Week 5: Halfway Point

Week 5

After a weekend of relaxation in Kokrobite, we were excited to get back to work on our project. Unfortunately, when we got back on Sunday we found out our internet was down. This, combined with no internet all weekend at the beach resulted in a nervous mother and a missed Father’s Day call. Sorry Pops!

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Just some goats running, keep reading 😀

Monday morning we had a lot to work on from Friday’s conversation with Nicholas, but without wi-fi, there was surprisingly little of that work that could get done. Luckily by Tuesday the wi-fi was back and we touched base with Nicholas and Fred before getting started on our growing pile of work.

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Tasty Tom (w/ excellent photobomb in back)

Tuesday night, Prof. Bengt treated us to some authentic Swedish/Russian food at his house. To show our appreciation Wednesday we were able to go to our first Ghanaian grocery store to restock his kitchen. According to Dr. Fred, most people don’t use the grocery stores because most of the street markets have lower prices (even though they’re ironically named Shop & Save) and are much more abundant.

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Tom looking over Berekuso

That night we had an amazing conversation with some Ashesi students at Big Ben (the cafeteria with a nice view over Berekuso), they asked us about how our views on Africa have changed, how we envisioned Africa growing up and some more thought provoking questions. We really appreciated this opportunity to not only share what we thought for their benefit, but also to have a chance to reflect on our experiences here in Ghana so far. This conversation and dinner came at a perfect time since we are half-way through our trip.

Thursday we had our typical work day, and after we made a walk down the hill to Berekuso to grab a drink with our Swedish friends Ylva and Ema to celebrate the short time we have had with them now that Ylva is flying back to Sweden.

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Only market pic I got :/… We will go again for some better pics

Friday we were able to get to a craft market where Tom and I got matching Ghanaian national team jerseys, just in time for the USA vs. Ghana friendly on Saturday. I was also able to get a coffee mug for my instant 3-in-1 Nescafe coffee. After the market, we met up with our favorite driver Peter and headed to Dr. Fred’s for a barbecue dinner. In addition to the feast of a dinner, Fred also supplied us with drinks to celebrate the Flyers. The highlight of the night however, was getting to play with his wonderful younger daughters who reminded us of some of our younger family Tom and I are missing.

 

Saturday was graduation day for some of our friends at Ashesi, so we stuck around to wish them well and listen to some great speeches from the Berekuso Chief, the Provost, Suzanne, and the President of Ashesi, Patrick. Just like graduation from universities at home, the ceremony conveyed a message of hope for the future and next steps, which is fitting since “ashesi” itself means beginning.

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Somewhere Nice Hostel

Since Monday was a holiday (Happy Eid Mubarak!) we left later that day for Accra to stay at a hostel called Somewhere Nice (which can be really confusing our drivers and for telling people where we are staying), again we made some new international friends and marked off the new countries on our International Friends Bingo Boards.

 

 

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Thanks to the advice from our new friend from the UK, we explored around a bit seeing Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. This park is dedicated to Kwame Nkrumah, the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana. After checking out the park and museum, we took a quick walk to JamesTown, a fishing village where we were able to climb the lighthouse to get a nice view of Accra. After wandering downtown in the heat, we cooled off back at the hostel where I could do a couple (very short) laps in the pool. Finally, it was back to Ashesi University and with still some confusion with Uber driver before getting to the tro-tro station for the ride to Berekuso. 🙂

This week was another amazing one, it is a very brief overview, so please ask us questions if you have any!

-Mark

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