I have just returned from a week in Ghana and I'm missing it already. This was my second ever trip to Ghana so I though the novelty may have worn off....I was wrong!
It's an exciting time for us in Ghana. Initially we only used the upstairs part of the Work the World house in Takoradi, but with the programme having become so popular and busy in the past few months, we have had to expand our accommodation. As of the 20th of June 2009, Work the World students will have claim to the whole house and grounds meaning more space, more students and more fun! Choosing colour schemes, buying art work, negotiating with local furniture makers and generally trying to organise workmen (a difficult task at the best of times let alone in Ghana!) were just a few of my tasks for the trip. Fortunately Alhasan (right), our new housekeeper, was on hand to help me. He's had a vital part to play in the new house arrangements and his help was greatly appreciated.
The weather was brilliant - one minute a crazy stormy downpour and the next the sun had burnt through the clouds and it was perfect sunbathing weather! After I had finished long days of working on the new sections of the house, the students were always in to greet me. On my first evening our fabulous cook Ophelia made my favourite meal; Red Red, a local dish of fried plantain, bean stew and rice, which is sooooo tasty! This was followed by two indulgent chocolate cakes that had been baked by the students as a farewell gift to two of the group who were heading home. It is always refreshing to see the camaraderie within the house; students go in as strangers and leave as friends for life. The evening was topped off with a bit of an 'i-pod tunes' party and drinks!
On my day off, the students were away travelling for the weekend to the beach resort of Akwida, so I popped to Africa Beach. This is the local beach resort hotel that allows us to use their swimming pool, sun loungers and pool cafe for a small monthly subscription. It was bliss and I successfully managed to top up my tan to make all my UK colleagues jealous when I came back to the office on Wednesday!
I went for a lovely meal out on Sunday night when the students got back from travelling. We went to Planters lodge, a popular choice for relatively cheap but great steak or sea food dishes and a beautiful setting in the grounds of the hotel.
Leaving this time was harder than last. Every time you go to Ghana you get a little more attached to the people, the culture and the general buzz - I can't wait for my next trip!