I am here! In Accra. At the University of Ghana. I have been adjusting and getting acclimated the past couple days. It has been very fun! And I am very excited about the upcoming semester and the adventures I will experience. I decided to keep a travel log about my few days of travel to Ghana. Over the coming 4 months I will be taking classes at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana at Legon three days per week. The other two week days I will be volunteering at the Hopeline Institute researching the make up and characteristics of medium sized businesses in developing countries, specifically in Ghana.
The inspiration for this post comes from Bill Simmons and his annual NBA Draft Diaries.
(All times local)
8:45pm – I walk up to the check in counter at the American Airlines desk in terminal B at the Boston airport. After handing the attendant my passport, the attendant immediately asks me if I am flying to Ghana. I said, “Ya, how did you know?” She said she guessed because of the vaccinations I had recorded in my passport. I told her how good at her job she was and began walking to my gate.
10:15pm – As I am boarding the plane I realize how low of a row number I have. Row 9. As I entered the plane it becomes evident that I have an exit row seat. Needless to say I’m pretty excited! Extra legroom for a six-hour flight!!
10:45pm – Turns out the exit row seat. Not as great as it is cut out to be. Just as the flight is about to take off, the flight attendant sits down in front of me, facing me, practically knee to knee. It is one of the most uncomfortable things to attempt to fall asleep on a trans-Atlantic flight that takes off at 10:30 at night with a complete stranger sitting knee to knee with you and probably staring at you.
10:30am – In London at the Heathrow airport and oh yea they drive on the other side of the road here. Has anyone ever thought about and articulated how this disparity in driving sidage? At some point someone had to say, “Hey how about we drive on the other side of the road”. Why did we make the switch? Is there a good reason behind it?
11:15am – Ever be in a new place with a lot of people in it? A lot of people who you have never seen before. Does anyone else always think they see people they know, but then realize it couldn’t possibly be that person. Well as Krista (my travel buddy from Boston) and I stood there in the London airport we thought we saw a member of our group. We were not 100% sure however, so we decided to wait in a very visible location for this person to approach us. Turns out it was Shannon from our group (who flew in from Baltimore).
1:30pm – “Wait, where is the rest of our group?” Five of us now, (Nathan, Krista, Shannon, Hayley, and myself are about to board our plane in London for Accra, Ghana however the rest of our group, who was supposed to meet us there was not there. Turns our their flight was delayed all the way back in Grand Rapids and they would be flying out the next day.
8:10pm – We have landed in Ghana!
9:30pm – As we are walking to the van after meeting up with Rolando (our director and fearless leader) a man took my suitcase out of my hand and started wheeling it through the parking lot. I guessed this man was associated with our trip at some level so I didn’t make a big fuss. Turns out his name is Charles and is the assistant for the director of the African Studies program here at the University of Ghana. He is a great dude and has been a joy to hang out with and get to know.