The first word I heard as my feet hit the Ghanaian ground .. Akwaaaaabbaaaaaaa! Welcome to Ghana!
We were all very sleep deprived and it still felt like yesterday and I wasn’t 100% sure what the time was or even what day it was but it felt good to have arrived! It was dawn – hot, bustling and noisy but the adrenaline kept me awake! We all piled into the bus and drove towards East Legon where we would be staying for the next week.
One of the first thing that struck me in my new environment was the unbelievable friendliness and helpfulness of the Ghanaians – from Uncle John (hostel owner) saying to an embarrassed looking Phil ‘where are the gentleman helping the ladies with their heavy bags?’ as Daisy fell backwards with her suitcase, to the Ghanaian volunteers who became our friends almost instantaneously. Dennis (example of aforementioned friendly Ghanaians) stepped up the party music full whack despite the fact it was 6am and I was so sweaty and craved my PJs so, well, the only natural thing to do was to dance! And the vibes were well and truly set for summer!
The whole first day was a very long and sweaty day! We all ventured to the mall to get sim cards in the afternoon. I learnt that Abel is a total tech genius and that I was extremely sleep deprived as I fell asleep on the bench inside the shop…. On the way back Cecelia (my counterpart) and I were talking about marriage and eyeing up the banana stalls when out of nowhere the biggest grey cloud appeared that the world has ever ever ever seen. ‘It’s about to rain, we have to run!’ one of the Ghanaian shouts, but before we had time to process it the rain had hit us! Out of nowhere the heavens opened and the rain fell in buckets all over us – and I experienced my first tropical rainshower. It was unbelievably refreshing.
The rain didn’t stop for hours and hours and hours and then the power went out so we spent our first evening all together by torchlight. Chloe was celebrating her birthday that day, and the Ghanaians had organised cake! So we had cake (in seriously large quantities) and music and more dancing… and it was the perfect end to my first day in Accra! Akwaaba!