Saturday, June 13, 2015

The end of my Rotary year has come...now what?


        I’ve been home from Ghana for about three weeks now.  It’s good to be back home around my friends and family, and even a bit strange to measure my life now against what it has been in the past year.  In the past several days, I’ve give a Rotary presentation to my sponsor Rotary Club, gone on summer vacation, and caught up on eating some of my favorite foods. Here’s a look at life back home.
After a grueling 24 hour flight from Accra to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Washington, DC, and Washington to Columbia, I was finally reunited with my family.  In addition to my parents and sister greeting me at the terminal, it was great to have my aunt and uncle there supporting me.  My mom was a bit upset with herself because she was in the bathroom when I arrived.  She did, however, feel a bit better once we did a reenactment of me walking across the threshold (hopefully that photo will be believable once its developed).  We were so happy to see each other, no one hardly knew what to say, but everyone was smiling ear to ear. 
         After retrieving my luggage from the conveyor belt and packing my dad’s truck, we made our way to…you guessed it, IHOP!  Oh, how I’d missed creamy, delicious, sugary, artery clogging pancakes covered in chocolate chips and drenched in strawberry sauce and whip cream.  It was quite the treat.  At the dinner table, I discussed the various differences in the US and Ghana, like how big, sweet, and cheap fruit is in Ghana, how there are easy ways to conserve energy by turning off the power to the outlets when they aren’t in use, and listening to Hi-life on sweet cool nights at the Goil station in Cape Coast.  Everyone listened on in awe as I told my story and commented on how good I looked.  I told them I was glad I looked better than I felt!
At least dad wasn't in the bathroom when I showed up :)  May 23, 2015

Great family photo, but I was ready to see my bed!  May 22, 2015
A very nice family dinner, May 24, 2015


RIGHT.  ON.  May 23, 2015 
There's my wonderful childhood bed in my childhood room.  Looked so great that
 night 'cause I was so tired.Just how I left it, except with new comfy sheets.  Thanks, mom!  May 23, 2015


        While I thought I’d get to sleep peacefully all day on Monday morning, my uncle called Sunday night to let us know he’d be sending my cousin to help me clear out my storage unit from Charleston the next day.  Needless to say I was seeing double the next morning, but we cleared everything out within a matter of hours and were back home in no time.  
Breakfast the next morning: grits, liver pudding, eggs, leftover pancakes,
milk and coffee with oodles of whipped cream.  SCRUMPTIOUS!  May 23rd, 2015

So glad so my cousin came to help me move!  All my possessions, May 24, 2015
On Wednesday morning, I was more than excited to head to the Rotary Club of Daniel Island to give my coming home presentation.  There was a full house, and the Club members welcomed us (my parents and I) warmly.  They were eager to hear all about my adventures.  The days leading up to the meeting, I had no idea how I was going to fit the best and boldest of my experiences into a 20 minute presentation, but I did my best.  And everyone seemed pleased.  At the end, when it was time for questions, everyone remained in their seats, silent.  One of the club members addressed me and said, “Sierra, your presentation was so interesting and your presentation so thorough we really don’t have any questions.”  President Vail concurred and after a presentation of the club banners from Ghana, a few more announcements, and the reading of the four way test, the meeting was concluded.  Mary, one of the club members, took some incredible photos of us.  All in all it was a wonderful morning.
I’m sure that at the forefront of the club members’ minds was what are my plans now (perhaps you all as my readers would like to know, too).  With great pride, I announced that I had accepted a position as an English Language teacher at a Christian school in Ghana.  That’s right, I’m going back!  I am currently earning my TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certification to teach adults, youth, and children how to read, write, and reason in the English language.  
My classroom in Ghana! May, 2015
As I told many of the club members, I feel God calling me to return to missionary work, only this time overseas instead of in the US at the home office.  I look forward to hopefully helping someone with my God given talents and abilities.


What can I say about my Rotary year?  I owe this experience to Rotary.  Rotary International has changed so many lives through the generous and unwavering support of amazing people like Rotary Club of Daniel Island and Rotary Club of Tema club members.  Rotarians share their time, talent, and treasure to make the lives of graduate students, high school and college kids better and to give the underserved a voice.  I can’t begin to say what Rotary means to me.  I’m looking forward to continuing to be involved with Rotary upon arriving to Ghana.  There are so many ways to get involved and give back to our global community.  

