04 July 2006

Arrival with the Black Stars

The flight over wasn't so bad. All my flights were on time, and all my bags got here with me. I got to meet some interesting people on the planes, so that was fun. The 10 hour layover in Heathrow was not so fun though, but I made it through with all the others seeking overnight refuge in the airport (mostly young people and non-English persons). I was really surprised that it all went out without a hitch.

Arrival events
Unbeknownst to me until halfway to Accra, we were flying with Ghana's national soccer team, the Black Stars. This meant that the airport was a madhouse when I got there. Immigration officials made sure to remind me that their soccer team is better than ours before letting me pass. Once I got outside though, I found it impossible to get through the assembled horde of partying thousands. The security guys had me and some other obroni just wait by the airport wall the people picking us up could get through. Finally after the team was snuck out on buses, the crowd literally ran away and Emmanuel, PCO's director was able to get to me. As I told some others, it's always good to start with a celebration. I arrived at the PCO guesthouse in Awutu near midnight, as we had to wait to pick up another volunteer who flew in later. I must admit it was a little scary travelling down bumpy roads at night, but we made it fine.

The guest house is a palace by local standards. My current bedroom is about the size of mine back home, though it has no windows. I'll get a windowed room when another volunteer leaves this week. The bucket shower is literally just that. You take a bucket of water to a tiled room and there you are. The food is ok, though we've had to remind the cook a few times to remember veggie food. We live in the village of Awutu near camp, and many Southerners will appreciate these directions: Turn off the paved road, walk up the hill, turn off the dirt road by a big pile of sand, and go through the tall grass. No sickness or anything yet, and I've settled in well. Having 13 housemates keeps it interesting too.

Most people were gone from the house Saturday, but one girl was around and she took the three newbies to the beach. On Saturday, we newbies braved exploring Accra by ourselves, and that went well. Yesterday was Ghana Republic Day, so things were closed and basically I just sat around and talked with people. Orientation began today, and I should be going on projects tomorrow. Time's up now, but more later.


laura said...

p.s. i got the job at USC!

Laura said...

cool. happy to see all is well - keep us all posted! = Laura

Daniel said...

Glad to hear that you got in alright and such. And, man, *everyone* is better than our soccer team...