Akwaaba!

Greetings from Accra!

It’s been an incredible journey from Philadelphia to here! We’ve been staying in a dormatory at a local University, and in our first 24 hours, we’ve had a police escort, met with the Minister of Education, and been invited to a party at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Accra. Orientation has been fantastic, and we had our first sojourn out into Accra today by ourselves as trainees — no trainers or Peace Corps staff, just us, a few Ghanaian cedis, and a phone number in case we get into trouble.

Accra and the surrounding territory is fantastic. There are palm trees and banana trees almost everywhere you look, and the people are very friendly and willing to help you find almost anything you need. The facilities are very basic. Electricity is very hit and miss, depending on the heat and the available supply, and all of the Trainees are
taking “Navy showers” in order to conserve water. Despite everything we have to get used to — new food, new routines, new methods of transport (expect to see the word “trotro” a *lot*), and new languages (Akwaaba = Welcome in Twi) — I don’t think I’ve heard a single disparaging word from any of my fellow Trainees.

Tomorrow, I leave on my own to visit a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) at a site in the Volta Region — Peace Corps calls it a Vision Quest — and after 5 days there, I head to the training site to meet up with everyone else. I’ve been advised not to buy a cell phone until I figure out which company has the best coverage at my Volunteer site,
so communication will be limited to e-mail, blog posts, and public phones for the time being.

This has been an amazing experience, and I think it’s only going to get better. I miss you all, and will talk with you all again soon.

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