                What can I say about Ghana?  This ‘small’ country on the edge of West Africa has challenged me, stretched me, pushed me to my limits, at times, made me laugh, and at times, made me cry.  An African American living in Ghana for several years, my host mother told me that when the time came for me to return home, I would be glad to be back, see my family, pig out on food, enjoy the ease of life, but then something would make me want to come back.  And she was right.  But I look at things differently now.  So far I’ve done some good hard down eatin’, but I’ve noticed even more how fattening our food is.  I’ve done some shopping, although the department stores look like metal jungles full of clothes and I can’t shop ‘till I drop the way I used to.  I look at our (Americans’) material ease of life and how so many others can’t imagine the freedoms we enjoy.  And as desperate as I was to return home, I find myself thinking about Ghana every day, smiling when I receive a ‘how are you doing’ message from one of my Ghanaian classmates, or praying that the power rationing situation has stabilized a bit for the sake of the people (and mine ‘cause soon I’ll be back).  And I have to admit that I’m just a little sad.  The decision I’ve made is really beginning to dawn on me.  Am I officially moving overseas?  Yes.  Will I be thousands of miles—a 24 hour plane ride away from my family?  Yes.  Is this a dangerous time for foreigners to live overseas?  Yes.  But last time I checked, there is danger at home and abroad. I will save enough money to see my family at least once a year and for now, God has called me to Ghana, and I’m finally beginning to live my dream—traveling the world, living a decent life, and serving others through my God-given abilities.  We only get one life to live, and while it’s not perfect, I wouldn’t trade mine for anything.

Finally, a big thanks to all of you out there, from all parts of the world.  I've received hits from Russian, France, Kenya, and different parts of the US, to name a few.  Your continued support has kept up my motivation to keep up maintenance on the blog.  So to say thank you (and by popular demand) to all of my readers around the world, I am announcing the launch of a new blog this fall.  Check back on this site in August to be directed to my new blog where I will discuss living, working, and serving the people and expatriates of the Ghanaian community (hopefully all of you will read and comment on my blog int he comment section.  I hope next time around it will be more of a discussion and I really want to meet all of you out there in cyberspace!) But for now, I leave you with one of my favorite Ghanaian songs, “Nyame Egwamaaa” by Joyce Blessing.  I will leave you, my readers, with the task of looking up the meaning.  Until this fall, (or late rainy season) be blessed!!

"Nyame Egwamma" by Joyce Blessing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8LyQGXtVxc






Monday, June 1, 2015

I made it through second semester exams!

        May 22nd marked the last day of a two week exam period.  After about 18 weeks of school, the second semester of my graduate program culminated in six exams over the course of two weeks.  Much excitement, nervousness, and tears enveloped this semester, and by the final few weeks of group presentations and papers, it was all any of my classmates and I could do to turn in our papers on time!  Here’s a look at how I weathered the storm during second semester courses.

Saying see you later (not goodbye) to my host club, the Rotary Club of Tema, May 12, 2015
I thought first semester was rough, but second semester proved to be a monster!  In one class it seemed like we were giving presentations every day, in another there was so much information I wasn’t sure where to begin with taking class notes or what the salient points were (because it all seemed very relevant), and in statistics class, there were some new concepts I did not remember from undergrad.  Although our professor assumed we had learned these things in undergraduate school (which we hadn’t), thankfully he went back and broke everything down.  After crunching a few numbers, here’s what I came up with for the workload this semester:
  • 13 Papers
  • 6 Group Presentations
  • 35 Pages written (typed) for independent papers
  • 38 Pages written (typed) for group papers
  • 62 Pages written (by hand) for exams

Total pages of final drafts completed for assignments and exams=35 pages
I’d have to say that my favorite class this semester was the qualitative side of research methods.  In addition to learning how to really think like a social scientist, we discussed the different assumptions of qualitative research, the five approaches to qualitative research inquiry, and read some really fascinating articles.  I’m also looking forward to working toward having two papers published, with the help of my professors.

