It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks I will be leaving Ghana, the place I have been lucky enough to call home since August. As my time comes to an end I find myself thinking about all the amazing places I was able to visit and all the wonderful people I was fortunate to meet along the way. I am so sad to leave but I know I will be back. For my last blog post I figured it was appropriate to list the 10 things I will miss the most of my Ghana life.
1. The People ( and Smith Charles Amponsah)
Ghanaians are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. They are always quick to offer their help and inviting you to whatever food they may be eating. They are quick to rush to your aid when they see you struggling with directions or carrying an oversized bag. They are always smiling and warmly greet you with a “Welcome”, wherever you may be. In Ghana it seems that everyone is family and there is no hesitation to help. I will miss their warm, generous hearts and beautiful smiles.
For those that have been fortunate enough to meet Charles know he is one of the most welcoming and helpful people you could ever meet. He seamlessly welcomed us all into Antoa and into his home, invited us to family events, and assisted with countless favors- all without complaining. He is one of the most kindhearted people I have ever met and I will miss his dearly!
2. Cape Three Points
Cape Three Points is a gem on the coast and a place I definitely recommend visiting! It is nestled away in a small village and it’s the perfect spot for a secluded weekend away. The beaches are beautiful and quiet, and the food at Escape 3Points is AMAZING.
3. Cape Coast
Cape Coast was one of my favourite beachside villages we visited. It is a vibrant town with history. It is the former capital of Ghana and has a busy, small city feel. It is a quintessential African town with warm hospitality. Locals were not shy about assisting with getting taxis to town or to nearby Elmina and making sure we didn’t get the “obroni” rate. Visiting the Cape Coast Castle was a sobering experience and something I highly recommend!
Fishermen preparing their boats just outside of the “Door of No Return” at Cape Coast Castle.
4.Egg and Bread
It seems like a trivial thing to miss, but after a long day of programs there is nothing like a good egg and bread and a beer! Egg and bread is basically an omelet between two slices of fried bread- but the pepe with the egg makes it soooo good. Shout out to Grace in Antoa for keeping my belly happy too many times to count!
I think Busua was my absolute favorite place in Ghana. We were lucky to spend 8 days there, with many of those days being the annual Asa Baako festival in March. The festival was a blast, there was music playing at all hours and the beaches were filled with mini soccer games and people from all over coming together and having a blast.
The Busua beaches are also beautiful, and swimmable! Which is good news in Ghana as most of the coastal towns have strong currents which makes swimming at the beaches really dangerous. The town of Busua itself is extremely welcoming and friendly. It has all the African vibes along a beautiful beach- what’s not to love!
6. The Weather
Coming from the colder part of the US, the Ghanaian weather is heavenly- especially during the winter months when everyone at home is getting hit with 2 feet of snow but you’re happily laying on a beach or by a pool, Granted the days can be extremely hot to the point that you didn’t know it was possible to sweat that much- but for me the constant sunshine beats the gloomy winter!
7. Fresh Fruit
A few of us joke that when we go home the fruit will probably taste bad because of how delicious it is here. The pineapples are my ultimate favorite and so juicy and sweet! Being able to walk to the corner and choose from fresh bananas, mangos, papayas, and pineapples has left me spoiled!
8. Weekend Excursions
Weekends were always fun because it usually meant exploring. From a quick trip to nearby Lake Bosumtwi, the largest crater lake in the world, to longer weekends away in the Volta Region to Wli Waterfalls, Dzita on the coast, or a trip to the capital Accra, weekends were hardly boring.
9. The Kids
Walking to work each day is my favorite part of the day because I get to walk past the hundreds of kids that have just left primary for the day. They are so smiley and happy and occasionally greet you with a hand salute or a bow and “good afternoon.” Between these children and the kids I have been lucky enough to work with each week, it will be a hard goodbye.
10. The Sense of Community
Closely mirroring the people, the sense of community I have felt while being here is like nothing before. Our neighbors welcomed me in as if I was one of their own. They watched out for us and invited us into their homes. They were always happy and laughing. Some of my favorite days here were watching cartoons on the front porch with the neighborhood kids, or getting into an impromptu water fight in the driveway or a pick up soccer game. I will remember the nights spent at the Antoa spot and all the kids dancing and laughing, or the long travels on a long distance tro with a random child on my lap. I will remember all the kind strangers who would make sure I got on the right bus or got off at the right stop. I never felt out of place during all my time in Ghana and I am so thankful for the welcoming nature of this beautiful country and all of the people I have met along the way. I will miss it all so much- medaase paa Ghana!