June 5, 2010
Here I stand along side a wall typing on the netbook (thank you once again Damla) as the rest of my Peace-mates play volleyball (one rope strong across two columns and a make-shift volleyball which is actually a soccer ball) and also soccer keep-away in the open coutyard, I have to pause and consider how lucky I am to be here. The people are wonderful (both Americans and Ghanians) and so far, every anxious moment I had wondering what it would be like has passed and most things have turned out far better than I could have hoped for.
I have landed and somewhat adjusted to the new world here. The flight out to Ghana went well after the airport had to double check that all of our luggage was actually on board. We waited for alomst an hour before getting out of JFK, but then that was it, we were airborne and only a small, apprehensive sigh came out; it was really happening.
Then about twelve hours in the air passed by. I think I managed to sleep or slightly doze of for about an hour during the trip, and that put me in Accra, the capitol, around 8AM their time. I was not that tired, and the warm rains made sure to wake me up upon stepping off the staircase out of the plane. It no longer was happening, it *had happened*! I made it. What a sense of relief it was. Then came the airport. Or at least out departure.
We collected our bags, showed our passports to everyone, and then jumped outside to approach the bus which would ferry us out to Peace Corps Headquarters. It was large, bright green, and nicely air conditioned. This short trip to HQ gave us a quick acquaintance with the area. The streets, the vendors, the cobbled together shacks and some of the very nice houses made me feel that some have it nice, others have it pretty hard. The meet and greet at Peace Corps' office went well, and the rain kept coming and going for the rest of the afternoon. It really felt nice if it didn't pour too much.
With official business concluded and our behinds back on the bus again, we made the rest of the trip out to our temporary digs at a school about an hour or so from Accra. we had the same escort to the dormitory on a campus outside of town. Lots of honking, lots of not so happy faces peering back in the windows, but they were out numbered by the very happy faces who would wave.
Still, there we were, enjoying a new space and a new land. Small rooms but they had toilets and even a shower head, though I will probably try just the bucket for fun to get used to. The weather was a bit hot and humid, but fortunately it is the rainy season so the day time highs are not that high, mostly in the high 80s as the sun doesn't come out much.
Here we met the staff that will begin the training session for us. All Ghanians, and all smiling and extremely helpful. They fed us and made some great spicy foods which I could enjoy.
So for the first day, I had about 30 or 36 hours of up-time and little down-time. After dinner I crashed in bed without even taking off my clothes, and in the early morning I realized I hadn't taken my shoes off. Yes I was that tired.
No mosquito bites yet! That is a big victory in my book, though I haven't seen one yet so that is a good thing.