Tutoring for our statistics exam, May 16, 2015
          All I can say for exams is that God got me through them.  There were times when I was so exhausted, so tired of studying.  I felt that I couldn’t pack anymore information in my brain and all Iwanted to do was head to Cape Coast for a night of hi-life music at the Goil gas station!  At times I was studying so hard I developed headaches, and while there was a lot more to be done, I had to break and call it a night to get some rest before exams.  By the fourth exam I wasn’t sure how much I could take, and b the fifth exam, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.  But by the end of the sixth exam, once it was all over, I walked out of the exam hall with a swing in my step and a song in my heart.  I stopped to talk with my classmates who were in the library studying for their elective exams, walked around my department to tell my professors and the IT guys goodbye, and then I made my way off campus.  There really wasn’t much sadness: I knew I would return to Ghana and that I would continue to build relationships with the UG faculty, administration and my colleagues.  The road wasn’t easy, but the next evening, when I finally finished packing and stepped on the plane to fly home, there was relief, joy, and thankfulness to God in heart for helping me survive.  The road to and through Ghana was rocky, but I was able to hike my way through!


This ends my discussion on exam week.  Later this week, I’ll discuss my first week back home in the US and catching up on all the things I’ve missed in the past year.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A mini end of year celebration!

       






         As the school semester comes to a close (I’m in the last week!) I couldn’t help but wonder what would be a nice, low key way to celebrate the trials and triumphs of the school year with my classmates.  A few weeks ago, the idea came to mind to bake a few goodies as one final time of fellowship together as a class during our time on campus.  I’d like to think that my classmates enjoyed the surprise!  Here’s a look at our celebration.

Cooking is not really my thing, unless I’m really in the mood to cook something special or I’m really hungry.  But when I do get in the kitchen, I like to experiment and try different things.  Upon discovery of a delicious recipe for coffee banana muffins a couple of months ago, I decided to convert this recipe into one for a loaf and bake it for my classmates.  I also threw in some chocolate powder which made it all the more tasty. 

Whipping something up in the kitchen, May 3, 2015
Mashed bananas...yum!  May 3, 2015
         In addition to a yummy bread loaf, I found an oh so sweet recipe for peanut butter cookies.  I love the chef who created the recipe to death, but three major ingredients—peanut butter, sugar, and butter—what was she thinking!  I knew my classmates would kill me if I presented something to them so sweet, so I added a cup of wheat flour.  It didn’t really help the sweetness, but the were quite tasty to me!  After baking and letting the goodies cool I wrapped everything up and prayed it would taste okay.

The next morning, my classmates seemed pleasantly surprised to enjoy the sweet treats after our final Program Planning and Evaluation class.  Yes, some of my classmates did complain about the sugar and no, the black coffee did not seem to take be black enough.  Ironically, some of my classmates were complaining about the sugary cookies and cake, but asked me why I didn’t bring any sugar for the coffee!

Peanut butter cookies with toffee bits and chocolate coffee banana loaf...yummalicious if I do say so myself!  May 4, 2015
My classmates enjoying, May 4, 2015
The enjoyment continues with water, juice, hot black coffee, and local music!  May 4, 2015
Afterwards, we all came together to take a group photo.  Even one of our professors joined in the fun!  While very lovely, I wished it would have come out a little clearer.  While sending the photo to all of my classmates and my professor, I thought it would be nice to send it to one of my other professors as well.  Four days later, at the end of our Contemporary Issues in Adult Education class, my professor asked me why he wasn’t called to be in the photo!  After explaining that I went by his office twice and he wasn’t there, we decided to take another group photo.  I was very glad for the opportunity because this photo came out a lot clearer.  All in all, it was a good week of smiles and laughter for our last week of class together.

Since last September, my classmates and I have experienced several ups and downs with our graduate courses, including cancelled classes (without notice), numerous power outages (learning in the dark with no air condition), and slow internet connection (sometimes none at all).  While we’ve had some setbacks, we’ve also had some good times, too, like joking about how to pronounce the words 'bricoleur' and 'bricolage' and laughing about the workload to keep from crying.  While we’ve had some differences of opinion now and then about how to go about our group work or life in general, I've learned a lot from all of my classmates and I’m a much better person for meeting them, my professors, and the University of Ghana staff as a whole.

Posing with our professor after our last class together...ever...tear! May 8, 2015
        This ends this week's posting.  In a few days, I’ll be flying the friendly skies on my way back home to beloved friends and family (yay!).  Next week I’ll discuss saying farewell to my host Rotary Club and a grueling two week exam period and finishing the year strong (currently have 5 exams down and 1 to go…can’t wait!!) Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Care Package Número 2!

          Not too long ago I had the opportunity to pick up a long awaited care package at the post office.  I was so happy to have my much needed supplies that I tore into the box before I took any photos!  So you’ll be seeing some reenactments.  Here’s a look at the care package.

