09 Jul OGWAM has landed! Agomacha!
The team can’t believe we’ve only known each other for three days–the challenges of reaching the Upper Falls in Wli, the haggling and bartering for transport in some of Ghana’s most touristy areas, and the burning of all our taste buds on the hottest jollof rice ever to exist, has quickly turned OGWAM from a team to a family.
We spent our first night in Accra, in the bare bones Salvation Army hostel, where we turned a 7-person room into one for 12 people. Money and phone practicalities out of the way, and after an short but enriching meeting with the president of the Ghanaian World Health Organization, we hot-footed it to the stunning Volta region, by the border of Togo. We stayed in comparative luxury, at the Wli Waterfall Lodge, and enjoyed a BBQ Ghana-style, complete with palavar stew, coco yams, and misleading sausages. (?). We punished our bodies and minds, climbing to the upper falls, where few do venture. The gap between the physically fit and unfit, and just plain anemic, quickly became apparent as we gasped for air and cursed the diminishing nature of our water supply.. . after completing less than a quarter of the hike. In the words of one participant, “I don’t care about pictures anymore, I just want to stay alive.” We braved blankets of hungry ants, torrential rainfalls, inappropriate shoes, and a sweltering sun–we are pretty sure we also saw a black widow spider. It was all worth the battle when we swam under the 300m-high falls, certainly one of the most exhilarating experiences one can have, particularly after a seemingly never-ending hike. A quick shout out to Sebastian, our tour guide, for being generally lovely and patient with our slow pace.
The team put up with Anna and Achelle’s ridiculous orientation activities, which touched on team-building, getting to know Ghana, ethics of ‘voluntourism’, and the staple OG game ‘Wa’.
We are now in Ho, sad that tomorrow the team will have to split, but thrilled to soon begin medical placements in hospitals and NGOs, and to meet our host families.
Stay tuned-the adventure continues!
Word of the week: Agomacha = give me a way to flow!