Ah Ghana, Ghana, Ghana – where to start? Maybe with an embarrassing but true fact – I have never peeled a banana, it’s just something that has never happened, I don’t know why but I guess I just don’t eat that many fruits (maybe it’s a Scottish thing?) – So if you had asked me a few months ago if I could ever see myself working with fruits then I’d probably have just laughed – but yet here I am working with an aggregator in Accra that deals especially in obtaining and supplying excellent quality fruits and vegetables. Luckily my role is not teaching people how to peel bananas however, instead it is in creating a marketing plan and making Fresh Logistics [the name of my company – should of mentioned that earlier] more visible to its target market. It has been 8 weeks and an interesting journey to say the least, particularly in trying to make an impact within our company. I had anticipated that there would be challenges along the way [I mean it’s in the name] but some have proved to be more difficult to overcome than others, for example: communication. The biggest difficulty we have faced within our business is communication, trying to obtain important information and train staff members on social media, marketplace, editing a website, etc has proved particularly challenging – but we have persisted and have accepted that things just move a little slower here. We have found ways to overcome certain challenges however and will continue to do so right until we leave, it’s certainly a great learning curve. There are plus sides to Fresh Logistics however – for example we have our own office space and a microwave – which means hot food every day…just a pity the frequent power cuts force me to eat it cold..
By day I may work as a passionate expert in fruits and vegetables but by evening I am simply a tourist in probably the most chaotic city I’ve ever had the opportunity to visit. From riding in the front seat of a Tro-Tro with people laughing at me as I look hopeful for a seatbelt, to walking around local markets with people shouting obruni [White person] at me every two seconds, I definitely get the feeling that I’m in Africa. Anyway I thought it would be helpful to write some observations on Ghana so you can get the feel of what it’s like to live in Accra. Firstly one of the first observations I made while here was that Ghanaians like their food to be spicy…but like really spicy…like exceptionally spicy…like lets burn all of our taste buds and make a pool of sweat on the floor for people to slip over kind of spicy. Perhaps I should mention now that I am not really a fan of spicy food and have a particularly low tolerance for it – great. Well luckily my host family appreciates my struggle but I am genuinely impressed with how spicy Ghanaians like there food – Man Vs Food would have nothing on the average Ghanaian. Another observation is the chaos on the roads here – cars, trucks, people, lizards, chickens, etc are constantly swerving and moving in front of your Tro-Tro/taxi while they themselves are already breaking the sound barrier with their speed – then there are the car horns, they get used here a lot, people like to honk their horns at everything, and at nothing…but weirdly you get used to it. One thing I have not got used too yet however is crossing motorways- often if you are going somewhere by Tro-Tro such as Accra shopping mall then you have to cross a busy motorway with cars shooting by a record speeds – so normally you cross when other Ghanaians start to…and run when they do, while an unfinished bridge taunts you as you risk your life just to get to the cinema or to buy a twix.
I would write more observations but I’ll probably need material for my next blog post so I’ll save it for then. I should say that Ghana is simply fascinating, it is just such a different culture and way of life.
In my eight weeks here, I have managed to get out and about – for example I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to visit Cape Coast in which we visited a rain forest and completed a canopy walk above the trees and visited Cape Coast castle which played a major part in the slave trade and shed some light on a dark period of time.
Aside from Cape Coast I have had the opportunity to visit various tropical beaches and other locations around Accra, all of which offer a nice break from working in the office all day during the week.
All in all, Ghana is an experience =]
[Also…I tried to upload pictures but it didn’t work…maybe next time!]