PaulaWoods' Travel Journals

PaulaWoods

 
What is your traveling philosophy?

Always take the time to get to know people: listen to their stories, hear what they have to say, and what they don't say.

  • 27 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 (:

Smiles All Around

Ghana Cape Coast, Ghana  |  Jan 19, 2013
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I don't think I've ever smiled as much as I have in the past few days since I arrived in Ghana!  Everyone is so incredibly friendly and kind.  It is considered rude if you do not say Good morning or Good afternoon to everyone, which works for me, since I am always smiling and talking to everyone at home anyways… I was a little worried about adjusting to life here, but that worry was entirely unnecessary (as I’m realizing all worries are).  I have always strived to live in the present moment, to be happy with where I am every second; I can finally say for the first time in my life, I am fully experiencing this gift.  Granted, our week has been nonstop on the go new adventures, and I know it’s always incredible when you first get somewhere, but I feel like it’s more than that.  I feel like I’ve finally reached this point, after a lot of hard work, where I appreciate all situations and send out positivity towards them.  Things will be difficult at times here, but it’s more than worth it for the experience you receive and relationships you build, as well as the respect you gain.

ProWorld has been amazing.  They are very supportive and super helpful with anything we need.  Sarah has been absolutely wonderful and I’m so grateful she is here.  Everyone I’ve met here in fact, has been truly wonderful.  All of the staff, the volunteers, and the locals are outgoing and fun to be around.  Everyone has a positive energy about them.  My homestay family is amazing, as well.  They have been so sweet and kind; I feel like I’ve been here a lot longer than a week.  Pa Kofi (he’s 7) and I have played cards or games together most nights this week; he’s really cute, even when he cheats at Uno…(every single time).  My mom is very sweet and an amazing cook-I’m loving Ghanaian food for sure.  She always laughs at me when I say medasse (thank you in Fante).  Ben is my older brother and he’s been great too.  We went out for his birthday on Thursday night, which was a lot of fun.  Mame lives with us too (she’s 15) and she’s very quiet but I’ve been getting her to smile as much as I can (:

Wednesday we went out to the farm with Reverend Dr Samuel.  He showed us all of the different sites for the farm, as well as the offices.  Everything was so indescribably beautiful; I love being so far out in the forest.  The 1.5-hour car ride is more than worth it for the scenery.  The first site is an organic farm with different vegetables growing.  There are machines there as well, for processing the gari into palm oil.  They also raise grass cutters, which look kinda like beavers or groundhogs (look em up, but be warned-you'll get mostly pictures of them roasting on fires :( which makes the vegetarian super sad).  They just burned and cleared out the second site for everything we are about to start there.  I think we will be working there the most at the cocoa nursery.  They also have plans for a bee keeping site and a fishery.  The last site is more rural, but has cocoa and cassava plants growing as far as the eye can see.  It is incredibly beautiful and I hope I get time to wander a bit out there...perfect place for meditating.  Thursday, Jordan and I (now known as Jesus and Mary) worked at the second site moving brush and tree branches in the wonderful company of Reverend John and Aiya.  They were both more than a pleasure to work with; our day was filled with smiles and laughter.  Everyone has such good spirit here, always curious, always smiling and laughing.  Simplicity is bliss.

We went to the beach on Friday, which was of course, incredible.  The ocean has such a beautiful power about it, and I always feel so energized after playing in the waves all day.  Today, we worked at an impact project helping to build a clinic. We mixed cement and made bricks, laying them to dry in the sun.  It was interesting to compare the process of cement making here to that in Haiti.  I hope we get to work on the project more, so I can see more of the construction process.  All of the girls here are awesome..always kickin ass and working hard.  They all have been super sweet and very welcoming and are always there to help with anything; which is amazing, especially when you're someplace new.

I feel so blessed to be in such a beautiful place, surrounded by so many wonderful people. There's so much more I could write, but for now this will be enough.  I hope all my family and friends know how much I love and miss them.  And I hope you're all enjoying the snow!! I think I've forgotten what cold feels like already...hahaPeace, love and many blessings.

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