Training in Toronto & Arrival in Accra

Toronto 

On early Saturday morning last week [May 6th], I made the trip to Toronto for training. Here I got to meet the other 4 interns: Leah from Ryerson/Calgary, Chris from Carlton/Vancouver, Lin from Laurier Brantford, and Raquel from Regina. The first three will be living in Kumasi and working at Capital and Luv Radio. Raquel will be living with me in Takoradi and be working at radio/TV station SKYY.

We were right near Kensington Market so we tried to eat from the markets and make our own food in prep for hopefully home cooking. We also did lots of training and gathered a bunch of stuff for our trip.

We also walked EVERYWHERE, which was a nice change from Winnipeg.

A little Toronto Art for you!

The closest I got to George

Entrance to Kensington Market

View of skyline from rooftop patio

View from our rooftop patio at the hostel

Flight

The journey to Ghana ended up being about 21 hours long. We traveled from Toronto to Brussels, Brussels to Lome, Togo and Lome to Accra.

It was definitely an interesting trip where we had to pay $15 for breakfast in Brussels, had all the movies extremely censored on our “conservative” airline and had a choice of Indian curry or ‘international chicken’.

Then our arrival….

Accra

We arrived in Accra at about 7:30 on Friday night. After waiting at the airport for a while, we traveled to the Christensborg Hotel in Osu, a region in Accra. It is right off the main city road called Oxford Street which is a pretty busy/young area. That night we walked to Epo’s, a huge outdoor patio that had a large projection screen with the soccer  (or football as they call it here) on it. We ordered a couple local beer, ate some siscabobs and heard Jenny (our jhr Ghana contact) talk about the cultural.

The next day, we woke up and kept dry from the torrential rains by having breakfast. We got cell phones and really got our first view of Accra during the day. For lunch, we went to a local restaurant and tested out some Ghanaian food. I kept it safe with chicken and rice but I tried the others tried more traditional dishes: groundnut soup, fufu and more (I’ll write about food later).

From there the other interns went to the cultural market but I went to meet Kathy Knowles, a Winnipegger who started the Osu Children’s Library Fund. The library I was planning to do my documentary on is now not opening for a while but I still want to focus on the all the work they are doing. The kids were putting on a dance show and it was great to see some local dancing!Dancing

Drumming

After the show, I met up with the other interns to meet the other jhr IYIP interns who have been in Accra since January. They stay for six month terms and are in more teaching/training roles. They took us to Tawalla restaurant that was literally on the beach. The tide was getting so high that it could almost reach our table. Here they told us lots about their media houses and how to handle some situations that have arisen. It was great to hear from them, especially as one of them, Laura, was during our program last year. [& one of the other IYIP girls is from Pinawa!]

On Sunday, we met for lunch to discuss of roles in the media house and how the first couple of days will go. From there, we went to Keshie to watch a soccer game of a friend of Laura. After that we went to La Pleasure beach for the weekly beach party.

Crazy Amount of People at the Weekly Beach Party

Things I am starting to get used to:

  • Negotiating everything – especially taxis
  • The food – well at least the chicken and rice
  • Getting stared at – at all times! Although Ghana is a huge NGO-friendly country, locals still stare, whistle or yell “obruni”, which means foreigner.

Things I need to work on:

  • The language – I have been trying to learn but have been forgetting lots. Hopefully by next week I will have more of a hold on twi, a traditional Ghanaian language that about 40% of people speak.
  • Living out of a suitcase – I literally cannot find anything.
  • Remembering to take photos of everything!

Tomorrow I am going to a couple to a couple of meetings and then on Tuesday I move to Takoradi and will start working.

I am really excited to stop training and introduction and get working!

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8 thoughts on “Training in Toronto & Arrival in Accra

  1. Wow that is sure alot of activites packed into a few days. Looks like life in Ghana will not be a slower pace. It sounds so interesting and fun, so keep blogging it is great to hear about your adventures.

  2. You are busy(as usual)! Glad you are posting pics in the blog.
    It looks and sounds so exciting and interesting. Take care.

  3. Sounds like the trip has been quite a whirlwind already!
    organize your bags like a room, ie dresser, work stuff, bathroom stuff. might take a while tho…
    keep that sunscreen on! and maybe get a hat.
    is the word obruni a good or bad name to be identified as?

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