Partir, c’est mourir un peu.

(To leave is to die a little)

Good morning from a chilly airport in Brussels,

Yesterday was the day, I left Ghana. It was still impossible for me to believe, somehow it still hasn’t really hit me. Except for the sadness, and already missing soo much.

A funny thing happened though since I had been thinking about extending my stay, it turned out that I had overstayed my VISA! I almost had a heart attack when the people at immigration said I had overstayed my VISA, and that it was a very very serious offense and that I would get a penalty! Somehow I had thought I had a 3 months VISA automatically when entering Ghana, did not even check the stamp when I arrived, where they had written 60 days… After being taken into an office at the airport to a very angry woman, she said I would have to pay a fine. Again, heart attack because now I thought okay if I’m not getting arrested or something crazy like that – at least this fine is going to be HUGE. Haha, nope. 80 Ghanaian cedis, which is about 145 SEK. I wanted to laugh, but it was not the moment. I was still scared too, so I was already almost crying. But the lady warmed up, we talked about nice things with Ghana and I was good to go! So a suggestion from me, check your stamp at arrival haha!

Anyways, the week has been hectic. I had 3 interviews, all insanely interesting and helpful! I still can’t believe all the amazing people I have met during my time in Ghana. So many people fighting for human rights, and children’s rights, it gives me hope for the future.

But like I mentioned, I feel very sad and empty right now. I feel like I have left a piece of my heart in Ghana. The food, the people, the music, the weather, the city, the traffic, the languages – yeah you get it. I could go on forever. It has been so different from Sweden, it has forced me out of my comfort zone sooo many times. More times than I thought I was ready for even, but here I am, so grateful and proud of my experience in Ghana. It has been lifechanging honestly, and has brought back some light in my life that I have been missing for a long time.

My last thought goes to all the amazing friends I have had the opportunity to meet and spend my 9 weeks with. They truly are some amazing people, they are what I will miss the most. You all know who you are.


Less than a week left, and finally got the dream interview!

Sunday afternoon and I’m writing this only having less than a week left here in Ghana. This past week I’ve really been debating with myself whether or not I should stay a few more weeks here, at least till my VISA expires 3 weeks after my departure date… A big part of me really likes it here, and it already feels like a sort of home. On top of that, I’m not too excited to go back to Sweden at the moment. But a part of me also feels ready to go home, mainly to be able to see friends and family. This last week I’ve just felt really lonely. Also I really really cannot wait to get back to Sweden and all the Swedish food! I’m honestly writing a list on my phone of things I’m gonna eat when I come back, no joke.

The main reason why I feel ready to go home is because I have now scheduled another 3 interviews this coming week, and I feel like the material I have now is what I wanted from the beginning, and good enough. One of these interviews is with the chief of child protection at UNICEF! I couldn’t believe it when I got the answer from him, I cried haha. They were always on top of my list of organizations I wanted to interview. Everyone kept telling me they were a looong shot and it would be quite impossible to get an interview there. Well, if you really really want something fight for it and it will work out one way or the other.

Now I’m heading to the Accra Mall, to sit down at the coffee shop and drink plenty of my favorite coconut icepresso and study! That place has really been a comfy place where I have spent many days studying, drinking coffee, meeting new people, and, buying my new phone, I will miss it!

First few days in Ghana!


My journey has started! Day 4 here in Accra today, and so far I really really REALLY like it here.

My accommodation is great, I live with the best people! A nice bunch of different nationalities, they are definitely a big part of why I already feel so at home here.

Also, the weather is great. So so great, it is definitely very hot and I’m constantly sweating but I’d take this any day instead of cold and grey weather!

The weekend was very chill, getting into everything. Yesterday I had my first interview with one organization, that is working with street children. I spent the first two hours with one of the workers there out on the street to see how it is. This is in an area of Accra that is mentioned as a scrap-yard. Many children live on the street there, picking metal to sell. We did not get to walk more than five minutes before there was a very serious incident with a young boy there. Nothing has ever affected me as much. This place was really something out of this world. That kind of place you would not ever believe existed unless you saw it with your own eyes. Yesterday was a day that I will remember for the rest of my life and that I will keep in my heart forever.


