One of the things I’ve loved – and occasionally hated – during my stay in Ghana is living at Nana Bema Hostel with the other students and it’s something I doubt I’ll experience in any other setting. Even if you have lived in a ‘kollektiv’ or dorm before, it can’t quite match the experience of living with 30 other people for ten weeks – with both the goods and the bads!
Unless you have specified otherwise, you’ll share a room with two or three other people. Its about thirteen rooms in total, divided over the two floors. None of the rooms are particularly big, its gone by without any problems on my part. You’ll hardly spend time in the room anyways besides sleeping, so no need to worry about the space too much.
The kitchen, study room and living room is a ‘free for all’, so I’m not going to sugar coat it – expect some bickering over who ate your last peanut butter, which movie you should see or who forgot to clean their dishes. However, the people traveling with Kulturstudier are usually pretty cool people, so it wasn’t any problem talking it through and agreeing on some rules we could all agree on. We even made a written ‘kitchen agreement’ – something I highly recommend everyone to do!
Despite some frustration about a messy kitchen, the pros far outweigh the cons of living with the rest of the group. First of all, you always have someone to eat dinner with, join for a soccer game or simply hang out in the living room. 17 of us went also to Busua together for a couple of days in September, others have gone to Cape Three Point or Elmina.
At Nana Bema, we’ve had several parties and a proper Scandinavian barbeque – complete with rain! Many of us also participated in dance and drumming instructions, as well as a cooking class; all of them tons of fun!
But perhaps, the most illustrating example of the pros is the long weekend. It was something all of us had looked forward to for a long time – finally some time to get away from Nana Bema and see something new! Unfortunately, several of us were sick and couldn’t go anywhere – but it turned out to be a great weekend after all, with movies every night, card games and great dinners. Actually, when it comes to sickness in general, everyone really stepped up and took care of each other. For instance, a quick update on how your stomach is doing every morning at breakfast is totally socially acceptable – even expected, as almost everyone has had food poisoning or typhoid at one point during our stay.
Now that the course is over, almost everyone is travelling around Ghana and West-Africa with some of the other people from the course – in other words, you make friends for life while you’re here!
Cape Coast at day
Swimming at Brenu Beach