Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Brigade: Day 1- Arrival in Africa

The journey was a long one: Three flight, three cities on three continents within 30 hours. We finally made it to Accra, the capital city of Ghana, around 7:30 at night there. It took forever to get through customs and to get our bags. So long, in fact, we didn't even leave the airport with everyone's bag (minus one brigader's bag the airline lost) at 10:30. The main bright spot of this incredibly long wait in the baggage claim of the Accra airport was that we had ample time to get to know each other.

It was after collecting our bags that we met the others on the brigade from UT, UCLA, and LSE. We also got to meet our program leads Mersh and Gordon. Then we had a two and a half hour drive in a cramped bus to the lodge we were staying at in Anomabo. At the beginning of the drive, we were introduced to arguably the most delicious treat on the face of the planet: fan ice. It's this type of ice cream in a pouch that tastes like marshmallows, cake, hopes and dreams, and happiness combined. As we were driving, we were stopped at multiple government security checks that were absolutely terrifying because the government officials had huge machine guns. Luckily, I had my fan ice to remind me of happier times. In this scenario, the government officials were the dementors on the train to Hogwarts, and fan ice was the chocolate that made everything ok.

We arrived about 2:00 in the morning and were guilted into eating dinner before we went to bed by the super nice chef Anthony who cooked a huge meal for us. I ate my rice with tomato sauce and passed out.

The room we were staying in had 7 bunk beds, filled with 5 girls from Indiana University. The bunk beds were actually incredibly terrifying because the whole bunk rocked with every slight movement, and there were no side railing on my top bunk. Our room did have air conditioning, though, so I was super grateful.

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