The first word that I saw when I arrived at Kotoka (meaning welcome).Tomorrow I’ve been in Ghana for a week I’ve had some trouble getting access to internet but have found a temporary way to access it through my mobile for the moment.

So, flying from Copenhagen and Frankfurt I arrived at Kotoka Airport 7:45 pm. On the flight we got to fill in forms that was for the immigration service at the arrival. While filling in the forms I was just hoping that the lines would not be too long.. well that didn’t work, it took me 2 hours to get to the immigration service at the airport. TWO hours standing in my boots and my blazer, HOT does not even begin to describe it. So 2 hours in the line, not because the line was too long, it was because the queue was not organized. Imagine standing in a queue and the person standing 100 m behind you magically now happens to be 200 m in front of you. It was really like “the survival of the fittest” mode. Any chances people had to come forward in the queue were taken. When it finally was my turn to get to the immigration service I was surprised that the officers were so nice and polite. The process was quite easy I got my stamps and everything and was practically good to go. Next step, I picked my bags up and went to the place where all the families were waiting when somebody grabbed my shoulders. That was my brother and outside was my sister waiting to pick me up. Before we even reached the car at least five people had offered to take my bags and a taxi ride. My first impression was that Ghana is hot hot hot… Surprise huh?

Anyways as I said I’ve been staying at my sisters house for a week and now I’m looking for a cheap accommodation that is nearer the University of Legon where my supervisor is at. So far I’ve been trying to acquaint myself with the environment and getting access to the basic things I need. D has shown me around Accra and Tema, I’ve eaten REAL Ghanaian made fufu. Other things I’ve experienced are the blackouts (that can be really inconvenient at times), heat heat heat, Ghanaian hospitality and some azooonto dancing. I was supposed to meet my supervisor today but had to reschedule so we’ll meet on Thursday morning. Tomorrow D has offered to show me some hostels for international students nearer Legon.  Other than the blackouts and trouble with the internet, Ghana is a really lovely place to be at and the people are so friendly.


130109–Karibu Kenya!

I’m in Nairobi! Sitting on the floor in my new livingroom grasping the fact that I’m for the first time in my life ”south of Sahara.” The journey here felt much shorter than I was expecting–even though it was snowing i Istanbul and I was rerouted via Amsterdam. I arrived this morning and D. and O. the couple I’m living with had sent a driver to come and pick me up. The driving here is almost even more crazy than in Riyadh, but my new ‘rafiki’ (friend in Swahili) and driver David felt safe. However, I don’t think I will be heading out on the roads driving by myself anytime soon. Today I’ve spent getting acquainted with my neighborhood Kilimani, just north of the city center. This will be my base for now. But my goal is to explore as much as possible. Of course I’ve already gotten lost once, but during the day time most places around here feel and are safe, and people are in general very helpful. Looking for a small supermarket a woman guided me in the right direction, offered me some nuts and told me a little bit about her work with a local NGO. For now things are pretty relaxing. Tonight we are having dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant and I’m going to try and get a hold of a Kenyan number so I can start contacting people to talk to about my project. And I need to figure out what I want to do and where I want to go when I’m here–as I feel and fear that these eight weeks will pass much faster than expected.

Tuonane baadaye–See you later!

/ Irina Bernebring Journiette