After preparing, fundraising, and dreaming about my trip to Ghana, the moment finally came. I got dropped off at the LAX airport and I was on my way. It didn't really hit me that I was going to Africa, until I said goodbye to my dad. The look on his face said "I can't believe I'm letting my 19 year old daughter go to Africa", but he let me go thankfully . Anyways after over 15 hours of traveling and all the people on the flight to Accra asking me "your going to Ghana" and then laughing at me, I finally made it. I was in Africa!! I got off the plane and wow it was not Provo, Utah anymore. It was so HOT, humid, and flat. Once inside they checked to make sure we had Yellow Fever shots and then we went through customs. The funny part to me was that the airport was super strict about some things and then didn't care at all about others. For example when went through bag security the guy didn't even question me and didn't even wanna see my passport (I guess I'm not threatening), but a boy in our group, Connor, was being questioned for a while about the 600 pairs of eyeglasses he was bringing. We all had them in huge suitcases to donate down here, but he was the only one they cared about and was even going to charge him. Anyways from the start you can just tell things are run differently here than the states. We then found Jerome, a man who works at the eye clinic, and we loaded all our stuff up into the van. Thats where I learned another thing about Ghana, there are no traffic rules, literally none at all. Also there was lots of mosquitos in the van so lets pray these malaria pills work haha. The car ride was so awesome though, I have never seen anything like it before in my life. First off everyone was staring and waving at us because we are a bunch of white kids from BYU. Second people would come walk on the streets and the women would be wearing these bright and colorful dresses with huge bowls and plates with all kinds of stuff balanced on top of their heads. I have no idea how they do it, but it's impressive. After we got settled in we decided to walk around the city, exchange our money for Ghanaian cedis, and get some food. The thing I noticed most was that everyone was just hanging out on the streets. It was like they really had nothing to do. I just don't understand how you do that in this heat, everyday of your life, I'm already sunburned!! Anyways walking around the city was super cool, and then we got some mango smoothies and bought water in bags. The water comes in these tiny little plastic bags and you rip the corner off and drink them . The water tastes kind of funny but its so hot I dont even care. Since we are 7 hours ahead we were all thrown off on the time and super tired. But here are some useful things I learned form the first day in Ghana.
1. You can take nail polish off with bug spray
2. The water pressure is literally a sprinkle so dont use a lot of conditioner
3. But your shower does nothing because your covered in sweat once you get out
4. White kids on the street draw a lot of attention so when they honk and yell at you its normal
5. Its easy to hand wash clothes and I know how to set up a mosquito net
Anyways its seven at night here and still about a thousand degrees and I'm drinking water out of bag, but Im already having an amazing experience. I know im going to love it, I just can't believe I get to live in Africa for 6 weeks!