  By the time I received the package, it had already been in the country for about a month.  My parents and I were debating whether or not to use the regular mail service or a private carrier.  In our haste and indecision, we ended up using the wrong address!  I had made countless trips to the Adenta post office looking for a little pink slip of paper in the hostel’s PO box, only to later find out that the slip never got there because the package was at the main office.  I found this out after making a couple of trips to one of the big post office in the main city area (where I picked up my last package).  A friend and I made three trips there and on the third trip, all of the conditions were right—it was a week day, during business hours, I had my tracking number, and met up with some friendly workers—all good ingredients for helpful service.  

          Shortly after we arrived the power went out, so we had to wait for the generator to be turned on and for the computer system to reboot itself.  After a while later we were told we had to go to Circle.  In midday traffic from the campus it took about 45 minutes to get to the city post office; getting to the Circle office took about 30 more minutes.  After a bit more of back and forth (I’ll spare you the details) I had my package in hand.  I was overjoyed and thankful that after nearly two months, it was sitting safely on a shelf with everything intact.

My package had been in Ghana since March!  May 8, 2015


               Once I got home, I opened my package again (I had to open it once at customs) and was pleasantly surprised to see the contents inside.  There I found all the things I’d so desperately needed: two new pairs of sturdy shoes, a month-by-month planner, a wall calendar, citronella candles, and much more.  Two of my favorite cereals were in the box, along with some other goodies my parents stuffed in like popcorn, Girl Scouts Samoas and Thin Mints, and Goldfish.  While all of these comforts made me smile inside and out, the CDs were perhaps one of my favorite things.  How I missed my Maxwell, Lauryn Hill, and Kirk Franklin tunes!  While packing to come to Ghana, I quickly ran out of space and had to leave my CDs behind.  Now that I have them, I rotate the tunes and listen to the same songs every day!

Can't wait to use this cooler at the beach in a couple weeks!  May 7, 2015 
SWEEET new pair of kicks, May 7, 2015

Samoas are A-OK!  May 7, 2015
Thumbs up for sweet cinnamon!  May 7, 2015
More cheese, please!  May 7, 2015


     It means so much to have some of the comforts from home.  These seemingly small things make a bit difference and provide great relief during the challenging moments of living abroad.  That’s all for now.  Next week, I'll discuss wrapping up the last week of classes with my colleagues!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Good Eatin' with my housemates

       Believe it or not, this Friday will mark the 10th month that I’ve been in Ghana.  Even more amazing is that I am now in the last teaching week of the year.  Next week is revision week and then two grueling (and I mean grueling) weeks of exams.  It’s hard to believe that so much time has gone by so quickly!  As I set my thoughts on home, one of the things I keep mentioning to people is how I’m going to tear up some good Southern food!  (I’m wondering whether or not I should ask my parents to bring a banana peanut butter bacon shake with them to the airport, though by the time I get through customs, it will probably have melted).  While I’ve been waiting to get back to the familiar for a bit, I had the chance to enjoy a hearty dinner last week, courtesy of one of my compound mates.  Here’s a look at the food we enjoyed.

I mentioned in a recent post that since I’ve moved to my new apartment, my compound mates have been very sweet and very accommodating.  For example, since last October, there have been severe power outages across the country.  In the area where I live, we usually have 12 hours with power and 24 hours without.  When I first moved in, the generator would be turned on around 8:00pm.  This was not conducive to my learning.  Being the only one in the compound who is a student, I asked my housemates if they would work with me and have the generator turned on by 7:00pm so that when I get home by 6:00pm from campus, I could do some work before bedtime.  They willingly obliged and now I have more productive time to study and prepare for the next day.  

        My first week at the compound, one of my compound mates had me over for dinner.  Ghanaian-American, she prepared food that was a nice blend of the familiar and something original: colorful vegetables were embedded in the macaroni and cheese, something I would have never thought of but was quite tasty.  We enjoyed teriyaki chicken, and corn on the cob, all over a bed of fluffy, steaming white rice.  We had a good chat over dinner about life in Ghana and how we miss our families in the Southern US.  As if this hearty dinner weren’t enough, for dessert I had a big bowl of steaming peach cobbler smothered in vanilla ice cream!  When it was time to go back to my apartment, I could barely move!  My compound mate also sent me back across the way with a helping of dinner for another night and some peach cobbler!  All I could think was ‘delicious’!

