AThorson's Travel Journals


  • 30 years old
  • From Wisconsin, United States
  • Currently in Singburi, Thailand

My Ghana Experience

This journal will be a glimpse of my experience volunteering in a preschool in Ghana.

First post from Ghana!

Ghana Cape Coast, Ghana  |  Nov 06, 2012
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So happy to finally have internet! The  internet wasn't working very well the other night so I haven't been able to post. I have so much to say and only 30 minutes to type.  When I landed in Ghana I was welcomed by a staff member and another volunteer, Roz. We waited an hour at the airport for a taxi and then drove 3 1/2 to get to Cape Coast, Ghana. The cab ride was the craziest car ride I've even been on.  Saw my life flash before my eyes a few times.  I got to see many different types of houses and towns in Ghana on the drive.  There are stray dogs, goats, and chickens everywhere.  We got to the ProWorld house and had a great dinner.  I finally showered after like 40 hours and it had to be the best shower of my life.  Just after dinner another volunteer Kieran came by to meet us and he took me to a bar called Oasis to meet some other volunteers.  Oasis is known as the "obroni" hangout.  Obroni is the name the people from Ghana give foreigners.  People scream it at me everywhere I go. We had a fun night but I was exhausted from traveling so we went home and I stayed in the bunk beds at the proworld house.

The next day we had orientation and breakfast.  I got kind of sick during it and felt very dizzy.  I was so worried about being sick I forgot to put sunscreen on and I was very nervous about frying.  I ended up just getting some nice color.  We took a tour of the town and markets and had lunch ride along the ocean.  The markets here are insane.  There are so many people and taxis everywhere.  It was very overwhelming at first.  We went back to the ProWorld house and got picked up by our home families.  My family is great! My room is a lot bigger than I would have expected.  The toliets do not flush and the shower has no hot water. I have already used most of the survival kit my Uncle David packed for me.  My home mom is very welcoming and makes great food.  One thing I am not used to is they do not take the bones out of the fish.  They eat bones and all.  I've been trying but I just can't do it.  I am not going hungry though! They feed me sooooo much food! That night I went out with my homestay sister, Abenaa and went to a place called Sizzler.  It is a local hangout for the Ghanaians. 

Throughout the night there were many weird noises.  Having stray animals and a walking path right next to my window is very interesting.  I was woken up at sunrise by the rooster and the rest of the town being up and about.  I was picked up at taken to the school I would be working in.  I had no idea what to expect  but it was nothing like what I was imagining. I was introduced to all the teachers and placed in a room with 6 and 7 year olds.  Five minutes after I got there the teacher said she was going to run to town and do an errand and would be back.  I was like ummm and I do what with 35 6 year-olds? She ended up coming back like 2 hours later and I had just been winging it with some help from another teacher.  The teachers there are great.  They have all been very welcoming.  The are all young males so they have been very friendly haha. After getting into a routine I started to feel much more comfortable.  The kids are awesome and all run up to me to touch my white skin.  The classroom is very laid back at some times but very serious when the teacher is talking.  In Ghana they are allowed to beat the students, and it happens a lot.  I don't think I will ever get used to it.

When I got home I was so tired.  I took a shower and had a nice little breakdown.  I was so overwhlemed from the day.  Abenaa ended up solving all my problems and even let me use her phone to call my mom.  She has been such a big help in adjusting.  I went back to school again today and had such a great time! Now that I know how things work I feel so much more comfortable.  We took a bunch of pictures today and I taught for a few hours by myself again.  Tonight I am getting Fante lessons, which is the local language, and going out to dinner with the ProWorld volunteers.  I am loving being here and the people I am meeting.  I am so happy I chose to do this and can't wait to see the adventures that unfold over the next couple weeks.  Thanks for reading!

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    Pat Downing wrote: Tue Nov 13, 2012
    I am really enjoying reading all your posts, Andie! Carrying within us the knowledge of how so many people on this earth live should make us more grateful for things like showers. What a wonderful life-changing, unique experience you are having and thank you for sharing it with us!
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    Cathy Larson wrote: Fri Nov 9, 2012
    Fun to see the updates!
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    Dennis Beauchene wrote: Wed Nov 7, 2012
    Glad to see you're settled in - sorry, but I need hot water - don't spend too much time in the village hot spots :-) is shutting down to focus on other projects. We are no longer accepting new user registrations and will be deleting all user data in about a month. If you would like to download your information, please send a request to