In Africa, there is always time.

Ho Travel Blog

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Ghana had just beat the US during the World Cup and despite the rain, Ghanaians were out on the street celebrating!
I put aside my fear of flying momentarily as I scanned the plane, looking for other people that may be volunteers with CCS as well. Scan... ok. I don't know. Then I quickly went back to being slightly nervous, wondering whether that noise was the wheels going up or the wheels falling off. I wouldn't say I'm a bad flyer, I just get unnecessarily nervous about sitting in a tube of metal flying at 900km/hr at 40 000 feet.

The flight went pretty smoothly, and I experienced my first show of Ghanaian pride as the flight attendant announced that Ghana had just beaten the Czech Republic in the World Cup. An eruption of cheers and smiles broke out among the passengers, and all was well. At least, all was well until we hit an air pocket and the plane dropped for a long 3-4 seconds.
Little Efe sleeping at the nursery
Long enough for me to realize in my head that we were still falling, and it wasn't very much fun. People screamed, things came out of overhead cabins, wine spilled and casserole was in the air. The flight attendants laughed as they gripped their carts and everyone started to calm down. The large man beside me had tears in his eyes. It was very reassuring.

When we landed we all gathered and climbed into a tro-tro and made our was as a group to the Beverly Hills Hotel, our accomodation for the night. Sounds glamourous right? Despite the steel bars on the window, it was a fine place to stay and included air conditioning! That night, I was actually cold and had trouble sleeping. Who would've thought that my first night in Africa, I'd be too cold?

We headed to Ho the next day to continue our orientation, settle into our rooms and get to know a bit of the town.
The house is located just outside of town, and everywhere you go, you're greeting by Ghanaians with that familiar, comforting smile, that makes you think that half the population was on prozac. There are about 25 other volunteers living in the same compound, and everyone in my group has gotten so close in such a short amount of time.

My placement at the Ho Regional Hospital in the Physiotherapy department started a few days later because the doctors were on strike when we arrived. After the first day, I joined Janelle at the Victoria Nursery School to help with the kids. The children in Ghana are amazingly beautiful and kind, and will warm your heart with one look. As soon as one sits in your lap, all the rest want to climb on. When you lift one up, they all want to be lifted up.
When we sing their nursery rhymes, we find ourselves singing in Ghanaian accents. We have to, really. We stick out too much singing with our Canadian accents. "Unda thee beeg umbrelaa, unda thee co-co-nut tree", we sing.

A few days later, it was announced by word of mouth that the industrial action was over and health workers were starting to come back to work today. 3 of us, hoping to work at the hospital didn't go for our placements that day; however, we did go to the Volta Regional Hospital and were given a tour of all the wards. There were 4 of us there (one was just coming along) and our names are Kristen, Christie, Rebecca and Silan, but to the woman taking us around and introducing us to the staff we were Christine, Christine ("2 Christines!" they would always say), Becky and Sarah.
scorpian love
Sarah? Ok. I can be a Sarah. Thanks, Mom and Dad for giving me a name that no Ghanaian can pronounce! Apparently all of us (2 of us in reality) were nursing students as well. The hospital is huge and very nice as it is the hospital for the entire Volta region.

The first few days went by pretty slowly, because in Africa, there is always time. "Relax... just relax" is what we heard countless times throughout the day. It's a way of life that we'll have to get used to after growing up in the fast-paced Western world. It's already been an amazing experience and the next seven weeks are bound to be just as great.
silan says:
It was British Airways, but air pockets happen :P
They didn't tell us to wear the t-shirts, but I think a couple people did, or else they held their CCS orientation booklets out in plains site :). We did the same thing - we looked at each other, but no one dared approach anyone haha
Posted on: Jun 23, 2007
worldcitizen says:
What airline did you take?! Did CCS tell you to wear that t-shirt they sent? I flew with two volunteers on part of my trip and none of us wore our CCS shirts. So we looked at each other but didn't say anything. Your experiences with the kids sound so familiar!
Posted on: Jun 23, 2007
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Ghana had just beat the US during …
Ghana had just beat the US during…
Little Efe sleeping at the nursery
Little Efe sleeping at the nursery
scorpian love
scorpian love
photo by: silan