June 27th, 2015
It is hard to believe that we have already/only been here one week. We have traveled through much of the country visiting 5 of the 10 regions on car rides, very long car rides. We have seen the majestic coast in Accra and Tema, we have resided in the beautiful mountains of Mampong, and we have conquered the breath taking terrain in Mole National Park. We have seen animals and vegetation that is indigenous to Ghana and unlike anything that I have seen in the States. Each direction I turn, I am a witness to a creation that I have never seen before. It is not just the landscape that is diverse, the communities are as well. In Accra, the densest city in the country, people and houses occupy every available square inch for as long as the eye can see, which is pretty far considering very few buildings are over two stories in height. As we traveled north, we were introduced to smaller, neighborhood-like communities that are separated by several miles. These homes are constructed with little more than mud, sticks, and a thatched roof.
Despite the seeming disjunction of the houses, the people themselves function as one cohesive unit. They are so warm and welcoming. Each time we visit a new place, we are welcomed, typically two to three times, by the hosts we are visiting. We have learned so much about how Ghana came to be over the last seven days. We have learned about the Larabanga Mosque, the Ashanti people, the health care system, and the education system. Despite this overwhelming amount of information, we are all aware of how much we still have to learn, particularly as we struggle with communicating through Twi, the local dialect. Today, we began to practice what we will be doing in the health and nutrition screenings next week. Looking around, we can all tell that we are excited to be able to give back to the community that has already given us so much. The past week has filled me with knowledge of Ghana, but I know I still have so much to learn. Fortunately for me, I still have three more weeks to absorb the beautiful culture and internalize this land that I am currently calling "home."
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