Travel Blog #4: Past the Midway Point

07.10.2019

Hello! 

Welcome back to SHEISALLIN! I am SO excited to get back to you all with another blog post of my time in Ghana this summer! It makes my heart SING just remembering of how awesome my time abroad was. 

In this update, I get to share with you all some sweet memories from my time in Kasoa. The stories that will be shared with you are memories after our half-way point in Ghana! By our third week in Ghana, we already made so many sweet memories, but these were the start of our final weeks there! I hope that you can enjoy <3.

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On the fourth of July, our different internship mentors, other volunteers that we worked with in our schools, some students from Senya who are volunteers at a youth group led by our mentor Brittni, and our team played an intense game of football, or soccer, with some people from the neighborhood and spent the night eating chicken hot dogs, french fries, and apple pie. It was HILARIOUS watching some of our friends pile their plates with chicken dogs and eating them with forks and knives. They were friendly in saying that they were enjoying themselves, but we could all see on their faces that wasn’t the case. We were cracking up! We spent the night talking to each other, and enjoying the night with music and games. I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t miss the hot dogs one bit, but the pie was HEAVENLY.

The Fourth of July:
Learning how to play a new game with our friends!
After our football game!

The next day, we packed our bags to head out to Accra, the capital city we stayed in over our first week in Ghana, at 6 in the morning. We headed over to the Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (a mouthful, I know). It was awesome! It was not a conference that I would have ever thought I’d visit on my own, but I got to learn so much about new systems for monitoring air quality in African cities, new apps for virtually weighing babies, and other cool things that people are creating. Ya’ll, there truly are some wonderful people in this world doing amazing things. 

At our conference!

That night, we took an uber to a beautiful cafe by the Accra Airport, where we met a friend named Amy who is also a student at Smith (and gives the best hugs EVER). She was so genuine and fun to be around, and I’m glad that our friend Rosie got to see her;  she had been wanting to visit Amy for a really long time. That night I had banana bread and ice-cream, and I could hear my taste buds cheer and feel my tummy churn in gladness with every. single. slow. bite. Before that dessert, I had no idea how badly I missed processed food and added sugar lol! 

The following day, we headed off to one of my favorite places we’ve visited over this trip: BOTI FALLS! We went for a 45 minute hike as a team and enjoyed the amazing view at the top of Umbrella Rock. I am sure that I could walk that same trail a million times and never get tired of the same beautiful views. Afterward, we had some fried rice and kebabs, and went to visit the waterfalls that were on site. A friend and I got to ride a canoe past the waterfall, and it was just amazing. (SO amazing that I almost cried lol!) It was my first time seeing a waterfall and being so close to it, so our Friday was a very special one for me.

Photos from Boti Falls:

The team! We’re so silly.
Taking in the beauty!
Group selfie!
Trying Cacoa for the first time

Then we headed back to Kasoa, and over the next few days, we got to have class and our weekly Twi lesson. This week, we talked a lot about colonisation in Africa, and “decolonizing the mind.” Oh goodness, I wish I could share my notes with you, but they are currently unavailable :(. Anyway, we got to talk about some of the untold history of Ghana and its history before Europe came to their land, and discussed the importance of remembering this history. Often times, Ghana’s history, as well as ours in the States and other countries around the world, begins at the time that colonizers came to the land. But, there was a beautiful history before then that was real and that should be acknowledged! It was awesome to do a lot of that “acknowledging” that week!

That week, the little things simply meant the world to me, like taking out the twists from my friend’s hair, hand-washing laundry with Rosie in the tiniest bathroom EVER, helping out at more teacher trainings, playing the “question game” with our team on the bus (asking each other random questions), having time to take in the beauty of nature and time for me to worship God during our hike, and exercising our bodies all of the way to shaking and soreness as a team.  

I couldn’t have asked for a better week that week! 

Till next time, 

Ashley

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