Check out the spread!  April 19, 2015
Eating by lantern light.  The power came back on half way through the meal, yay!  April 19, 2015
What's for dessert?  Peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.  Delish!  April 19, 2015
In addition to this tasty meal, a few nights later, my apartment mate purchased some fresh fish from one of the local seafood stores.  She brought home a huge blue bag of fish.  She said she had only ordered a few kilos, but the man at the shop gave her a whole lot more!  That night, she prepared a feast of fried and stewed white fish!  Another of our compound mates came over and we had a great time.

Tasty white fish with white rice and lime soy sauce, courtesy of my apartment mate, April 21, 2015

It’s great to be living with such kind, accommodating housemates!  They’ve made the transition to my new home so smooth and fun.  Hopefully I’m returning the favor!  This ends this week’s post.  Check back in a few days for the next exciting post!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Trip to region number 8: Kumasi and Lake Bostumtwi!

      



        As I sit here writing this blog post, this time last week I was riding a bus, on my way back home from Kumasi.  I’d traveled through Kumasi on my way to the North last year, but hadn’t had a chance to explore.  My trip to the former capital city and stay at Lake Bostumtwi was fun and, as usual, unpredictable.  Here’s a look at my trip to the bustling city.

Busy and tired as I was/am, I knew I had to make my way to Kumasi before the end of my Rotary year.  I woke up one day last week, somewhat impulsively, and decided I would make the five hour bus ride.  So I made some calls and enquiries, secured a reservation at the hotel, packed my things, and Friday morning found a taxi to take me to the bus station at 5:30 in the morning.  When we arrived around 6:00, the Accra bus station was already bustling and full of life.  Just as my classmate had told me, there were busses leaving frequently, so getting a ticket was easy.  One major difference between public transportation in Ghana and the US is, unlike back home where the bus has a set route and time to leave each stop, busses in Ghana don’t leave the depot until the bus is filled—completely filled!  So even though I boarded the bus around 6:15, we didn’t move until the bus was completely filled at 7:15!  I was happy when we finally took off.  And because it was so early in the morning, I snapped a few photos from my window seat and went right back to sleep.

Leaving Accra, April 10, 2015
Heading towards Kumasi, April 10, 2015
          We made a couple of stops before we got to Kumasi.  It’s not difficult for me to gather my courage to go on a trip solo—it’s after I get to my destination that I sometimes wonder how I’m going to get where I want to go!  Fortunately, a kind man in the seat behind me overheard my asking where the “Kejeta” market was.  He slid his hand between the cobalt leather seat, tapped me on the shoulder, and asked, “Is this where you’re trying to go?”  He had written out Kejetia market on a small slip of paper.  “Yes,” I said, “That’s exactly where I’m trying to go.  No wonder no one understands me; I’m pronouncing it wrong.  Do you know how I can get there?”

“Yes, I’ll show you at the last stop.”  Boy was I thankful for that kind man.  Sure enough, he spoke in the local language to a taxi driver and helped me find my way.  I had the taxi driver take me to the Forex Bureau and then to a place where I could find some good American-style food.  For lunch I had tuna pizza (as I said before, sounds gross, but was quite good).  After relaxing in the air condition, I got directions from the hotel receptionist and made my way to Kejetia Market.  I had to ask a few other people, but finally found my way there.

What I saw from the backseat of the taxi, April 10, 2015

Tuna Pizza at Sabron Hotel, April 10, 2015
Carving of former Ashanti royalty, April 10, 2015
        Kejetia Market is the largest open air market in West Africa.  True to all I have read and heard, this market has everything anyone could need.  From children’s toys to handkerchiefs to cooking pans to costume jewelry, it’s a consumer’s dream.  I had limited time to look around since I’d soon have to leave for Lake Bostumwi, so I strategized and headed for the fabric center.    All I can say about the fabric was that it was fabulous!  Any color, shade, material, length, design, pattern, this place had it!  I was in awe of the beautiful local patterns, imported laces, polished cottons, and chiffons that were in every stall from the ground all the way to the ceiling.  I seriously could have spent my whole afternoon just walking around the center.  Finally, I decided on buying four yards of a GORGEOUS lace material I will have made into a baby doll style dress.  I only wish I’d had more time to explore that fascinating place!

