Agh! Ghana is so near :)

I am freaking out! In exactly two weeks I will be flying to NYC to get ready for leaving on my flight to Accra, Ghana, AFRICA! I’m literally having a hard time studying and paying attention in my classes because I’m so excited to go!

On Tuesday, the 8th, I will be getting the last of my medicine – typhoid fever shot and malaria pill prescription. Then, all I need to do is prepare for cultural immersion and brush up on some Ghanese culture. I still haven’t figured out what my name would be. I think Akua because I was born on a Wednesday. Maybe I’ll mix my name and be Akua Katherine!

I leave Dec. 18th at 4:10 p.m. from JFK, and I get into Accra at 7:35 a.m. Dec. 19th. It’s a 10 hr, 55 min. flight. I’m in row G on the flight (I think it’s by the window, if not I might go crazy sitting in the middle seat for that long).

I was told that on long flights like that you need to get up and walk around to prevent any blood clots. I think I will be doing laps around that plane to get my blood pumping, also to let loose some of this pent up excitement that I have. Holy cow, I’m going to be in GHANA!

The guy in my French class, Kwam, mentioned that Hohoe is an area susceptible to malaria, so I’m trying to be extra cautious about preparing. I’m having my boyfriend (who’s coming to visit from San Diego before I leave) bring me some light cotton clothing so that I can be prepared for the hot days and mosquito-infested areas.

I got an e-mail from a couple of the other volunteers who are going to Ghana the same time that I am, and they all seem really excited too! I cannot wait to meet everyone and to meet all of the people in Ghana. A lot of my family and friends are reminding me to buy them gifts once I get in Ghana. A necklace for my sister, coffee for my friend, and some musical instrument for my boyfriend. I hope I have enough money!

What I’m most excited for is to give my time to help others. I think that I might be working in one of the orphanages in Hohoe, and I can’t wait to make Christmas cards with the little children and to show them pictures of the U.S. and my life here.

AND, I will promise to take as many pictures as I can to remember my trip. You should ask permission before taking people’s photos, especially in foreign countries because some people see it as invasion to have their picture taken. Some people, on the other hand, aren’t camera shy at all. So, I’m sure that I will have plenty of pictures!

Here’s a picture from the Africa Travel Magazine showing some Ghanese royalty. 14 days!! The countdown begins!
ghana royalty

About the Author

Jr. SUNY Oswego Journalism major Global Studies Minor Environmental activist, cultural advocate, uninhibited dancer, singer, writer, traveler.
Email: kraymond@oswego.edu
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6 thoughts on “Agh! Ghana is so near :)

  1. Hi Katherine!

    This is Maureen. I am going to be on the trip to Ghana with you! I am so glad that you shared the link to this blog in your email!

    So I just realized as I was reading that I never got typhoid fever. Uh oh! It is so crazy to plan all of this. I cant wait until the planning is over and the trip is finally here!

    How long will you be in Ghana for? I am going for 12 weeks.

    I cant wait to meet you!

    See you soon,
    Maureen

  2. Hi Maureen… I’m very excited to go; I hope you are too! Typhoid fever isn’t necessary, but it’s strongly recommended as are malaria pills, lots of bug spray, light – earth tone colored clothing, and sunblock! I went to a travel health clinic and they hooked me up with a lot of information and safety tips.
    You should check and see if you could get the typhoid fever one and maybe some malaria stuff.

    There’s a lot to plan for that you don’t even realize until someone mentions, “well haven’t you done this…?” I look forward to meeting you! I get in sometime around noon Dec. 19th.
    Travel safely!
    Katherine

  3. Hi Katherine,

    I have mixed feelings after reading your post. I’m a Ghanaian based in the UK. I have not visited home for more than six years. That’s not to say nostalgia and all the fond memories of the homeland has left me a bit. Far from that! Reading your post has rekindled that feeling intensely.

    Your excitement displayed in your blog is highly commendable. It is a positive PR for the country, and Africa as a whole. What I read from your piece is that, you’ve received very good reviews from some colleagues who have been to Ghana before you.

    I wish you and Maureen an enjoyable stay in Ghana. I hope your schedule will allow you to experience some of the beauty the country possess.If you would want advice on anything, you may contact me via geoddell@yahoo.co.uk or http://www.twitter.com//Geoddell.

    Merry Christmas.

    George Yeboah

  4. Hello Katherine, my cousin is going to Ghana some time December of this year, and I just would like to know if the malaria cases there are true that what other people say? I know this post is quite old, and all I want just an opinion from a person who actually went there. I am quite concern for my dear cousin that she might get sick there. It was last Sunday morning while I was doing may weekly car maintenance when she informed me, and I quick did some research to where she was going. Looking forward to your advice.

    Thanks!

  5. Hi Bradford. That’s awesome that your cousin is going to Ghana!

    Whenever you go to places where malaria is present, you run the risk of getting infected. For the locals, they get malaria like we get colds, maybe once or twice a year or something. For us as outsiders, we have to take a lot of caution before we go to places like Ghana where we might get infected because malaria affects us a lot more severely than the locals.

    That said, there’s no reason to really be too afraid of getting malaria; you just have to take the right precautions:

    1. Wear clothing that protects your neck and legs and arms (plus it’s custom in Ghana to wear longer shorts and shirts – capris and t-shirts).
    2. Use bug spray regularly. Spray your clothes and yourself (don’t forget your face- spray it on your hands and then wipe it on your cheeks) Also, get a mosquito net if the place she’s going doesn’t have one. Those keep out all of the creepy crawlies when you’re asleep.
    3. TAKE YOUR MALARIA PILLS! This is probably the most important one. Your cousin will probably get bitten by mosquitoes that have malaria because there are so many bugs around. But, if she takes pills (Malarone is a good one but expensive) every day a week before she goes, during, and a week or so after, then she should be fine.

    These are just suggestions. I wore shorts and a tank top at some times when we hiked in the jungle, and I didn’t get malaria. But I also used bug spray and malaria pills. If she just follows these simple things, then she should not have to worry about malaria at all.

    But, if she wants more info – check out this site – http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2010/chapter-2/malaria.aspx#990

    I wish your cousin the best, and I hope this has helped some!

    :) Katherine

  6. Hello Katherine, thank you for your advise and information. I am now at least relived and confident that my cousin will not get malaria as long as she never forgets to put on insect repellent and malaria pills.

    Thank you and God Bless!

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