Volunteering in Ghana – Ten Things You’ll Love

An African Adventures volunteer explains the ten things she loved most about Ghana after volunteering there

1. The handshake – it’s great. It’s a normal handshake that ends with a snap of the fingers. Once you get used to it it’s hard to stop!

2. The people: No more saying, but Ghana is really friendly.

3. Rain – proceeded with a warning wind, it’s torrential and mostly warm. The best part is the rain during the day when the kids run out with sponges and soap to take advantage of.

4. The Clothes: It’s amazing with brightly colored wax prints or the Batik made in Ghana. Your local tailor or seamstress can whip you up a matching two-piece, intriguingly known as a slit and a Kabba.

5. The Noise – From the drums to the bustling music, the volume is loud which adds to a great atmosphere where dancing can break out at any moment.

6. Funerals: If you get the chance on a Saturday, it’s great to see these great celebrations of a life lived. With images of the deceased adorning t-shirts it couldn’t be more different.

7. Head Loads: The grace and beauty of someone walking and bending over to make sure the head load of a dining table and chairs is tilted perfectly to one side to clear the mattresses coming the other. Side has to be seen to be believed.

8. Fan Ice: Fan ice and fan yogurt are very refreshing in hot weather. Street vendors sell fan ice everywhere, just listen for the old-style bicycle horn announcing your arrival.

9. Shopping Through Car Windows: Whether you’re hungry or need to furnish a home, a short drive around Accra can leave you with the items on your shopping list.

10. Say I’m Sorry: To express sadness that something bad happened in the first place. For example, if you get hurt, passersby will say I’m sorry, not because it’s their fault, but because they wish it hadn’t happened.

Volunteering in Ghana was such a rewarding experience that it was really hard to pick just ten wonderful things about the country. I would have enjoyed it on a vacation, but even more so volunteering brings you closer to yourself in a way that traveling alone cannot. I really felt part of something good and for that I will be forever grateful to the amazing Ghanaians I met doing such wonderful things and making me feel so welcome.

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