Ghana volunteer’s journal – “The dream”

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The dream

By Taylor Swanson (Canada)

I set off by myself on Saturday morning to meet people in Accra that I didn’t know so that I could go to a town that no one in Tema had ever heard of…The day started off on a sour note when I was forced to wait at the trotro station in Tema for an hour–trotros do not have set times when they depart stations, rather they wait until they are full…this could take 5 mins or, as in this case, it could take an hour…Thankfully I had given myself loads of time to get to Accra so I made it in time to meet Naomi, Natalie and Andrea(although it took two attempts for me to correctly identify them). We caught a trotro from Accra to the Krokrobite turn off and then hoped into a taxi to go down to Krokrobite; however, 500 metres into the voyage our taxi broke down…the driver then removed a large piece of the engine and put it in the trunk and then unsuccessfully tried to start the car…thankfully a car stopped and drove us to Krokrobite for the same amount as we were going to pay the taxi. We arrived at the Dream hotel shortly afterward and we went down to the beach so I could meet most of the rest of the group: Alastair, Nick, Monica, MD, Julia, Erin, and Margaret(I hope I am not forgetting anyone)…shortly after the rest fo the group arrived: Nikolas, Marley and Jen… seconds after meeting Nick I asked if he wanted to share a room with me…We got our room, changed and headed down to the beach-it was amazing, absolutely beautiful…we chilled under a thatch umbrella for a bit and then I braved the sea-it was unlike anything I have ever experienced, the power of the under tow, rip tide and waves were intense. For dinner we went to an Italien restaurant that is owned by an Italien guy so the food was amazing-people started comparing the restaurant to the Garden of Eden and that comparison is not far off…After diner we headed to the most amazing bar-we were seated in a private turret complete with a spiral staircase and a thatch roof…we played some drinking games; however, our booze ran dry at 9 o’clock(which is not as pathetic by Ghanian standards-10 o’clock is a “normal” bed time on weekends)…the night ran the risk of petering out but someone saved the day when they mentioned the magic word-religion. We spent the next hour and a half talking about Christianity, about the politics of religion, about the purpose of different denominations, about Judaism and about Jesus himself…the conversation then turned to the American education system-the main topic was how money is now allocated to schools based on their test scores(the good schools recieve more money than the poor performing schools)…we debated long and hard about this-should we allocate the funds to the “good schools” so that those children can excel or should we try to bring the poor schools up to satisfactory levels..then we talked about why certain schools perform worse than others…The night ended with a brief debate on capitalism and the future…WE got to bed around one which is very late by Ghanian standards…I had a horrible sleep thanks to mosquitos and a persistent rooster…I woke up around 7 and headed down to the beach…We went back to Eden for breakfast, and again for lunch which is when the rain hit. Rain here has the power to change plans. We meant to leave by 1:30 but didn’t end up braving the rain til 4.

This was not just one of my best experiences in Ghana but one of the best experiences of my life-I absolutely love talking with a group of liberaly minded, highly intelligent and highly opinionated people-this is why Gimmelwald and Krokrobite have been two of the best experiences of my life!

PS. Some people have been mentioning my writing style-it is just freewriting…for those of you that don’t know, freewriting is constant writing without thought of grammar, spelling, or coherency-basically you just spew out whatever is on your mind(which is why my journals are jam-packed with dashes and ellipses) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freewriting)…In related news, Julia mentioned that she would like to find a house on the gulf islands to house-sit so she could live rent-free and write a book-this sounds like an amazing plan.

More Taylor Swanson Ghana volunteering diaries.

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