I just realized that is has been an entire month since I have written on here. I am super sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been trying so hard to immerse myself in the culture of this place so I have had barely any time with Internet. Where do I begin??
Ok first updates with school. Honestly, there kind of is still no school. There are lectures…sometimes…but no big assignments or work. It had its ups and downs. Sure, no school leaves time for traveling and adventuring, but school was how I got here in the first place. So that is kind of a disappointment. All of my classmates have been super helpful and are reassuring me that there is nothing to worry about. Praise The Lord for their encouragement. It is very strange to think about how at home, I would be starting my third month in about a week, and I have barely started for maybe a week here. Patience is a virtue, right? Well I sure am learning that now. I know everything will work out how He plans it. I ain’t got no worried.
The first week of the month was the cape coast festival. This is the biggest festival of the year for this town. And that is NOT an exaggeration. Since there was no school, I went out every day and experienced the entire festival week. What an experience!! The first night was awesome. It was filled with cultural dancing and drumming that was a dance for the gods of the ocean and the lagoon. The reason for dancing was asking for prosperity in the coming year. Not too sure what kind of prosperity but I’m pretty sure it was for fishing. Anyways, it was interesting and fun to watch but it was hard to understand exactly what was going on. But that was just the first night. The rest were different. On Tuesday, the second day, there was a boat race in the lagoon. They raced these very colorful wooden canoes that are typically used for fishing. Once again, it was very difficult to understand the meaning of the race or what the winner was to gain, but it was very interesting to watch and be around the HUGE crowd of people. Wednesday and Thursday nothing big went on in town, except for at night. The night life during festival time was crazy!! Music, dancing, lights, EVERYWHERE. And it was just so so so crowded. Like a lot of people. So I experienced a night club in Africa for my first time. That was fun. Friday was by far my favorite day, though. It was called Orange Friday and it was the first year that they have ever done it. I think it was sponsored by the radio stations but I am not too sure. It was a giant parade that stretched for at least five miles. It could’ve been more. There was music and dancing the entire time. And everyone was wearing orange and white. It was so much fun! Just a big party in the streets. No big deal. And Saturday was the big grand finale of the week. This was another parade festival in town but this time it was all traditional. There were kings and queens and chiefs being carried on platforms through the street. They came from all over the country and were dressed in regionally characteristic clothing. There was dancing going on all around them and drumming that was so loud and crazy it almost didn’t even sound like music. But seriously, it was seriously so amazing and so intense. Everyone in the festival met together at one park and listened to selected speakers talk and conclude the festival. Once again, I have no idea what was being said but it was still fun to watch.
So that was the entire first week of the month. I have not done much aside from that week, honestly. Just hanging out with my new friends, going to town, and going to a few lectures.
I did go to Accra, though! Two weekends back myself and 5 other exchange students went to the Capitol of Ghana and explored around a bit. The first day we got there, we went to the Amnesty International office since one if the students works with them in the states and he had a package to deliver and wanted to meet the people from this branch in Ghana. That was a lot of fun and very interesting learning about that organization and their work here as well as globally. After that, we experienced the art center near the coast. This was a giant art market filled with so many goods you couldn’t even imagine. There was jewelry, art, clothing, statues, bags, wooden crafts, etc. Just any art good you can think of, it was there. There must have been over fifty shops there. Most of them were selling the same, if not similar, things. But there was still a great variety. I only bought a couple things because I figured I was going to be back Accra multiple times before I go home. After the art market, we went to dinner at a restaurant on the beach with some people that we just met. Good people, good eats, good fun. We then went back to our amazing hostel for a good night sleep. The next day we did all the history things and went to a unique market. We went to the museum for natural history, the kwame Nkrumah memorial park, and the timber market. All of it was super interesting and I learned a lot about the history of Ghana from the park and the museum. But the timber market was my favorite. We heard that this market was special and was unique because of the goods it sold. There were animal skulls, skins, feathers, special stones and leaves/spices, horns from animals, voodoo figures, and other weird stuff. It was meant for witchcraft, voodoo, or black magic. I didn’t really ask any questions about the stuff because I didn’t know if I wanted to know the answer. It was just really cool to see this part of Africa. Later that night we went to a night club to celebrate one of the girls’ birthday. This club was SO classy. Like way nicer than I have ever seen or been to in the US. I was incredibly astonished and incredibly underdressed. Like woah, not at all what I was expecting. The next day, on Sunday, I ventured to the airport to greet my friend from back home and escort her to the orphanage/school that we are both going to be volunteering at. It was going to be my first time seeing the place, too so I was super excited to experience it for the first time with her. When we got to the volunteer house, we met a couple of the other volunteers and then almost immediately went to the orphanage. So we got there and honestly, I was incredibly intimidated at first by these kids. There were so many of them and I was coming into their house. I got to hang out with the children for a couple hours and they seemed to warm up to me within half an hour. I loved being around them but it was so hard to say that I wasn’t going to be back till December. They were all so sweet and kind I wanted to stay so much longer! I am really glad I got to see the kids and see where I am going to be spending Christmas! Over all, it was a very nice visit and I felt so accomplished afterward. And did I mention I made it back to cape coast all by myself, WITHOUT getting lost. Booyah.
That is about all that has gone on. I am super sorry for not updating in so long. I’m gonna try and do better!! Love you all.