GraceWillisJohnson's Travel Journals

GraceWillisJohnson Grace Willis-Johnson

 
What do you want to do the next time you travel abroad?

learn a language, volunteer in a needy community, experience a new culture through volunteering, go sightseeing, meet new people, gain professional experience, change the world [somehow], adventure travel

  • 32 years old
  • From Michigan, United States
  • Currently in Cape Coast, Ghana

I've only been here for 3 days!!!!

Feels like I've been here forever!

Villages, Schools and Canopy Walking

Ghana Cape Coast, Ghana  |  Oct 12, 2012
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Almost one week down and three weeks to go!

So this week was all about villages, schools and canopy walking.

On Monday, I met with my organization HEPENS and the owners there. We talked about what were some things that I could do or bring to the organization.

Tuesday was my first day to actually work, sort of. We headed to a village that was about 40 minutes from where I'm staying Abura. It was an eye opening experience. The houses were straw huts and and the smell of urine and feces was pretty evident. Upon arriving I met with the chief of the village so that he would know that there is a foreigner in his village then from there we walked around the village and spoke with some of the other women there. This particular villlage held the task of making cocoa. They grow the cocoa which comes in seeds inside a yellow shell, then wash the seeds and let them dry. Once the seeds have dried they are able to eaten.

While at the village one of the women there invited me into her hut. This was interesting because she lived inside a straw roof hut but had a tv and was waching movies inside the hut. The hut was the size of one room but it had everything in it. From there the young woman invited me to eat with her. It was very nice and welcoming of her but I did not like the food at all. Here in Ghana a lot of their local food is eaten with your hands. So this food was basically a white yam, which tastes like a starchy potatoe, then some sort of vegetable stew. Unfortunately the stew was about 80% oil! It was so greasy and oily that I could literally see the oil sitting on top of the sauce. From there I had to dip the yam into the stew and eat it that way. Lets just say I gagged in my mouth at least 3 times before swallowing! It was not appetizing at all!

After that we headed over to the main meeting area for the village where a group of women came over to hear us speak. For the most part the time was really spent with them just asking me questions about where I'm from, my family and what I do. At one point one lady informed me that she wanted to know what she needed to do to look like me. She said that she was just fat all over and didn't want to be fat anymore! Well of course my personal trainer in me took over and I told them that next week I will lead them in a group exercise class, Ghanaian style! LOL!

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, we went to a local primary school where we taught the kids about personal hygiene, dental hygiene, and proper handwashing. This was so much fun! The children here are just so sweet! After class they all ran up to me to touch me, it was so adorable.

Finally today we had a day off and went to Kakum National Park which is a tourist attraction here in the forest. They feature a canopy walk where are you suspended above the trees and get to walk through the forest above the trees! That was pretty amazaing.

I posted pictures to everything so you all can see it.

Tonight I will be taking my host brother out for drinks for his birthday so we get to hit the town. This too shall be interesting! LOL

Until next time, keep praying for me!

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