Sunday, July 11, 2010

5/10/2010, 10:19 pm (Tpalmey, Togo)

After crossing the Ghana/Togo border we finally arrived at the resort where we went to swim in the Atlantic. The resort was beautiful. Swimming in the ocean was amazing. The tides came washing in and their undertow drug us out to sea with them until we could get our footing. An African man at the beach was asking to take my picture but I got creeped out and said no. Manyy of the men here have been trying to get our name/number/email. We ate a delicious meal of beef kabobs and chicken with french fries, rice, and some sort of tomato sauce. Then we made our way to the mountains in Togo. As we were driving a main highway there were what looked like remote villages all along it. Once we werew out of the cities, much of the garbage disappeared and ghe lush green vegetation could be fully enjoyed. When we arrived at our hotel I was breathless. It is located at the base of the mountains. Kind, generous people as hosts, a cheap bar, pool, and a beautiful nature sanctuary make this hotel amazing. Once we got al settled in and had a drink (rum and coke) we headed out in the dark to explore the French-speaking village. We met some young children and stopped to say hi. When we returned to our hotel we swam for a while. There were African drummers, singers, and dancers there to entertain us. After swimming I rand and put a t-shirt on and asked the drummers and dancers to teach me how. I started dancing and singing with them when Kelly, Dani an Addie joined! Then they taught Kelly and I how to drum. They taught us four songs, pretty reggae stuff :) It was such a blast! It was so fun just to let go and enjoy the moment. They taught us some tribal songs of theirs which was way cool. That was my favorite part of the night! Bola (the dude who taught me how to dance like them) was showming me how to dance and was super fun. Then he started asking for my email and phone number so I left, showered, and wrote this entry :)

5/10/2010, 7:43 am (Accra->Lome, Togo)

We left the hostel at 6 am this morning. We are first going to Lome from Accra. We are going to swim in the ocean! On our way to Lome there are people everywhere! Along the road in the middle of nowhere, at random huts, sitting against trees. There are also goats just roaming across the roads and alongside. Our driver's name is Sami. He has a daughter named Maggie, too! In just our couple hours here so far, I can already see such a different way of life. The dirt here is very bright red. The vegetation is so lush and green. But in the city there is lots of garbage everywhere. The humidity is so astounding everytime I walk outside, but the fresh breeze coming in off the ocean is refreshing. All along the highway there are piles of watermelons waiting to be bought by a passerby to take to the city and sell.

5/10/2010, 12:54 am (Accra, Ghana, the Pink Hostel)

I'm homesick!! It's one in the morning, we have to be up at 4:30 am and I haven't hardly slept in two days. I think once I get some rest and we get going I'll be better. Tomorrow we're going to a private beach in Lome, Togo to swim in the ocean. We got out of customs and everything around 11 pm. Getting through the Accra airport was so hectic!!! It was so different and people instantly started trying to steal our bags, haha! What an adventure already. Oh, and I forgot the bag of toys that I bought for the kids! :( All of these events are just adding up to my exhaustion and homesickness. I'm hoping to be in contact with home soon. When we got to our hostel tonight we walked down the street to Yokos, a bar/restaurant that stayed open late to serve us. I tried chicken on hummor or something and some weird beeg egg roll things. My favorite was the red pepper chicken kabobs. Yum!

5/9/2010, 9:25 pm (Accra)

We are about half an hour out from landing in Accra. This was a six hour flight and not nearly as unbearable as the 9 hour one to Amsterdam. However, I'm starting to get a little emotional. I'm extremely exhausted and daunted by the fact that I will not be able to see or talk to my parents for so long! Luckily, once we land we will drive directly to our hotel where we can all just crash. We are getting going very early in the morning tomorrow around 6 am. I'm very nervous but very anxious to get started! It's FINALLY here!!!

5/9/2010, 2:19 pm (Amsterdam Airport)

We landed in Amsterdam around 1:15 pm here and 6:15 am South Dakota time. It was an 8 hour flight from Minneapolis. Our next flight to Accra has been delayed a few hours. We will arrive there around 10 pm Accra, Ghana time. I'm still not very nervous, just extremely bummed out that I can't keep in contact with mom and dad more frequently. There a really hot cop security dude carrying a really giant gun around the airport. The airport alone is so different in another country! I can't even begin to imagine what the next month holds! I know I'll be homesick for the next month but I can't wait to get off the plane in Sioux Falls and hug mom and dad!!

5/8/2010, 9:25 pm (Minneapolis->Amsterdam)

After a 2 hour delay due to more volcanic action in Greenland we are finally boarding our plane to Amsterdam!! I've never been in such a big plane! There are 2 seats, aisle, 4 seats, aisle, 2 seats. I'm in the middle four seats,; this will be a long 8 hour flight. We each have a tv screen in front of us...this is high class! What a great trip already!

And so it begins.... 5/8/2010 Sioux Falls->Amsterdam

We are currently sitting in the Sioux Falls airport waiting to depart for Minneapolis. The students heading to Amsterdam through Detroit have already departed. I don't have my phone on me so i can't text my friends or parents. A month without my phone is going to be tough, but I think very worth it. I'm surpirisingly calm about the upcoming adventure. I didn't even cry when mom and dad left me! In about forty-five minutes I'm going to embark on an adventure of a lifetime!

p.s.: I'm so glad I am travelling single. Girls are crying leaving their boyfriends, boys are on the phone with their worried girlfriends...ugh. Also, I'm reading The Rough Guide First Time Around the World and it's making me watnt to travel for a year; I want to just go on a whim and work and volunteer abroad. Peace & Blessin's