OGWAGH 2011 Begins!

Wednesday was the official start of the West Africa Global Health program, as our nine fresh-faced participants finally arrived at Kotoka International Airport from their trans-Atlantic journeys. And they were thrown right into the grind of things, interacting with artisans and husslers over buying – or not buying – their trinkets and wares thanks to Scooby Doo, Kwame and the rest of the Osu vendors. Then, after staying the night in Accra, we packed into a trotro and made the four hour journey north-east to Wli in the Volta region where we slept the night in tents amongst the mountains of the Volta. The following day we climbed one, ascending 700 metres to the upper Wli falls where our trudging, climbing, and sometimes bum-sliding was rewarded by a beautiful waterfall that we got to swim and play in. *Note: the hike is totally doable in flip-flops*. After the hike, we took a trotro to Hohoe, where we stayed last night and are right now. The evening was rounded up with more orientation activities, with the girls having their Girl Pow-wow, and the boys having a Bro-Down, enjoying skewers of spiced beef (full of brotein) at a bar as we discussed adventure, travel, and politics.

We’ve got a great group, and are super excited for the adventures to come. Tomorrow we return to Accra, where we will all move into the houses of our host families, where we will be staying for the next two weeks. And on Monday, we begin our volunteer placements at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in the Cardiothoracic department. Everybody’s stoked.

More updates to come.

OGWAGH 2011 Team

**Beard Update: All the guys have agreed to continue the tradition and not shave their facial hair. Since I’ve got 9 weeks on them, my beard is naturally longer and itchier. Shout out to Kelly for suggesting that I condition it to relieve the irritation. And shout out to Dove for making a quality product. The beard feels like silk. Success.**

**Blog Update: All-star participant Michael Rodriguez (M-Rod) is also blogging throughout the trip. So, feel free to follow his blog at http://mrodzilla8.tumblr.com/ to stay up to date and get his perspective on things.**