Akwaaba!

That means you’re welcome in Twaa, an African language. I have started writing my Ghana blog but I know this one will be a long one so I figured I would send a quick notice that I haven’t forgotten to update my blog.

We are out at sea now after leaving port around 8pm. We left the harbor and instantly hit a big swell of waves which sent the boat rocking like crazy. The captain even came on the loudspeaker to tell us to watch where we were walking and to hold handrails, etc. Quite a start for our six day voyage to Cape Town, South Africa. It calmed down after a few minutes though so it was all okay.

For a quick update on my Ghana experience, I absolutely loved it. I spent the first two days on a overnight stay in the fishing village of Winneba. Then the next two days I spent wandering around Accra and Osu, the two big areas a 15min-3hour drive from Tema Port, where the ship was. I was at the arts center market for two days and had an absolute blast meeting people, buyin things, and making friends with the locals. I enjoyed the street food and the culture and just everything about it. Today, our last day, I went on an FDP to Global Mamas and learned about the organization. That was actually the third time I ended up at Global Mamas because it was a serious shopping spot for SASers. In fact, the owner told us that the period in which SAS kids come is bigger than their Christmas sales. That was quite an impact on me to realize how much us kids spent at that store, quite apparent in my three trips there, where I ran into a group of SAS kids everytime. After the shop, we headed to a market for a short time, where I bought a pair of fake Ray Bans for 4cedi because that was all I had left. Btw, $1USD=1.61cedi so I pretty much bought a pair of sunglasses for $2.75 or so. For those of you who know my sunglasses addiction, that was quite a big deal.

One of the biggest impacts on me while I was in Ghana was the money I spent and how much I got for that. After taking quite a bit of money out of the ATMs, I finally counted it up, and realizing I spent only 60% of what I thought was quite shocking. There were so many times where I would try to bargain the price of a necklace down from 15cedi to 5cedi and it wasn’t until later how I realized I got a beautiful necklace, usually handmade, for less than $4… At the reflection session tonight, a few kids talked about the bargaining kids did. In the moment, I have no problem bargaining down a price to way less than half the original price but later I would realize how cheap I actually got something for. It was crazy realizing I bargained a 20cedi taxi ride down to 5 or 10. People make so little money and I feel so bad bargaining down but after talking to a local, it’s normal and accepted to bargain. One of the main reasons behind bargaining being accepted is that many of the people put a high price on things because they assume tourists will just pay that price.

Anyways, long blog post coming soon, right after I rest up and reflect on my amazing adventures.

Goodnight from sea!
Mackenzie

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