Sinds december 2015 probeer ik iedereen door middel van mijn eigen kleine stukje internet te inspireren met mijn Ghanese verhalen. De hoogste tijd om ook eens een ander aan het woord te laten. In “Het Ghanese verhaal van” vertelt iedere week iemand anders over zijn of haar band met Ghana. Vandaag is het de beurt aan de Duitse Elise. Zij heeft de Ghana-koorts flink te pakken.
Since December 2015 I try to inspire people with my Ghanaian stories, here on my small piece of internet. I thought it was time to share the Ghanaian stories of other people, and here it is. In “The Ghanaian story of” every week someone tells his story about Ghana. Today Elise from Germany will share our story with us. Elise has the so called “Ghana fever”.
Introduce yourself a bit
I am 22 years old, from Siegen, Germany. In 2011, a friend of my parents led a youth exchange to Cape Coast, Ghana which I attended. In 2012 our Ghanaian friends visited us in Germany and my family was host to a now good friend of mine from Ghana. In 2013, I thought about ways to see my friends and Ghana again and decided to apply for 2 Months as a volunteer in Ghana with “Praktikawelten”, a German Organisation.
Why did you decide to volunteer in Ghana?
When I thought about travelling to Ghana again, I also planned to start my studies as a teacher for elementary schools. To gain experience in schools, I decided to volunteer as a social worker in Ghanaian Schools.
How did you prepare for your first time?
Since the first time was a youth exchange, we prepared as the exchange group together. It took almost one year with regular meetings in which we talked about Ghana, the food, the journey and our exchange students. Since I was not alone preparing the journey, I felt really safe. For the second time, I did not need to prepare that much to learn about the culture and the people, but to travel alone. But with my organisation, I was looked after, too.
If you had to choose, which time you went to Ghana was your favourite and why?
Both visits in Ghana were really different and I can’t really say which one was my favourite, because you cannot really compare a youth exchange in a group, where we had two weeks filled with cultural and educational program and a voluntary service, where I was able to plan my journeys on my own.
But the first impression will always be the most important . Without the youth exchange, I don’t know whether I would ever have travelled to Ghana.
Why do you keep going to Ghana again and again?
In one school I visited in my second stay, we called it the Ghana-fever. Once you were hit by Ghana when leaving the plane from Europe, you are infected by Ghana-fever and you are getting homesick If you stay away from Ghana for too long. I think everyone who travelled to Ghana more than once will understand this feeling.
Do you have advice for people who wants to volunteer in Ghana as well?
If possible, use your free time for travelling the country. Your stay will not take forever and Ghana is way more than Accra and Kakum National Park.
What is your favourite Ghanaian food?
After my first visit, I already was addicted to Red Red and I still would say it is my favourite Ghanaian food. But I also love yam and Palava-Sauce, Fufu and groundnut-soup and Joloff. What I ate most in my second stay was fried Rice or fried Indomie (noodles) from across the street and whenever I am cooking this at home, I remember the evenings in Ghana with my new friends.
What is your favourite part of Ghana?
My favourite place to stay is Cape Coast, since most of my Ghanaian friends from our youth exchange are still living there. And Oasis Beach Bar might be the best Place on Earth to enjoy Red red and a Star beer. But the favourite place to see are the Wli Waterfalls. Our trip to the waterfalls was incredibly exhausting, but once we arrived at Waterfalls Lodge, we felt like we arrived home and when we arrived at the waterfalls, we suddenly forgot all the troubles we had on our journey.
What are the plans for the foundation?
With some of the German friends, I stayed within our house from Praktikawelten in Ghana, I planned to start a foundation to support some of the schools. We will soon begin our work. Our foundation is going to support four schools in Kasoa, Ghana, near Accra. We are collecting donations to fulfil several dreams and plans of the schools like building toilet-houses, buying books, toys or computers and in some cases paying school fees for pupils, whose families cannot afford those. We can already be found at facebook: “Ein Bunter Bund mit Ghana”.
Elise thanks again for sharing your story. I wish you all the best for the foundation, and hopefully we can meet each other one day. I know every thing about the Ghana fever ;).
P.S.: Wil jij ook jouw Ghanese verhaal delen? Mail me op firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S.: Do you want to share your Ghanaian story as well? Contact me on email@example.com