Walking through Kejetia Market, April 10, 2015
The Market's a busy place!  April 10, 2015 
Fantastic fabrics!  He's pulling down the one I purchased, April 10, 2015

A view from above of Kumasi, April 10, 2015
Hustle and bustle of the city, April 10, 2015
An African Bathhouse.  It may look crude, but I was pushed to use the bathroom and was happy to use it.  The first time I tried one of these I was a bit grossed out, but this time it was kind of fun!  April 10, 2015

They call this "A Piece of Loaf" or something like that.  We saw it at the tro tro station.  This is by far one of the most delicious road side treats I've had since I've been in the country; warm and flaky with a hint of sweetness!  April 10, 2015
        Shortly after I made my purchase, I received a call from my classmate’s friend who lives in Kumasi.  Fortunately, we were able to meet and chat over drinks.  It was great to have someone in the city to meet with and talk about my experiences.  Not only was Lucy’s (my classmate) friend a good conversationist, he also helped me find my way to Lake Bostumtwi.  I had no idea about the complexities of finding the right tro tro and making my way to the neighboring city, only to find another tro tro and go another 30 minutes to another neighboring city, then hiring a taxi to take me 20 minutes to the lake!  My new friend put me in touch with his brother in the neighboring city and together, they got me where I needed to go!


Once I arrived at Lake Bostumtwi around 7:30 at night, I was tired, but not too tired to get some delicious Tilapia for dinner!  After placing my order, I went up to my room and found a quiet, spacious place for reading and resting.  I took a quick shower and had dinner.  After dinner, I went straight to bed.  My rest was quiet and comfortable, and I slept soundly through the night.

My accommodation, warm and cozy, April 10, 2015
My huthouse, April 11, 2015 
Pathway to breakfast, April 11, 2015
A decadent breakfast, April 11, 2015 
The open air lobby, April 11, 2015
The next morning, I woke to a serene landscape of palm and mango trees and a well manicured lawn.  I took a shower, dressed, and headed down to the open air lobby for breakfast.  My ‘pancakes’ (really crepes) and fruit were tasty, but the syrup they poured on the crepes was a little too sweet, even for me.  After doing some reading over breakfast, Joshua, the manager, showed me to beautiful Lake Bostumtwi.  It was too dark to see the night before, but in the light of day, it was lovely.  Surprisingly, the water was boiling hot!  I’ve never been to a lake where the water was so warm.  When I told my dad, he said the lakes heat showed how hot the earth is in those parts.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go for a swim, but I did get some nice shots of the lake.

Lovely Lake Bostumtwi, April 11, 2015
        After taking a wonderful midday nap, I took a walk to the neighboring hotel, grabbed some lunch, and did some more resting.  As I surfed the web in the lobby, a cool rainstorm came upon me and the hotel attendants.  I was more than happy for the rain, as it helped cool things down considerably.  It was so peaceful to sit in the open air lobby and feel the cool breeze as it blew through the handmade bamboo blinds.  Surfing the web by candlelight was interesting, too.  When the power went out around 6:00pm, Joshua brought me a candle so I could continue my work.  All I can say about the staff is that there were so sweet, accommodating, and friendly.  They wanted to know all about life in America and were anxious to see my photos.  They found a fresh bar of soap for me to bathe with, provided ample hot water, and apologized profusely for not having rotating desserts (as was advertised).  We had fun taking photos together and discussing the similarities and differences between Ghana and the US.

Working on a blog post by candlelight, April 11, 2015
Guess who, April 11, 2015
Posing with Joshua in the Lobby, April 11, 2015
Posing with Eunice in the lobby, April 11, 2015
A twist on Chicken Masala with pasta and starfruit salad, April 11, 2015

Closeup of the starfruit salad, quite refreshing, April 11, 2015

The next morning I woke early, paid my bill, said goodbye to Eunice and Joshua, got in the taxi, and headed back to the neighboring town for the long tro tro ride back to Kumasi.  After arriving in Kumasi I made my way back to the hotel with the American style food, where my classmate’s friend met me to chat while I had breakfast.  Shortly afterwards we headed to the roadside and hitched a taxi to the bus station.  We said our goodbyes and I found my seat on the bus, which was pretty comfy—at least until we started hitting potholes and speed bumps on the highway!  About five hours later, we were back in Accra.

Once back home, safe and sound, I chatted with my neighbors in the compound, unpacked my belongings, took a nice hot shower, and thanked God for a safe and fun journey.  That evening as I laid in bed to rest before the busy week to come, I smiled to myself for making the trip.  I never get tired of adventure and was thankful for a chance to get out of Accra.