeks living and working in Accra, Ghana, alongside a team of 14 British and Ghanaian volunteers. We’ll be split across several small businesses, applying our experience and training to help them to grow and benefit the wider community. Living with local families we’ll be thrown into the deep end of experiencing Ghanaian culture. There are lots of unknowns still, but that’s part of the excitement, and I can’t wait to get started!
*In the last team several of the volunteers filled their blogs with unnecessary place-name puns; I should be clear at this stage that I don’t intend to attempt any verbal Accrabatics.
The weeks between our training in Edinburgh and flying to Ghana were a bit of a blur; finishing my job, moving out of East London, preparing for the trip, and trying to see as many people as possible before leaving. Having been here a week it’s still hard to believe that we’re actually here.
Life in Accra is vibrant; rickety stalls selling everything from beds to mobile phones have sprung up along the streets, where pedestrians and adventurous drivers compete for space. The side-streets are strips of earth which cars kick up into a red dust, and turn to mud in the rain. Lots of home comforts are missing, with scheduled power cuts and cold buckets of water as a shower, but we have had some luxury too, with poolside bars and shopping malls. The food has been a challenge but we’re starting to find Ghanaian dishes that we can eat comfortably, and I’m hugely indebted to my ex-housemate Iqbal for breaking me through the spice pain barrier before my trip!
Our group is very mixed, from economists to an actor, but we’re getting on really well and making the most of Ali’s local knowledge and Uncle Felix’s wisdom. We’ve managed a few group trips; to Jamestown, the historical part of the city; Osu, the central entertainment area; and a local hotel with a live band. It’s been a crash course in Ghanaian life, but jumping on a tro-tro seems normal now, and I can usually drink a plastic bag of water without spilling it all over myself.