Saturday, June 28, 2014

Some Tidbits

It's only my second day in Accra, Ghana and I already feel like I have been here for a lifetime - maybe  it's the way the heat and humidity make you feel a low-level of exhaustion throughout most of the day,or the fact that everything about my life seems completely different here and it's hard to imagine my life back in Canada. Truthfully not much has happened yet but I feel like I've already learned a lot about Ghanaian culture, at least knowledge wise. I will have a whole 2 months to live it out in practice! 

So, some tidbits about Ghana and the culture. Right now there is a fuel shortage - I'm not sure about all the details exactly but it means that it's more difficult to get transportation, though not impossible. We were supposed to have a few different guest speakers for our orientation today but only one of them were able to make it. I'm not sure if or how that will affect my ability to get to and from work, but so far it seems that trotros (the public transportation vans) at least are still running. 

Today in our orientation we learned a bit about 'living and working in Ghana.' The main thing that stood out to me is that Ghanaians value relationships over efficiency - so for example, when you first go to work or show up to meetings (which will almost always start late) you should engage in conversations with your colleagues about their weekend, their family, etc. and start working after that! As Ophelia (our Ghanaian contact) said, "Ghanaians love to feel good!" It seems that, as obrunis (white people) we will have to gain the trust of those that we work with by making time for conversation and using proper titles when speaking to people. A good frame of mind is to address everyone with either Mr. or Mrs, or Auntie and Uncle (depending on the relationship). I really like that Ghanaians value relationships so much and I can't wait to meet my colleagues! 

Last night it was difficult sleeping for a number of reasons.  1) My bowels and stomach have been upset ever since the flights and I have been battling some nausea and loose bowel movements (so please keep me in your prayers). 2) There was a large and loud church service occurring under some white tents in the far distance with music and singing and noise makers until about 11pm. 3) Our room is right beside the common tv room, and some boys were in there until fairly late watching tv pretty loudly. 

That coupled with the heat means that I am basically exxxxhausted and still not feeling well. If it weren't for my stomach issues though, I would be super okay with life here. Yes it's hot, but you get used to it fairly quickly and the people are very friendly and engaging. 

I'm too exhausted right now to finish this post, but I'll post again soon! Tomorrow we have orientation from 8am to 6pm though, so it's a fair bet that I will be too exhausted tomorrow too! Tomorrow I will ride the trotro for the first time so that should be interesting! They basically cram as many people as they can in a big unconditioned van and stop wherever people are going along a route. Eek, I'm a little nervous. 

However, I am trusting in God and know that He is with me as I experience this unique culture. 

Much love from Ghana, 


  1. Hey Sweetie. It's mom. I love you. Thanks for keeping us posted. Looking forward to your next update.

  2. Hi Brie, We are glad you got there safely hope you feel better soon, We will keep you in our prayers, Love Uncle Rob & Aunt Lynda