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Ghana: End of the Trip and Volta Region Trip

Sadly, our stint at the Achiase Children’s Home has come to an end. I can’t believe how close I got with the children and how much I love them and will miss our dance parties, wrestling matches, mud pie making, wooden gun making, tutoring, football games, and everything else. The night before I left one of the children, a 6 year old boy who I was particularly close with, cried himself to sleep and begged me not to go. I couldn’t help but cry as well. And, the next morning when we left, the children held our hands, some crying, and walked us to our taxi. I am going to try really hard to go back and visit the children in the next few years, and plan on sending lots of pictures to them through the post.We stayed in the Wli Afegate in the Volta Region for our last 3 days in Ghana. Unfortunately, both Stephanie and I have contracted something leaving us, at times, unable to move, breath, or walk, with fevers and dizzyness, and extreme exhaustion. I tried going to the clinic when I was first told I had Malaria, then that I had worms, then I had a bad cough (even though I’m barely coughing), all without doing any tests. He tried to prescribe me cough medicine but I haggled a bit and got him to give me a few antibiotic pills.

During the moments when we were kind of okay to move, we got to explore the beauty that is the Volta Region. The small village we stayed in (the quietest town we have stayed in yet, barely anyone yells Foreigner! at us in their native tongue and nobody has tried to rip a piece of my white skin off to see if it’s real, is surrounded by lush mountains, including Mount Afedjato, the highest mountain in Africa. We also visited Volta Lake, Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary (we got to feed monkeys in the forest and have them jump on us!), visit some markets, and hike the Wli Waterfalls, a very intense and steep hike. Michael, our native Ghanian friend from Accra, even came to join us. He also brought up a debate that I feel passionate about when it comes to Ghana…littering! He threw a biscuit wrapper into the forest, claiming that it was okay because everyone else had done it. Because this angers me beyond belief, I scolded him. When Stephanie threw a banana peel on the ground, however, Michael scolded her. Apparently, the belief is that people slip on banana peels, not plastic. Our response was that banana peels are biodegradable. Judging by the pollution in Ghana, I am guessing many people go with the thought that because others do it, it is okay. Ironic, since there are so many signs saying “Keep Ghana Clean!” and “Buy Your Garbage Bins!, which are very hard to find.

Overall, I have enjoyed this trip thoroughly, especially becoming close with the children and meeting new friends in Ghana, salsa dancing with foreigners, drinking wine on the beach, exploring new villages, and learning about the culture. If anyone is planning on traveling to Ghana and has any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at JDFESTA@gmail.com.

Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

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2 Comments

  1. alschiele on September 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I've really enjoyed your posts on Ghana as I'm considering grad school there. They're helping me gain some insight! :)—Amy Schiele

  2. Jessie on September 4, 2011 at 11:50 am

    That's great! Ghana is a great place with a very strong culture but just very different so may take a bit of getting used to. You'll be fine though! good luck! 🙂

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