Week #1: Accra, Ghana, Africa

So, since I haven't been able to blog at all since I left for Africa, I felt that the best way...without posting a million blogs just for this... I will post by week/weekend entries! First off, I would have to say that this was the most amazing experience I have ever had and will remember this for the rest of my life. Ghana, and well...Africa in all, is a beautiful place with beautiful people, inside and out, with so much potential for their low economy. It will be exciting to watch the country grow and hopefully to return someday. 

For the first five days, my group with 11 other OU students (of various majors), explore Accra, Ghana. Accra is the capital city in Ghana and we found to be the most westernize location out of all we toured. The first few days were very long and hard to adjust to the time difference. 

"Akwaaba" means 'Welcome' in one of Ghana's native languages, Twi

My flight buddy, Vanessa and I flew into Accra at 7:20 a.m. after being either in an aiport/airplane for 24 hours and still had a full day of touring to do! Thinking back, it was nice for us to adjust to a more western civilization of Ghana, time and weather before beginning our travels around the country. We attended mandatory orientations of the African culture, learning the Do's and Don'ts, health awareness, etc. I later found this to be quite helpful! We also began our OU classes learning the culture, politics and Twi language! Twi is one of Ghana's native laguages that is spoken in much of the areas we visited throughout the 4 out of 5 weeks we stayed in Africa.

We experienced our first performance one evening of African drumming, dancing and singing by an amazing group of people. 

By the end of the night, our whole group was attempting some African dancing with the performers.The next day, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by the same performers who taught us the exact moves to an African dance they did the night before! Followed by the dance session, we were taught some African drumming beats. Very cool, very hot and very memorable!

Our days in Accra were very eventful from sunrise to sunset (5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) We visited a local NGO, WISE, which provides services to people who are in a domestic violence situation. Since 2007, there has been a law establish for domestic violence, but many know that this is still a problem.

Seven out of 11 of us had the option of going through the Makola Market. This was definitely a new experience. Before going, I was a little excited to do some shopping for souvenirs, etc. and just seeing all kinds of new things in the area. Our tour guide/helper throughout our journey through Ghana, Kokroko, spoke with us about what we need to know before actually entering the market. This is probably the only place where I felt a bit insecure throughout the entire trip. We had to make sure we placed our belongings in front of us and everything out away. Luckily, there was Kokroko and Dannon who stayed in front and behind us girls :) 
When we entered the market, it was complete chaos!!! People everywhere, things for sale, trash and awful smells everywhere. Craziness!! Kokroko took us to his sister's little store at the top of a building where we were all able to snap some pictures.

More to come!


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