Friday, August 6, 2010


i just wrote so much and then my hour of time ran out and I saved it but it is gone.

take two!

Okay. I am in the 24-hour internet cafe for our dorm. It is 1 cedis per hour which comes to about 80 cents. My computer is a super old school Samsung and this one is pretty fast thankfully. There are "internet cafes" all around campus but that typically means a little room with about 15 computers where 12 work and 10 have mouses( mice?).

I have learned much in the past few days. Christine, Jessica, and I have been guided by Gaby on how to get a taxi and how to use transportation around. Yesterday we rode a tro-tro to the Mall. Which means we hopped into an old stuffed van and paid 1 ghana cedi (80 cents) till we stopped at a point and crossed crazy traffic to get to the mall. The mall is crazy big and very nice. Prices are surprisingly high. 2 teflon pans go for 80 cedis and one bed sheet was 17 cedis! I got a soccer ball pump for 11. I also got a cute little phone for 19 cedis so that I can call my director or Gaby or text a friend if I need help. Learning the transport, where internet is,and having a phone really has given me a sense of empowerment here.

I felt very fearful the first few days. I had heard so much in terms of security and that I should be wary of friendly people. HMMM. How then does one make friends??? After a brief cultural orientation I was told that greeting each other is a way of life here and that little truth has relieved so much insecurity. Those faces before that were blank or staring now turn to toothy grins when I smile or nod or wave (with my Right hand of course) and mumble out an attempt at the local greeting: Itesen! (Which means "how are you.") The response is usually "aya" which makes me laugh because it sounds like "HEY YA" from the OutKast song.

Food here is fantastic. They eat like farmers which suits me just fine. At breakfast Dr. Akotia told an Anansi story and it made my day. If you don't know about Anansi- He is a clever spider famous for his shenanigans in old folk tales throughout Africa. Ghanaians like to laugh. Especially when I say "medasi":thank you.

I have about 15 mosquito bites which is a good amount. It is hard to resist the urge to scrath. I rigged my net up nice so hopefully from now on I will be good.

The weather is best described as beachy. Gaby says it never gets below 20 degrees Celsius. Heaven. I wore shorts today for the first time. Most Ghanaians wear jeans, slacks or skirts. They also take very good care of their possessions probably bc every nice thing is super expensive. I did get 4 passport photos for 4 cedis though. ohhh yeaaaaaa

Today's highlight: Singing Hakuna matata super loud on the road back to the hostel.
Funny tid-bit: They call the International Student Hostel : ISH. Like how Americans say "Don't give me that ish!" When they are trying to avoid saying sh*t.

Today we ate dinner at the Nigerian food place on campus. (Campus is humongous by the way.) The wait was only 30 mins for food which isn't bad here. At one restaurant I waited 1 hour for my food at which point they asked me to change my order :) Patience is a virtue here. The Ghanaian food is way better than Nigerian food. A typical meal is rice, fried plantains, chicken/fish, and a spicy tomato sauce. The sauce makes my nose run but it is good.

One shocking thing from today was meeting the son of the Nigerian cook, Kofi. Gaby introduced us and Kofi was sooo cool. Mom, you would have loved his clothes rack- it was beautifully organized ;) His room was small but he had a sound board, a guitar, a mac laptop and desktop screen and a big camera for videography. It was the nicest stuff and his internet was crazy fast. He was really fun to talk to about music and he said we could all come and record some music sometime. I am hoping that I can buy a uke or a guitar and get lessons.

I also met a guy named Richard Nordi and he is the darkest person I have ever met it is so cool how many variaties of skine tone there are. Amazing. He talked with Gaby about 9/11 and conspiracy theories and not liking George Bush and about the trinity too. He said he saw God in a dream and he was surprised bc there were 3 figures. He said he only recognized Jesus"because I had seen the picture" but also God the Father and the Holy Spirit were there. It was funny that no matter where you go NOBODY understands the trinity. He goes to a Pentecostal church and he said he could take us there someday. Don't worry Dad. I won't go alone and I will get a more in-depth background check than the one I have before I go anywhere. There are churchs on campus so I will check those out first. Almost everyday a church is meeting or having a conference on campus and you can hear the worship from almost anywhere. Ghana is %60 Chrisitan.

Check it out real quick so I am not your only resource:

There is much more but that is enough for now.


Caitlin Stevens
room #20
International Student Hostel 1
University of Ghana
West Africa, Ghana

Send me something. I can't be the talker all the time. Yea, it might take 3 weeks to get here but I promise to send you something back so it will be worth your while.



  1. Hey Caitlin. You are about to have the adventure of your life and I am so excited for you. I'll be following your blog and my name is listed as Mom because it's the account that I made when I was following Laura's Spain blog and I can't change it. So, I be Mom to you too! Sorry Jo-Ann. Your postings are so interesting so keep them coming. How do you say goodbye in Ghanese?

  2. Side note: I love that you cited wikipedia as your source. Have you learned nothing in college?!?! I love you, my dear (grldnc2)