It’s been 3 years since I have been in Ghana, but like Sonya said in her blog post, when I stepped off the plane in Accra, everything I remembered about Ghana came rushing back. I remembered the airport (though it felt significantly less hectic than I expected), the friendliness, the taxis, and the traffic. What my memories didn’t quite capture was the heat. We were lucky that it had been storming right before we landed, because although it was incredibly humid, it was cloudy and overcast and I was spared my reintroduction to Ghana’s sun for a couple of a days. However, the clouds have disappeared and the sun has now been in full force today and yesterday. Yesterday, on the day of our very important meeting at the Ministry of Health (our meeting that is now postponed until we are back in Accra), the day I need to look the most professional, is the day I’m reintroduced to the fact that I have to get used to being constantly damp. Despite my best efforts to prepare myself for the heat, it is never how I remember it, and it was poor luck that the sun came back in full force the day of our meeting.
I’m also experiencing Ghana in a different context. Whereas before I was here as part of an undergraduate student group and it was ok to look like a sweaty student while walking around, now I am here as part of an NGO and feel the pressure to look legitimate and professional. It also doesn’t help that I look much younger than I am and so I could still easily pass for an undergraduate student. I am excited about the change in my perspective and also to see new parts of Ghana. I have already seen new parts of Accra (the ministry buildings, the National Theatre) and despite our 12 hour bus ride and very, very early departure time tomorrow, I’m very excited to go to Tamale, a part of Ghana I have never been to, and begin our site visits.