Akwaaba means “You are Welcome”. I cannot count the amount of times I have heard this phrase the last 24 hours!
The plane rides were long but successful! I was surprised to find that a couple from my church, Josh and Lauren Woods were on the same flight as me! That helped to ease my mind a bit. I hardly slept from Calgary to Frankfurt, much to my disappointment. The Frankfurt airport was busy and ginormous! I am thankful that English is a universal language as my flight was not listed on the board when we got to the terminal. I was shocked at how many stores were in the airport and how expensive it was- it was like a mall. I grabbed some food and decided to check the flight list one more time and my flight was now at a different gate then I was previously told! Thank goodness I checked!! I hurried to the gate and they were already boarding my plane, much earlier than my ticket said. I was again surprised that no one was waiting to check my passport. I only had to scan my boarding pass and walk through. During this flight I was fighting to stay awake so I could get onto Ghana time as quickly as possible. This was hard, but Lord of the Rings kept me entertained 🙂 As we neared Ghana, you could feel the excitement growing with the locals who were returning to their home. As we landed the entire plane erupted in applause! We had made it!
I stepped off the plane to a very different environment. You can taste the humidity, it’s glorious! We took a bus from the tarmac to the actual airport. Everyone was very kind and pleasant and it took me no time at all to claim my luggage and get through customs. Once I was through, I met a lady named Lotti who was holding a nice big “SIM” sign. We stepped onto the busy streets of Ghana and it was like nothing I had ever experienced before! I am sure glad I won’t have to drive anywhere while I am here, the streets are terrifying! We made it to the guesthouse and needed to start the generator as there are often power outages in Ghana. Lotti showed me my room and the guesthouse and I met Sherri and 2 other girls who are staying here (Nono and Anne), and it wasn’t long till I was out cold in my bed.
I woke up at 9am today and enjoyed 12 hours of much needed rest! I had some breakfast and hung around the guest house and had lunch with Sherri. Well, I ate the lunch she made while she watched. (her church is fasting from 6 am- 6 pm for the entire month!). We made our way to the SIM office which is about a 5 minute walk away to get some money. Then we found a Trotro (cheapest mode of transportation; a minivanish thing) to take to the market. What an experience! Again, the roads here are a zoo, very glad there was someone else to navigate them! When you are walking people are constantly trying to sell you things or offer you a ride in a taxi. Because we are white, we have money.
We met many of Sherri’s friends along the way, who were all so kind and welcoming. A few of the gentlemen asked if Sherri would give me to them, she politely responded that she “would have to think about it”. One of her friends also gave me my Ghanaian name: Ama Asantewaa. Ama is because I was born on a Saturday and Asantewaa is the name of the Queen Mother who led the Ashanti rebellion against British Colonialism and is a symbol of strength. We picked up a few things from the main market called “Circle” including an adapter for my computer cord and a chip for my cell phone and headed home. What an experience in only 2 hours, and what a completely different world it is over here.
Once back at the guesthouse I was able to relax and then had a lovely dinner with Lotti and Anne, as well as a game of Skip Bo! Tomorrow I may get to participate in a drumming lesson and go to a shop that sells bags that are made out of recycled items. I will also take a taxi across the city to have dinner at the Iwans, another missionary family here.
Well that was a very long first update, I’m sorry! Continue to pray for me as I adjust to life in Ghana, although it has been going pretty well. The heat has been sweaty but not unbearable and I feel as thought I am almost caught up on sleep! Tomorrow I also begin some orientation of the culture and meet some more associates.
Thank you for your prayers and support! Akwaaba!!