Was it a country I ever thought I would visit? I would be lying if I told you Ghana was on my top 10 of countries to visit. I would probably still be lying if I told you Ghana was in my top 50, yet Ghana sits at country number 23 on my list. Looking back at it now, I can say Ghana is a mystery. It is the leading force of Africa, the first country to gain Independence from colonialism in 1967, and the only country in Africa Obama visited. Trust me on this, Ghanaian’s love Obama! They have hotels, and street’s named after him. They even have fabrics with Obama’s face printed on them in patterns. There is a strong relationship between Ghana and the United States, and it was the strongest one I noticed throughout the entire voyage.
I had no plans for Ghana, I decided to completely wing it and see what happened. This was the best decision I could have made. On my first day in Ghana, I visited the University of Ghana and saw some of the dorm rooms with a friend or a friend who is studying for the semester in Ghana. The campus was large, 30,000 students, which was encouraging and inspiring to see so many post graduate students in an African country.
Back in Osu, a town on the outskirts of the capitol city Accra, I was on a mission to buy a real African drum. It was handmade and at a bargaining price of 30 Cedi’s, which is my favourite currency so far. Kelly and I kept walking along the streets and met some locals. I couldn’t tell you how it happened, but within minutes we were all drumming, singing and dancing at the side of the road. They pulled out all of their African instruments that I had never seen before in my life and it became a drum circle. As time passed we learnt that none of them were really from Ghana, they were all from neighbouring countries. Joseph was from Togo, and Will was from Burkina Faso, but they moved to Accra for work. We talked outside their shop for a while until the sun set and it was time for dinner.
The next day I had signed up for a Semester at Sea sponsored trip to the Osu Children’s Home, a home for over 250 children all under the age of eight years. Children as young as a day old can be emitted into the home where there is a nursery of over 50 babies, a school and beds. We played with the children, where they took our cameras and ran around with them taking pictures of each other and of us. I pushed them on the swings, and played Frisbee with this one little boy, Matthew. He is five and the cutest, happiest little boy I have ever met. He was so polite, so tiny and so perfect.
I walked over to the nursery where all the babies were laying on a mat on the floor. One of the ladies managing the nursery, told me to sit down in between them. She plopped one child in my arms, and set up four others around me. The one in my arms was just a new born. It couldn’t sit up on its own like the other ones which must have been just under 10 months. The lady gave me a bowl with 5 spoons and said, “feed them each with a different spoon”, before she walked off again. So I did. I fed each one, gave them all a sip of water and cradled each one to sleep. They didn’t cry. All they did was stare at me wide-eyed and precious.
UPDATE ON WHEREDIDSHEGONOW
I owe you all an apology once again, updating this blog while being on a ship with no internet and little time to process these experiences leaves virtually no room for informing all of you what’s going on in my life.
Debarkation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida: 17 Day’s Left
Landing in Toronto, Canada: May 11, 2010
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