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Tuesday, December 8, 2015


 I WISH I COULD STAY FOR LONG....Christabel Ortsin.

I’m Christabel, a 23 year old girl from Takoradi in the southern part of Ghana. I want to share with you all a bit of how I found myself in Tamale as a volunteer of ICS and also my experience up here in the north for the past 10 weeks.

Before ICS, I had never been to the northern part of the country; all my life had been spent in the south.When I saw the link to the application form, I was very skeptical about filling but I eventually filled it out and was honestly not expecting to be called. When I was called for the assessment, I got very nervous and even said to myself ¨this is not what I want, the north is the last place in the country I would ever visit and I am certainly not ready to spend not less than 14 hours on road from Takoradi to Tamale just to volunteer. Upon all the negative stories we hear back home about this place and its people, there wasn’t the slightest thought of me coming here. It took a lot of convincing and persuasion from my family and a past volunteer I contacted on Facebook just to know if my coming here would be worth it before making a decision of being a part of ICS. I therefore chose to be part of ICS mainly to explore the north and know its people. I wanted to know how true the negative stories about the people here and the harsh conditions of living here was. The only positive thing we hear is the extreme low cost of living.

My stay here over the past weeks has cleared all these misconceptions. The reality is, this place is very awesome with a great view of nature, nice people and lots of fun places. Communication which I thought would be a problem wasn’t the least a problem since everybody you meet could speak english; be it the hawker on the street or the market woman. I’ve never had so much fun with very nice and sweet people as compared to my few weeks of stay here in Tamale.
Luckily for me, I had a very pretty and neat host home with an awesomely nice host family. The only issue I’ve had with them is feeding which is not really a big deal. My roommate Melody is an equally awesome and sweet sister I’ve gotten through ICS. We get along perfectly and mostly miss each other when we are apart for a while. I’m so going to miss her nice p
ersonality and craziness. We are actually the same and ICS couldn’t have chosen a better roomie for me. The fact that we are both makeup lovers is enough to make us a great pair.

At  Zokuga for a baseline survey.
I was placed on the RAINS project which is undoubtedly the best project on ICS Ghana. Our office is great with very lovely and supportive project partners. My team is also a great one though we have little issues sometimes. It’s been great working with my team and I would surely them. We are currently done with our team planning tools and are doing some debrief stuff.
Our usual hangouts at gidipass and gariba lodge as well as the discovery and VRA pools and some very nice people like Candace, Fred, Sylvia, Matthew and Jenniah would also be very much missed.
Being in the north through ICS has given me the opportunity of being on a ¨yellow yellow¨ almost every day to and from work. It’s been really fun being in these little taxis for close to three months.

I can’t believe we have just a week more to leave the always bright and sunny Tamale. I’m already in love with this place that I hardly miss home and wish this programme would be extended beyond three months. I think I’m stuck in Tamale and don’t want to leave now due to the awesomeness of this place. I would want to stay a bit longer...