Getting Settled

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

By Ruth Groenhout

We have now been here for four days, and are getting settled into life in Accra. Tessa and I went to church on Sunday at the Legon Interdenominational Church. It meets here on the campus of the University of Ghana. The sanctuary is lovely, with high ceilings and fabric swags, and we were warmly welcomed. Other than that interlude, we’ve been spending much of our time here getting the structures in place that we’ll need for the semester, getting the house set up, and trying to figure out the rules of the road for driving.



By Ruth Groenhout

The trip from Grand Rapids to Accra takes around 24 hours. It was a bit more complicated than we had anticipated because of the heightened security after the discovery of the London plot. But even with tight security, flights left and arrived pretty much on time, and we were met at the Accra airport by a number of friends. It is certainly a relief to get off the airplane, stretch out, and move again.
One note to students: when you travel, take seriously the warnings about no fluids or gels in your in-flight luggage. We had a deodorant confiscated, and I saw an airport security guard debating about whether mascara would be allowed.
Arriving in Accra is a bit of an assault on the senses. It’s hot and crowded, with people and vehicles all over the place. The smells are different, the accents are different, and it feels at first like sensory overload. So having people to meet us was a real blessing. We piled our mountain of luggage onto carts (it took three) and careened across a street to where one vehicle was parked. Tessa went in that car to the house, while I followed with Annemaria and Gordon in the Calvin car. Traffic in Accra was very heavy, as we arrived at rush hour on Friday night, so there were lots of taxis and buses belching fumes on all sides, horns honking, and arms waving out of windows. The trip to the house took a bit longer than usual, but once there we unloaded luggage, were greeted by the Asiedus, and collapsed into bed.

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