Imagine yourself in college. You’ve been working really hard in all your classes and you feel like college is running your whole entire life. You eat, sleep, drink school. You’ve been doing this for 10 weeks now. No break. No trips. No weekend getaways. No trip to your local Wegmans (for my New York folks) or Target. Finally, no stress eating of pizza, Chinese food, or ice cream. All you’ve been doing is working. Now cut your college down to 35 people and move it to a foreign country, where they speak little little English.
Got that feeling? Can you imagine it? That was my life for the first 10 weeks of being in Ghana. This was called PST (Pre-Service Training).
Thankfully there was a sweat reward at the end, besides being an official Peace Corp Volunteer. A trip! In fact a hike and to see a waterfall! Two things that make me extremely happy! We were off to Boti Falls.
Boti Falls was about two hours away from our homestay location. It is in the Eastern region of Ghana and is a place of tourism, for obvious reasons.
First stop waterfall. To get to the waterfall you need to walk down 200 and something stairs. The tour guide kept saying it and I was ignoring him because I just wanted to go! I was tired of being on a leash and I wanted to race down those stairs to see a beautiful view. Indeed it was beautiful! The first thing you saw were a few canoes, that you couldn’t use, and this tree that gracefully looped over the water. A friend and I decided to climb out onto the tree to get just an inch closer to the water. We are not allowed to go in the water due parasites that maybe in the water, but we can get close. But that tree was not close enough for our liking. To an adventurous person, it looked as if there was an unmarked trail that led behind the waterfall. So we decided to take it. Without asking.
As we started our journey it was just a few rocks to climb up and over. Having to watch where you stepped. Only a few yards in we started to hear our names. “Anna! Sam! Come back!” We looked at each other. Gave each other a nod of reassurance that we were fine and yelled “We won’t go far! We will be careful!” We did go far. All the way to where we were almost behind the waterfall. Every few yards we would get yelled at to turn back. We didn’t. We pretended we couldn’t hear them. I could feel their eye rolls every time they would say something. But we treaded on. Others started to follow suit. As you got closer the rocks became more slick. There were a few wet sneakers, but no falls. That was not the only thing got wet. From the mist of the waterfall we were enjoying our first shower in Ghana. We finally reached a point and had to turn back. When we returned it was time to give a hug to people who were dry! No one took the offer… the sun did instead. I dried up within the hour.
Back up the 100+ stairs (now I’m thinking it might be 100 and something), we enjoyed ourself a little snack. Cookies, what they call biscuits, and juice. Everyone’s favorite thing.
Time for the hike! Now this hike is no Adirondack High Peak type of hike. This is your beginner level hike that anyone and everybody can do. On this hike there were a few stops along the way of different sights. First up, the music cave. In this cave, this is where the people use to hide their alcohol or treasure and play music. If you hit the hand size holes just right you’ll hear some great tunes. If you go to my Facebook or my Instagram, you can see the video of someone playing them. No it’s not a local so it’s not an actual song but you can hear the cool noises.
Next major stop on the hike is the umbrella rock. This offered us a spectacular view of the land and was towards the top of the hill. It was stunning. I could have sat there all day. Anywhere with a view like that is my happy place and after 10 weeks of being stuck, I needed that view. I won’t say much about it because I believe pictures can express beauty more than my words.
The final stop on our journey was a this odd looking palm tree. Normal palm trees have 1 trunk. Special ones have 2. This one. This one was unique. It had 3! There was a ladder leaning against it so people can climb up and take a picture in this unique tree. Usually two can fit comfortably. But who likes being normal! Why not have three like the tree. As you can see in the picture, it didn’t work out that well but we were all up there. Anna’s head was peeping out the middle of the tree.
So folks, that was the first trip of mine in Ghana. That was my entire groups first major trip. We have 2 years here and there are going to be plenty more for me! I hear there are monkey, elephant, and hippo sanctuary’s all around Ghana. Those are on the bucket list of todos! There is a whole lot of Ghana to see and only 2 years to explore! Stay with me and I’ll keep showing you Ghana through my eyes!
Yebeshia (that’s “See you soon” in Twi)