Expect your stay here in Ghana to be hectic from day one! The Introduction Week was full of new impressions and information, and I fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow every night! The following two weeks of module one was just as busy, with intense reading at night, heated discussions in class and a field trip. We have one or two classes a day at the local university, UCC. It is about 15 minutes away by bus/taxi from the hostel. The campus is huge and resembles the ones in the UK or US. We’ve already had several joint activities with the other students, like a UN Summit Simulation. These are tons of fun and its great to get the “Ghanaian perspective” on various topics.
Twice a week, we go to the study center at Brenu Beach for lunch, beach volleyball and reading/sun tanning in the hammocks. The food is amazing and definitely a highlight of the week!
Cape Coast is a relatively small town – or least it feels like it, because you quickly learn the ins and outs of it. Everyone is very friendly, eager to help and keen to get to know us “obronis” (“white person”). Although it felt a bit weird being addressed as “obroni” at first, I hardly think about it anymore – its actually quite sweet to see how excited some of the younger kids get when they see us. Moreover, the official language is English, so its easy to chat with the locals and orientate yourself around town. If you don’t feel like walking, you can easily hail a taxi for just a few cedis, especially if you take a shared one (which basically functions as a mini bus). However, be aware that the drivers will often amp up the price for foreigners – stand your ground in the bargaining and you’ll get the appropriate price eventually! When it comes to groceries, most people get what they need from the many stands around town – but many of us do have a regular spot we go to. Food is very cheap and you can easily get a day’s worth of meals for 30 NOK. However, we indulge occasionally and go to the “European store” for cheese – after a few weeks with African food, toast tastes amazing! About half of the group is vegetarian or vegan, and its surprisingly easy to find “appropriate” food. You can for instance get beans all over town and there’s even a 100% vegan restaurant, the Baobab House!