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Hope is the Spark that Changes Lives

As some of you may know, I am currently in Ghana doing a semester study abroad at the University of Ghana. I just wanted to share some of my experiences in Africa so far. I’ve been here for about 2 months now but it feels like so much longer (in a good way!).

Everything starts early and ends early. The sun rises around 6am and sets by 6pm. I constantly talk about my “Ghana bedtime”. In college in United States, it would not be acceptable to go to bed by 10pm every night but here, it’s normal. And you’ve “slept in” if you manage to stay asleep until 8 or 9am!

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel quite a bit in these first two months. This is a picture of Wli Falls which is the highest waterfall in West Africa. It was about a 45 minute hike to get to the lower part of the falls and if you want to go to the upper part, it’s an hour and a half. My group only hiked to the lower part but we’re considering going back to hike to the top part. I just recently returned from a two-day trip to Lome, Togo, where I got to tour the Voodoo Fetish Market. Right when I got back, Yahoo! posted an article about the creepiest places in the world (click here) and the market was on the list!

The food here is probably the biggest thing I’ve had to adjust to. I normally don’t eat spicy food but there are only two options here—spicy and spicier. Fufu with groundnut stew is my new favorite food. Rather than chewing you simply dunk the fufu (which is pounded yams or plantains) into the stew and then swallow it whole. I found a recipe for groundnut stew and I highly suggest anyone and everyone try to make it (click here).

Ghana is fantastic and such an interesting cultural experience. One thing I have noticed is that they take HIV/AIDS very seriously. There are signs everywhere advocating for safe sex and HIV prevention which is fantastic. Provided the internet cooperates, I will try to continue to blog a little more about my experiences here.

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