Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

10:09 pm

Well, I made it!

It already feels as if the time is going so fast, although it’s only my fourth night in Ghana. It is not that different than I imagined, but I suppose that is due to my previous travel experience. Despite having been to other African countries, I’m definitely still experiencing slight culture shock. While it’s not so much due to cultural difference, I find myself feeling homesick and always trying to be on the internet, or communicate to others back home in some way. However, I was expecting to feel this way as I am such a home body. There is literally nothing more I love than laying in my moms huge bed with my dogs and an endless mug of Earl Grey, catching up on my favorite soap operas. For most of the others I am with it is there first time in Africa, so I can hardly imagine how they are feeling.

My first night here was spent in a hostel in Accra, the capital city. When we woke up the first thing we did after breakfast was go to immigration to get our residents visa… and my picture looks like a mugshot…as usual. Before heading to the University of Cape Coast we stopped at VERY western shopping mall, which had shops including Mac makeup, an Apple store, Payless shoes and best of all a Second Cup!! I got an extra large tea, which in turn made me feel very nauseous on the bumpy bus ride to the University and I had to ask them to pull over so I could puke on the side of the road. If I’m being completely honest I got it all over my shoes. About 10 minutes later we stopped for a bathroom break, which of course was a squat toilet (literally a hole in the ground). And yes, I did get pee on my shoes too.

The following two days were spent settling into the University, which to my surprise is huge and hosts around 60,000 students. It’s basically the size of a small town, and has anything you could ever need including a hospital, dentist, fire and police station, 6 residence, restaurants, a market place and so on. You could live at this place and never have to leave.

Tonight I settled in to my home-stay, where Yasman and I live with Auntie Ivy and her two dogs. She cooked us such a delicious dinner of the traditional meal ‘Red Red’, which I think was spicy beans and tomato sauce? Regardless, the food here is awesome and it is surprisingly easy to be vegan. I’m so okay with having rice and fruit for almost every meal.

So basically I’m homesick and stuff but I expected it and I know I’ll get over it. I think the hardest part is not being around people I am familiar with. Like it’s a really weird feeling and I don’t know the best way to describe it. When I’m busy doing things I feel like I could live here for years, but sometimes I’ll get this wave of reality and go into shock that I actually signed up for this. Regardless, I am happy and grateful to be here and I get excited every morning to see what the day will bring, which is not necessarily something I would feel at home.



Published by

Taylor Holmes

Studying Cultural Anthropology and International Development at Trent University

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