PaulaWoods' Travel Journals


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

learn a language, work with the environment, experience a new culture through volunteering, meet new people, adventure travel

  • 28 years old
  • From New York, United States
  • Currently in Cape Coast, Ghana

Ghana Adventures

I hope this will help all my loved ones follow along with me on my journey through Cape Coast (:

Did She Rather, Find Herself.

Ghana Cape Coast, Ghana  |  Feb 07, 2013
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I am not a morning person…

You can go and ask my momma and she will tell you, her baby is NOT an early riser… She will probably also tell you of teenage school mornings, dragging me out of bed after the 5th wake-up call and the 8th press of my beloved snooze button...

You can imagine my excitement at having a 6:30-8:30 am class…the first of three on Wednesdays…

So yesterday, I awoke with the darkness…I reached up for the snooze button on my travel alarm clock, in disbelief it could actually already be 5 a.m. Wasn’t I just falling asleep to the sounds of preaching and gospel from the church next to my home? The roosters answered my thoughts, putting my question to rest. I rolled out of bed and began preparing for a day of lectures. Getting ready here doesn’t take so long, I should add…When in Ghana, one seems to lose any sense of…what should I wear today? Does this look better on the hanger than on me? Oh shit, my hair is a mess… Don’t get me wrong..Ghanaians are very conscious about looking nice and clean. But the facts are: a. You’re going to be sweating in 0.5 seconds anyways and b. You’re going to stand out anyways, simply because your skin color glows in the freakin sun…You don’t walk, talk, act or obviously look like a Ghanaian… (So word to the wise, if you’re trying to blend in, don’t come to Ghana (: )

I always feel guilty for having someone else prepare my meals, especially my breakfast so early…But of course, my wonderful homestay mother and sister were up already getting ready for the day. One of the changes that’s been weird to get used to in Ghana is essentially living in a home again, especially when you have lived on your own for four years. Even more so, getting used to being treated like a guest has been hard for me… As anyone who knows me is already aware of, I’m a pretty independent person..I’m SO grateful for everything my family does, I only wish they would let me help them out! They take such good care of me though, and I couldn’t have asked for a better placement..

I left my homestay for the taxi station with the rising sun, which I couldn’t actually see due to the clouds in the morning…

But then something happened.

As I walked down my usual path, I realized how comfortable and cool the temperature was, as the night’s sweet chill hadn’t been quite scared away by the African heat yet… The birds sang sweet songs to me as they fluttered from tree to tree. The baby goats that live next door to my house lounged around, probably sleepy from a night of running around my house screaming BAAAA (that’s totally their plot, I know it…). But there was a quiet calm that is rare in Ghana…the whole world was just waking up, just getting ready for the day… I said Good Morning to all my usual characters on my road.. And as I turned onto the main road, I couldn’t help but smile… The familiar scene came to life before my eyes-a scene of color, movement, energy…people catching taxis to work, walking their children to school, vendors on the sidewalk setting up their stands for the day, people everywhere as always…but with a different energy. A new energy. An energy that only comes with the peacefully sweet and mercifully cool night…

Sometimes, when you are living somewhere for awhile, you forget just where you are. And when you stop to think… “I’m in Africa…That place on the map I’ve always stared at? I’m there…” your mind opens up and you cannot help but be grateful for this rare and precious opportunity.

Every night I close my eyes and raise my hands together in gratitude for this incredible life I’ve been given… It truly is a gift.

“The soul still sings in the darkness, telling of the beauty she found there; and daring us not to think that because she passed through such tortures of anguish, doubt, dread and horror, as has been said, she ran any the more danger of being lost in the night. Nay, in the darkness did she, rather, find herself…”

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