17 May Akwaaba to Ghana!
After Jeremy, Michelle and I bused and tro tro-ed from North to South, ate our way through groundnut stews and mangoes, got some Azunto dance lessons from the streets and lived without power (“it is lights out”) in our home-way-from-home in Sandema, we are now grinning ear-to-ear at welcoming our first batch of participants last night!
Akwaaba (welcome) to the first stage of the journey: Accra. The busiest and biggest city in Ghana, can be overwhelming and almost too colourful at times. But our group didn’t want to rest after the plane so we wandered the Osu streets and had drinks outside at a nearby resto-bar, where there is always football on TV and friendly people to greet. Sarah, who was the first to arrive, helped us make a giant OG banner to surprise the rest of the group. She got the first real taste of the city: eating fresh pineapple in a bag and watching trip leader Michelle have an epic awari match with a local Rasta. Awari, or the Bean Game, originated as a game played on the ground by scooping handfulls of dirt to form two rows of six shallow pits, and is now a popular Ghanaian board game. Of course Michelle won proving that we may be from far away but we are here to adapt and learn. We watched the sunset from the beach and met up with some other Canadians who are working around Ghana as journalists, or who just aren’t ready to leave!
We are still anxiously awaiting the final two young women, who have staggered their arrivals. I’m not complaining: the Accra airport makes the best chicken shawarma in all of Africa and I’m always hungry, just sayin’. Today is a relaxation day before we scramble off to Cape Coast where we will get a first hand Ghanaian history lesson and experience coastal life before heading North to the Upper East Region where we will start our projects and reunite with our partners and friends. Horizon’s Children Center, the Disabilities Center, the Builsa District Radio Station, the G-Roots project and the girls and boys football teams are all happy to welcome us back for another year.
We are off to an awesome start; members of our team have already lugged large duffle bags full of donated soccer and sports equipment, clothing, toys and school supplies for the Sandema community. Imagine what we will be like when the whole group is all together: unstoppable!