Kaleo, Upper West Region, Ghana.
I can’t believe its been five years since I went on a project in Ghana, it still feels like yesterday and I’m still longing to go back. I was 18 and embarked on a 4 week long educational project with 12 new friends of similar ages.
We flew into Accra, the capital on the Ghanaon coast. It was pitch black when we arrived, we loaded our bags onto the mini bus and settled into a b&b for the night. The following day we began our 15 hour journey north west to Kaleo.
Even with all the research and knowledge in the world, there is nothing that prepares you for what you will see as you head out of the city. The tarmac road turns to red dust, buildings turn into shacks and shoes turn into bare soles. Women carrying babies on their backs and water on their heads whilst men try to lift their overturned lorries off the road. It may be the developing world but it feels like a different world all together. The pictures you imagined it to be like are there in front of your eyes.
It was a long and smelly 15 hours, 16 of us sardined into the minibus. We shared more than stories that was for sure.
We were in Ghana to take part in a 5 year project, we were helping local builders construct a new secondary school. The foundations had been laid so we were to continue with the building. It was safe to say I had never laid a brick in my life but within the hour we had been taught and we were off. In between building I was able to help at a maternity clinic, teach revision classes to students and play in the local nursery. We got to know the locals well and often spent time drinking pito (home brew) after work. People who had very little were inviting us into their homes and sharing what they had, whilst the children shy away saying ‘white people’ in Dagare dialect.
It is an experience that I will never forget and that still remains close to my heart.
(Before 2008, After 2012)