July 2009


Sushi!

Sushi!

So now I’d like to sit down and write a real post. Not just a quick update on my life. This ‘blog’ thing has been really hard to figure out and I’ve been sitting in the Natitingou workstation with our high speed internet (woot woot) trying to figure out how to post pictures…because a blog is just too boring without them.

I just came back from Ghana. Which was, for sure, one of the most amazing trips I’ve been on. I’ve been planning this trip for a couple of months now. Reading my Lonely Planet West Africa book in my free time at post. I decided we’d do a ‘beach tour’ starting up from Accra and going along the coast to Cape Coast and of course doing the obligatory canopy walk in Kakum National Park.
Leaving Cotonou was amazingly easy. We took one taxi from Benin to the border of Togo/Ghana. We being; Carlan, Nora, Lucy, Stew, Sarah E, Michelle and Naima. Going through all the borders was simple although a little lengthy. We arrived in Accra and immediately got started being tourists. Being a tourist as a West African peace corps volunteer is  interesting. We are not used to seeing highway lanes, supermarkets, malls, restaurants, etc. When you take us from our villages and drop us off in a prosperous, developed city like Acrra we, well, freak out. The van coming into Accra was basically filled with hyper, over-excited, shrieking girls. A mall?! A MOVIE THEATRE?! SUSHI!!!!!!???
The first night we got dressed in our nicest ensembles and we still looked like scrubs. We had nachos, hot wings, etc. (nothing we’ve had in over a year)- much more shrieking took place. It was amazing.
The next day we just travelled around Accra…going to the mall (where I got a cute dress that I can never wear in Benin….sleeveless/short) That night we went out to SUSHI (picture, above) . Which I have been looking forward to for a whole year. Then we went out clubbin’ at AFROdisiac.
The following days we rented a beach house at Big Milly’s Backyard in Krokrobite where we just chilled on the beach for a couple days. There were tons of rastafarians, live music and cheap beer.
Big Milly's Backyard
After Krokrobite we went to Cape Coast to visit the Castle/ old slave port. It was a beautiful place right on the beach but incredibly haunting. In the rooms where the slaves were held, or chambers where rebelious slaves were left to starve to death.

Cape Coast Castle
Cape Coast Castle

Here’s a picture. It was really beautiful. To the left of this is a really lively fishing market. Fisherman sell directly from the boat to people.

Next step was to Kakum National Park. Which was probably the coolest part! In this park there’s a canopy walk high high high up in the rain forest trees. We walked across the rope bridges which were very wobbly and didn’t seem at all safe (but it was- at least they said so). We camped out in the woods, which sucked for various reasons (rat infested beds, sharing a bed with 4 girls, etc) but it  was an adventure. The next morning we took a walking tour through the park. Didn’t see any animals but saw some interesting trees( haha, meh). Overall an awesome adventure. That went off with relatively no hitches. I would recomment Ghana to anyone even if you’ve never been to Africa before.

Canopy Walk
Canopy Walk

Well I’m really tired. I think this was long enough? I’m going to be in Nati for a few days and then heading back to post till I work staging.

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Just finishing up some work and taking money out from the bank before heading back to post. I’ll only be there for a couple of days though and then I’m headed to Cotonou before going to Ghana! So excited. A little bit worried about money. Peace Corps provides us with more than enough to live and travel around Benin but Accra will be a whole ‘nother story (umm…they have sushi and malls there). I have a little saved up and I really don’t want to dip in personal savings.

In other news, my baby brother joined the MARINES! I can’t believe it. Right now he’s in boot camp. I’m really proud of him and miss him like crazy now! I wasn’t planning on going home but I’m actually going to try to make it to Chuck’s commencement ceremony later this summer. Tickets are sooo expensive…but hopefully I’ll be able to scrap together some cash. So that means I’m coming home! Part of me is hesitant to go…I’m afraid I’ll walk into a Taco Bell and never want to leave. (Haha. Or something similiar to that). I’m afraid of the dramatic differences between the two cultures…what will you think of me when I forget, eat with my hands, throw chicken bones over my shoulder and wash my hands in the water pitcher? Still, I’m really excited and can’t wait to bore you all with my Benin stories!

Till then…. love.