The house I’m living in and the backyard!

Some food one of the girls in the house from Ivory Coast cooked for us, amazing!

They are a big fan of everything ginger here.

Buy local!

Nicaragua have like many other Latin American countries survived on agriculture and they still do to a certain point. A lot of the land have been bought up by big foreign exploiters who own the land, let the Nicaraguans cultivate it, pays a small fee for the products, exports them to Europe or the United States and earn a lot more than they paid the farmer in the first step of the exportation. This is not a new phenomenon this is how it works in many parts of the food industry. When you buy that Pineapple at ICA from Costa Rica or Nicaragua for 10:- and think “wow that is so cheap so nice!”, think about how many hands it has passed on the way and that if you pay only 10:- for that juicy fruit, what did the farmer get?

Last year I did a tiny field study here in Nicaragua interviewing independent farmers who refused to give up their land and they told me about the struggles they face when trying to stay away from the big companies. When selling your land to a big co-operation they also own the product produced on the land. The independent farmers they own their land since generations back and they also own the products. To be safer and always have a product many independent farmers cultivate many different fruits instead of just one. This is not only good for them but also for the nature and the soil with changing crops that doesn´t drain it from nutrition. In one single farm you can find papaya, mango, squash, avocado, banana, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, carrot, onion and all kind of melons you can think of and lots more. Even if the many products reduce the opportunity to have large amounts they still secure themselves of having products all through the year since they all have different seasons. Sometimes the farmers can sell fruits to the foreign exporters when there is a big cry for something on the other side of the lake (Europe), one year it´s avocado, the next one it is mango but most of the products they sell on the local markets to the local people (or to me). It is always uncertain to be a farmer;

“Some years the rainy season will not come in time, not stop or not come at all. We are always dependent on the weather of course and if it is not on our side we stand without an income and can´t support our family” – Field notes April 2015.

When this happens they take loans from banks who are specialized on farmers and agriculture. When I asked how big the loans could be they told me BIG and told me amounts from 200-400$ (1800-3200:- ) that will take them years to pay back or they can negotiate about the land that they own with the bank. That seemed to be the biggest fear for many farmers, to lose their land that they often have owned for generations.

Pesticides I was told are not used if they really don´t have to. First of all they are expensive but foremost it is not good for the soil, fruit or us. This really surprised me actually. If these farmers on the countryside of Nicaragua gets it why doesn´t even the most well educated ones does? But the big companies do use the and it goes down in the groundwater and pollute the water that the farmers use for watering and drinking. That is another big problem in the region but maybe I will tell you about that another time.

So I thought I would just write about the amazing food that they here but now you got some background story as well. What I wanted to show with this is the importance of buying local and ecological! It may be a bit more expensive, but hey you can afford it and I you can´t well don´t buy it at all then. I can tell you that the fruits here are heavenly juicy, fresh and they get bad within a day or 2 if you don’t eat them, isn´t that incredible?! The avocados are as big as melons and the melons are as big as well what is bigger than a melon? And the first time I saw a REAL passionfruit big, round and smooth as an orange I thought to myself “well in Sweden we don´t have real fruit…it´s something else!”.

All in all I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and beans…ohh I forgot to write about beans. Well you eat beans 3 times a day and they are gooood! They are good for your heart and they make you fart as a tipsy man once told me.

Every time I go to the market I know that the fruits come from local farmers who deserve every Cordoba that I pay for that banana or mango and I am more than happy to pay it. Do you know where your food comes from? I am not trying to judge anyone just remind you to think about it at home from time to time. It is a global market that we live in but don´t forget the local one 🙂

(Pictures of the great fruits are coming in a near future)

Take care everyone!