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Sunday, October 16, 2016

2 weeks in Tamale



The Rains Team.
  
I am on placement in Tamale working on a project called RAINS (Regional Advisory Information Network Systems) which helps educate young women and men about sexual health in order to keep attendances in school at their highest. Therefore helping to preventing teen pregnancies &, STI's and focusing on the main issues here in Ghana surrounding sexual health. We will be doing sensitizations in local communities, children's community clubs and training peer educators.

2 weeks of experience doesn't seem like much right? Well it's enough to learn and experience a lot of new things. There's been highs, lows, heat, cool (not much) and plenty of smiles and tears!
 




Travel
My trip to Tamale was both fun and tiring! From Peterborough, my journey continued like so  -
London Kings Cross, then Piccadilly Line to Heathrow Airport, then via Dubai to Accra and then finally to Tamale.
The highlight of travelling to Tamale was definitely seeing everyone from training again and meeting the other volunteers who were going to Ghana. We had great catch ups considering we were together for so long on the flights and waiting in airports. Most of us all had our final McDonald's in Dubai airport with our free meal vouchers. God...those chicken nuggets were good and I already miss them. All together it took about 2 days to get to Tamale and to our new host homes.      
On the way to Tamale you could definitely see the cultural changes the entire way there, from the English caf├ęs at Heathrow to the prayer rooms in Dubai and the difference in behavior and clothing in Accra and Tamale.


Culture Shock
We got told this would happen and I don't think some of us expected it to happen as soon as it did!
Once we all arrived in Tamale the first thing we did was get on a minibus to the International Service office. Instantly we noticed that road laws aren't really paid attention to here. I remember seeing a big group of people all piling into the back of an RV ready to leave the airport, there were at least 10-12 people in the back. It was absolutely amazing to see how something that would be illegal in the UK, was 'the norm' here.
We set off in the mini bus, suitcases tied to top of the roof and I sat in a window seat so I could take in where I am and see everything! I saw goats roaming around everywhere; the animals are very free here. I saw women carrying their belongings on their heads and they were wearing beautifully coloured floor length gowns. I also saw hundreds of motorbikes, chickens and stalls. It's noticeably very different to the UK the second you get here. Buildings and shops are very underdeveloped and the roads and paths are sandy/dusty. It was a delight to already see the changes and how other people live.


my host Mother had a beautiful baby boy!
Host Homes

This had to be the scariest part of my experience so far, meeting my new family! I live with my Mum and my Brother at home; here I live with my host Mother (who is 9 months pregnant), my host Father and my ICV (In Country Volunteer), Louis. I've been eating rice every day, getting to know the family, resting (because we all got ill when we got here) and getting used to using a drop toilet & outdoor wash room! Although difficult, each day that goes by, it gets easier to adjust to my new way of living. I feel very positive about staying here. To finish…
 





Written by: Bailey Rae Ennis
Edited by: Treve Portia