From San Diego to Ghana

Our flights from San Diego to Ghana weren’t bad at all.  Maneuvering through the various airports were fairly easy, just know that you’ll go through TSA again in London so make sure you throw out any liquids you bought in at the airport (or you can get searched like Sean and get made fun of by TSA for the DVDs in his carryon).  We arrived in Accra at around 7pm and casually strolled through the various areas of the airport.  I was a little concerned when the man who checked my Visa did not ask for my Yellow fever card, but hopefully he saw it in my hand and that’s why he didn’t ask.

The SunLodge Hotel in Accra is amazing! It has a beautiful pool (remember to bring a bathing suit) and the food is great too! It is incredibly humid here, so I’d suggest wearing a singlet when you’re going out.  We visited numerous museums of influential members of the Pan African movement and learned so much about Ghana’s rich heritage.  It’s truly amazing and inspiring to learn about another place’s culture.

Our arrival in Cape Coast was a little interesting to say the least.  We were greeted by our amazing lab crew Professor Tayman, Andy, and Akrofi, as well as Mary and John from the Center for International Education.  They showed us our house for the remainder of the 8 weeks and that’s when reality set in.  We were no longer staying in an amazing hotel in Ghana’s capital, nor were we staying in a 3 story house in the town like previous years.  To add to my reality shock, the house had nothing -_-. Thankfully Dr. Martin is the Wonder Woman she is.  She kicked into Mamma Bear mode and we made a shopping list for everything needed in the house and we went shopping.  The grocery store was even more interesting.  There were so many workers, it was like they had someone to attend/assist for every isle.  As a rising senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, I’ve become accustomed to  living in the middle of nowhere, and having to survive off of yogurt, so I was planning on having yogurt for breakfast while here.  Unfortunately, the yogurt wasn’t refrigerated which is fine because it was unopened, but I chickened out and bought crackers instead.

While getting ready for bed (on our first night in the house) we had a little visitor.  At first Sean screamed like he was getting electrocuted, so when I realized he was okay, I disregarded the situation and carried on my business.  Then I saw a black mass moving from behind the desk in my room… I thought it was a huge roach, but it was a black scorpion.  Me being the humble person I am respected that this was the scorpion’s house first and I needed to get the hell out, so I screamed, cried, and shouted out strategies for leaving the place at that moment.  Sean on the other hand ran to his room, grabbed his camera, and recorded my moment of despair while laughing uncontrollably… he’s the worst.  Fatimata, being the calm person she is asked Sean to stop playing around and kill it already.  He eventually decided to kill it when his stomach began to hurt from laughing so hard.


– Cindy Famutimi

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