Hello from Ghana!
Today is day 10 in Ghana and I finally have a little time to write an update! I am having some technical difficulties with pictures at this time….but will do my best!
We can start with the adventure of getting to Ghana! I left Israel at 1:00 am Wednesday and the adventure kicked off right away with getting through the airport. Ben Gurion Airport takes their security VERY seriously (thankfully!) so you have to go through several security checks along the way to the gate. Knowing this, We made our way to the airport around 9:00 pm after a nice dinner and hard goodbyes (💏😭😿).
Upon arrival at the airport, you pass an initial security check before even getting your boarding pass. As you hopefully know, there is a lot going on in the Middle East these days so security is on high alert and I had some suspicion I may not fly through the checks too easily. Apperantly I set off a few flags for a handful of reasons…to name a few…1) I am not Jewish and have been visiting Israel for 2 months, 2) I took a trip to Jordan, 3) I am moving to West Africa for three months where terrorist activity is increasing, 4) I’m moving without my husband who has a “pending work permit” (now it’s official 👍🏼) and has been in and out of Israel for 3 months, 5) All I have packed is a backpack…..hmmmmm…..maybe there are more but that seems sufficient for suspicion.
So I get to the first check and am questioned twice and must provide all the information on Project Peanut Butter, my recent travels, what I did in Israel, what my husband does….and eventually make it to the counter to check in. Next I proceed to the normal security check and am ushered out of the line into a separate screening area. Here, all the contents of my carry one bag are removed and swabbed and I have the pleasure of answering more questions about Israel, Jordan, Ghana…..and eventually make it through to my gate. Aside from having to make my brain function so well at night, it all went pretty smoothly and took a little over an hour.
Next stop, Ethiopia! I had a brief layover in Ethiopia…or so I thought…
With about an hour until my next flight, I began absorbing the stark contract between an African airport and ones of more developed countries. The buildings and technology were much simpler and it lacked the typical hustle and bustle of a busy hub. We boarded the plane on time….taxied to the run way…..and sat….and waited….and I took a nap…..and woke up still on the run way…and took another nap….and woke up still on the run way…..about 3 hours later we finally took off (they claim it was an issue with how they loaded the plane…comforting).
The ride was uneventful and I watched a few movies. The gentleman next to me was also traveling to Kumasi and kindly wrote out some common phrases with pronunciation in the common language of Ghana, Twi (“chwee”). He tolerated my terrible accent and was very patient as I tried to figure out the basic greetings and “thank you”.
We landed in Accra, Ghana about an hour before my domestic flight up to Kumasi. After passing through customs and retrieving my backpack, I knew I would not make my next flight. It was also arranged for me to meet someone in Accra to pick up clinic supplies to bring with me on the plane to Kumasi. So I confirmed I missed my flight and luckily got a seat on the next flight in 3 hours. Next, I needed to get a hold of Project Peanut Butter to let them know I was alive, very late, and available for a few hours to get the clinic supplies. To do this, I needed to purchase a new SIM card for my phone and figure out who/how to call someone. Thankfully they were all awaiting some contact from me and through a variety of emails and texts and calls we arranged for the supplies to come back to the airport and for someone to pick me up when my new flight arrived in Kumasi. I even had time to enjoy pizza and coke!
Aide from the supplies arriving 2 minutes before my gate closed, I successfully made it on the flight to Kumasi. I think it was the smallest airplane I’ve been on but the flight was quick and I arrived successfully in Kumasi around 7:30 pm. I was greeted at the (VERY SMALL) airport by Abigail, a local PPB employee, and Pascal, an engineer from Germany who is helping in the factory for 6 months.
We drove back to the apartment to get settled and enjoy a nice cold beer (Germans for the WIN!)
That is enough for now! I have a lot more to share, so stay tuned!