Week #5: Back in Ghana and Hard to say Goodbye

After how interesting Togo was during the time of our visit, I couldn't have been happier coming back to Ghana. We had an early departure from our guesthouse (Kent House) in Togo, we loaded our tro-tro and had all of our suitcases on the top and not strapped on... very well. We leave for the border and enjoy the sight seeing of the beach area, until we come to a stop and one of our suitcases go flying over the tro-tro. Of course everyone screams and are frantically nervous if it was their bag or not. (Many of us had wooden carvings packed in some way, so if our bags were to have hit the ground hard enough, it most likely would have been in a few pieces) After the anxiety of it all, it was Dannon's bag (the only male with us). We strapped everything back on and shortly arrived at the border for a complicated/frustrating time filling out paperwork twice with the smallest border crossing ever from Togo into Ghana. By this time, I was so ready to just be in Ghana again. Yes, it was almost like I was "homesick" with the familiar area and language that I had a rough time with during the stay in Togo.

The first person we all come across was our tour Ghanaian tour guide, Kokroko (a.k.a. Koko). We were all so very happy to see him as he was to see us as we were greeted with the biggest smile. We loaded into our trotro deluxe and off we went to Fort Prinzenstein Slave Castle that had not been touched since the slaves had left. It was much smaller, due to the ocean taking some of it away over time, but it was the same history as the previous two we visited earlier on in the trip.

Our next stop was at a pretty fancy resort that overlooked the Volta river, which flowed into the ocean. From listening to tips from our professor, it is not recommended to do much swimming in the river since there are crocodiles! We took a boat tour and saw what "paradise" looked like. This was one amazing scenery that we all had to pinch ourselves to make sure it was really what we were seeing.

The rest of the day was driving back to Accra and ending at the K.N.U.S.T. Guest House, the very familiar area, or as most of us liked to call "home." By this time, all of us could not actually believe our time in this beautiful country was almost coming to an end, so most of us decided to go for dinner and hang out for some quality time together.

Happy 6th Birthday to my sweet nephew, Cooper!! Unfortunately, I had to miss his birthday with my family and his friends party the weekend before, but I gave him a call and explained how much I had missed him and was flying home soon.
My little buddy opening presents.

The day's agenda went little something like this: breakfast, "study" for our Africa map quiz, finish other assignments to turn-in later in the day, lunch out in Accra, last class/quiz/reflection of the trip as a whole and dinner at Frankie's! Frankie's was a tasty restaurant with smoothies and healthy sandwich wraps. After, we all went to the near-by restaurant/bar to bond more before most of us said our goodbyes the next day.

Today was our last "official" day for the "Expedition to Africa" trip. The evening before when we were all reflecting on our experience (pros and cons) from the past five weeks. We all went around in a circle sharing the things that impacted our lives the most, I believe mine was the people and how simply amazing they are... every single one of them. Our professor was last and explained to us how proud she was that we all made it through the entire trip. (At this point, the voice inside my head was saying..."Well yeah, why wouldn't we have made it through the five weeks??!) She said she had been so worried about us wanting to leave early and fly home, catching a severe illness (i.e. malaria), getting lost or even be taken. She said that Africa was hard. Every day was different and was a constant roller coaster at times. 

After she explained this, it made most, if not all of us feel a little relief and a sense of pride knowing that Africa is a challenging place to live and even "get use to." Yes, there were things that many of us became adapted to and let a little of our guard down on... Ex: I stopped using bug spray after two and a half weeks. Another student brushed their teeth with the water without letting it run through a filter prior. But some situations are just complicated. Many of us felt that if we can survive Africa, we can survive anything! 

On with my scheduled day...
A few of us decided to go on a "run." Might I add, I didn't exercise anymore than what everyone did as a group on our field trips through out the five weeks, so going on a run in 100% humidity and blazing sun was a shock to the body. The path we took, mainly on the side of the road and along the gutter was definitely harder than we thought it would be. I stumbled three times! So, our run lasted maaaaybe 10 minutes. (Lame! On with the rest of our day...!) 

Soon after, it was just about time to leave for our farewell meal at a Swiss/Dutch Institute where we would meet again with our professor from Kumasi, Dacosta! It was a delicious meal and great to share laughs for the last time with Dacosta and our tour guide, Kokroko. For the students who had planned to leave were discovering flight cancellations, so off they went to negotiate with the airlines, yes... negotiate. 

The rest of the day played out and had a late dessert with our professor and the three of us left, Vanessa, Alex and myself decided to meet up with a friend of ours from OU who was visiting a relative in Ghana (small world!). 
Edna, Tiona and I

We had a very long and interesting evening and experienced a well-noticed strategy many African children play out, or shall I say "act out" and beg, when really, it was testing the Americans how much we could give. (I'm not going to get into this topic at the moment.) We did come across the first elevator in Africa, which was a huge rarity! Towards the end of the late night, I bought chicken kebobs that literally lit my mouth on fire and had a hard time breathing. That's always fun way to go to bed.

Just like one of my previous blogs about not wanting to wake up to see this day come (leaving my host family). Alex, Vanessa and I woke up with anticipation to live up our last 12 hours in Africa, so we head to the beach! Unfortunately, the Accra public beach was not too nice and we had to give up our last few cedis (dollars) to enter the dirty beach, but we snapped some photos anyways.
{See what I mean?!}
Myself and Vanessa

Our day passed by quickly and we were already finding ourselves missing Ghana even before stepped on the plane back to the U.S. 
Me, Vanessa and Alex before heading to the Accra airport
{Photo taken from Vanessa}

It's quite challenging for me to actually describe in words just how my trip to Africa was, but there's not a day that passes by that I don't think about Africa. Whether it be the wonderful people, eye-opening scenery, authentic cuisines, or even just the fact that I wish someone would yell out "Obruni!!" to me, it's a place that has deeply touched my life and has changed me. I know in the future, possibly being a year or 10 years from now, I will make my way back to the continent so I can have the feeling I had where it felt like "home."



  1. I'm so glad you got to take this trip. It sounds like you had a great time!


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