For 3 months my life has been in Ghana, but now I am back home in Denmark. On my journey back, I had a layover in a European airport, which was the first time in a long while that I felt anonymous and able to blend in the crowd of travellers.
In this last blogpost from me, I will go back and remember all the great things about Ghana. Here is a list of the five things I will miss the most 🙂
1. The openness
The Ghanaians are so incredibly open and caring about their fellow human beings. While being in Ghana I have felt so welcome and safe because of the people there. In my experience, a Ghanaian is never too busy, they always have time to help you. For instance, I was in a shop looking for fabric to use for a skirt, I asked about a certain type of fabric which they did not have. Instead the girl in the shop left it and walked me through the streets to the place she knew would be selling what I needed. At other times I have experienced being lost at one of the big bus stations in Accra. After standing and looking lost for less than a minute, a Ghanaian has approached me and asked where I needed to go and helped me to get to the right bus. Being from a Scandinavian country where we are not so talkative in public space, I had to get used to it in the beginning. But now when I am back, I miss all the smiles and greetings.
2. Redred and other dishes
All the lovely Ghanaian dishes! Just thinking about them makes me hungry. Before I came to Ghana I expected to eat a lot of boring starchy foods (my friend ate cornmeal for all meals for three months in Malawi). But these expectations showed to be wrong. I have already mentioned Latitia, the best cook in Ghana, who made our breakfast and lunch for most of the time.
One dish I am going to miss especially is redred. It consists of fried plantains next to a bean stew – and yes, it might sound boring, but it is not. It is super tasty, and I am already trying to figure out how to make it myself.
3. The warmth
This one is debated. Every day in Ghana is warm and some days are even warmer. Some of the other students are definitely not missing the weather, whereas others are dreaming back to the days in the burning sun.
You might as well accept it, in Ghana you sweat A LOT! Walking in the midday heat will make you sweat everywhere, but it did not really seem embarrassing because it is the same for everyone and frankly people stop to care so much. Just remember to stay hydrated! 🙂
We all had a sunburn, or two, or five… Because as obroni (foreigner) you need to wear sunscreen pretty much all the time that you are not inside. That sticky mess was sometimes a bit annoying, but all the fun we have had in the sun is a hundred times worth it. All the swimming in the ocean, the surfing, playing volleyball and reading in the course texts in the sun 🙂
4. Kotokuraba market
The market in Cape Coast, which I have already mentioned in a previous blog post, deserves a second round on the blog. It is a market that has everything you need, and it is super cheap. Walking through this market is an experience for all the senses. There are weird smells, interesting products that you have never seen before, vendors offering their goods and tasty treats to taste on the way.
Fortunately, the last thing on my list is very easy to take home: all the great afrobeat music. It is great for dancing and is often a mix of English and a local language. Nigeria also has a very big music scene so many of the popular tunes in Ghana might be from Nigeria. But Ghana has one really popular singer at the moment: Ebony. If you mention that you like her, you will instantly gain some respect. Unfortunately, she died in a car crash in February, so you have to say “may she rest in perfect peace” or something similar when you mention her name! (Remember we are in one of the most religious countries in the world).
picture: ebony, kuami eugene
The Ghanaians are very happy about playing music – often quite loudly. And you literally have to be deaf to not become familiar with the local tunes. On a ride from Accra to Cape Coast through traffic (5 hours) we heard the same playlist over and over again. In the end, I was able to sing along even though I did not understand all the words I was singing. If you want to check out what the Ghanaians are listening to, you can listen to “Ghana Top Hits 2018” on Spotify.
This was some of the things that I loved about Ghana. If you go to there, I hope you will enjoy it just as much as I have 🙂