The worldwide Augustana College experience

the lizard that changed my life

hey all! I’ve only been in Africa but it feels like much longer…Ghana is a whole new world.  The moment I got off the plane I was immediately hit with an intense wave of humidity and ray of light.  We preceeded through customs (it was interesting to see the other people entering Ghana, missionaries, lots of Europeans) and got on a bus to the hotel.  As I sat on the bus and looked out to the streets I was hit with the thought of  “Oh my God, I’m actually in Africa”…I know this probably sounds stupid but I can’t begin to explain how surreal it was to come to this realization.

After getting our things dropped off at the hotel, we walked to a place to exchange money (the money here is awesome and quite vibrant) and then walked to the grocery store.  On the walk we were completely bombarded with teenagers on the streets trying to sell us bracelets…the Ghanain venders are extremely pushy when trying to make a sale, so they literally asked for all of our names and then embroided them on bracelets before we said yes…some people ended up getting sucked into buying them, but I told them straight up no which ended up working out when I continued to repeat it.  After this we went back to the hotel and swam in the HOTEL POOL….yes we have a pool, and a bar and palm trees and beauty all around us…..and then decided to go back out.  This time I decided to buy some Batique fabric and get measured for them to make me a skirt…on the way back we got a lot of references to Obama and Michael Jordan..ahaha

That first day was pretty much neverending because of the time change (we didnt sleep at all on the 11 hour flight and then got to Ghana at 8am) and so after dinner I crashed.

The next day (yesterday) was awesome…we woke up at 7:30 and went running around the streets of Accra..after this we went on a seven hour city tour….we saw a lot of really cool things but I dont want to go into too much detail…things that really stuck out were the giant gray ring outlined by a rainbow that was surrounding the sun…while most Ghanains dont know the scientific explanation of this, it has a spiritual representation (as most things do) of the circle of life that everyone is part of. 

After going to a few museums we went to a casket making shop.  In Ghana, people believe that your work is one of the most important things and that if you do good work it will carry on in the afterlife.  Therefore, instead of using regualr caskets they bury people in something represents their job.  So if you were a fisherman you would be buried in a giant fish, a shoemaker in a giant shoe and a cigarette maker in a giant cigarette box…awesome, I know.

After this, we went back to the hotel for a seminar.  I had to find out the hard way that when your roommate locks the door, if you are still in the room without the key that you get locked in…so yeah I got looked into my room and had to jump out the window into the bushes…I actually quite enjoyed it.  After this we went to dinner and then salsa night at the hotel…salsa night was insane…..there were loads of people that came from town to strut their moves.  At first I was shy but then  ghanain man grabbed my hand and taught me some moves (I also taught him some American moves, like the sprinkler, which he thought was a bit odd) After dancing for quite some time I decided to hit the hay.  My roommate was already asleep and I was just about to do the same when I saw something moving on my wall.  When I looked closer I realized there was a lizard scurring around the room…I immediately tried to wake my roommate up who was not very happy and sleepily responded “The lizard is your problem, you need to fix it..and if you don’t and it kills me my boyfriend is going to be mad!”…of course under that heavy of a threat I had to take action…I tried to capture the lizard but the cunning beast was too quick….so after a while I decided to go to the front desk and ask if lizards were poisonous…as I walked to the desk I was greeted by about ten augie students swimming in the pool.  They enthusiastically invited me to join which was an offer I couldnt refuse (who could though? swimming in the african moonlight at 1am) so I got on my suit and had a great time bonding with some augie people…by the end of the night there were only two us left plus some Ghanain workers…I had a conversation with one of them named Ebenezer and found out that my African name is Akwea (different depending what day of the week your were born on) and to sum up it was a great night

I’m a little sick now which kinda stinks but it gives me more time to tell of my African adevntures to all of you! hope all is well at augie and stay updated for more!

2 Responses to “the lizard that changed my life”

  1. Hey!! Glad to hear you guys are jumping right into things in Ghana!

    1. Could you ask them if they would make a giant larynx to put me in when I die?

    2. The Thai people based a lot of things on what day of the week you were born, too. Which is weird, since we don’t think about that at all in America but I guess its kind of important!

    3. I miss you! Can’t wait to hear more of your stories!


  2. These stories made me laugh so much!! haha I’m so glad you’re having a good time. That’s so weird that you got locked IN your room! At least you weren’t in a high leveled room lol that would’ve been dangerous. Well, feel better and keep writing!! Miss you! XATT <3

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