Friday, January 25, 2013

Settling in!

So, I totally meant to write on here like 2 days ago but charging phones and sitting down to write it without my phone being drained provided a problem.

Since, my last post a lot has happened so here's my shot at remembering everything. I decided to move hotels as I found it was a long way for me to get anywhere and they locked the gates so if I arrived back late there was no guarantee anyone would let me back in. Also, due to its remoteness simply finding food in the evening was difficult. I have since discovered the map on the website is a lie and isn't actually where it is so anyways, I am now in a new place for half the pricein a very buzzing and apparently cool area. Hotel is a little errm primitive but you get what you pay for...about $5! Got a bed and a light and a fan and a bathroom to share with people and bugs that has a cold shower and a toilet and a sink. What more could I ask for?

Since being here I have made a lot of friends. One in particular who now calls me his 'white sister' and calls himself my 'senior brother' because he says he looks after me. His name is Mahmed and we get on amazingly and it's nice to have someone to chat to about missing everyone. I tell him all about my life and he tells me all about his. I tell him all about America and the uk, he tells me about things here including me showing me how to cook Ghanaian food everyday and speaking the language! We have had some amazing chats about families, like our traditions in marriage and children. He is amazed that I have a boyfriend who will never 'want another woman'. He wants to fall in love with a white lady because they are honest with their man and dedicated. In Ghana, traditions of marrying more than one woman are decreasing but still it is very legal and encouraged by the older generations. I have taught him about all sorts in the western world and he makes me great food everyday including goats meat which I actually really like!!

Aside from goats meat and rice I am eating not much else. Things are carbs (rice/noodles) with meat (chicken/goat/beef). Breakfast is amazing as I walk down the street and buy tea-bread from the ladies and coconut from the men from their wheelbarrows. They hack the top off with a massive machete and you drink the middle then they crack it open and you eat the middle! Perfect morning.

In the days I have been around the bar with Mahmed and met his sister, Regina lots of his friends, get on well with his footballer friend maxwell and I like the guys from the hotel, Eric and Emmanuel.

Today though, I went on an exciting adventure and paid a guide to drive me around all the good places in accra (the capital city where I am staying now). WAs amazing but very tiring walking and talking in the heat all day. First went to acts centre which is a market where all things touristy is sold. Then went to the Kwame Nkrumah memorial park whih was amazing as he was the first president and I learnt all about his life including he went to prison, went to uni in Pennsylvania and was the president in power when Ghana gained independence. Then went to Jamestown! Which is amazing but shocking. It is the oldest and poorest town in accra. Saw the old slave fort and lighthouse but the amazing bit was going into the town. A local took us in to 'meet his people'. It's a fishing village so the first thing that hits you is the smell. The second is the flies and the third is the insane amount of people! Naked children, men with different shoes, women who can't walk properly because they have been carrying a baby on their back and a bucket on their head their whole lives. But I got to see their homes and they are so welcoming and kind. Then, came the best bit. Welcome to Jamestown school. These gorgeous kids were sat there shovelling food into their mouth with their hand but staring at me smiling at the same time. The school conditions are very similar to those i'll be working in with just 3 classrooms of wooden benches, very cramped. They have to teach the kids here when they can as if they are educated until 12 they can get into the government provided high school which is so important! All the teachers there are volunteers from the village who don't earn any money so rely on families giving them food and food for the children at school. Seeing their faces and their hard work was the best part of my day. Finally, we went to kokrobite beach. But after the experience at the school no beach was exciting!!

Spent this evening, chilling with Mahmed. Had some noodles and egg which had a name but I forgot!!

Anyway, I'm very tired and I've bored you all senseless with my very detail. Sorry it's so long! I will write more often hopefully so that they aren't so long but since none of the sockets work in my room it's a pain to use all battery or stand in te corridor to charge my phone!

Thank you for all your messages/emails!
I am trying to reply to all but it's really nice to hear from you so email me if you have a sec (siwan1994@gmail.com)

Love to all,

Siwan Emily

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