My First Month in Ghana

     Today marks the first month of my Fulbright here in Ghana. I can't say that time has flown by, it's been moving along at a moderate pace. My first week was all about getting oriented and the subsequent weeks have been about getting settled and getting down to business teaching. Getting started has been a bit tricky with the strike that's going on. First it was the teachers and staff on strike, but now it's just the staff except some of them will come into work from time to time to make sure things keep running. It's an odd situation. I have an office space and a nice place to live, so I can't complain but when things happen you never know how it may be resolved.

 Here I am at my office with my office mate and colleague Etse Sikanku. We co-teach the broadcast journalism course together. He got his PhD from Iowa and just recently moved back to Ghana.  

Here I am at my office with my office mate and colleague Etse Sikanku. We co-teach the broadcast journalism course together. He got his PhD from Iowa and just recently moved back to Ghana.  

     Anyhow, two weekends ago, which was a holiday weekend, the water ran out at my apartment complex. All the buildings have large water tanks that get filled every so often. The delivery truck drivers are among the staff on strike so I wasn't sure how this would play out. I had heard that strikers were even preventing water trucks from outside campus from coming onto the property. All hope was not lost, the good people at my school tracked down the right people to talk to and got the situation taken care of by the next day. I awoke to the sound of water filling up the toilet tank. Music to my ears. I have two large bins full of water for just such an occasion, so I wasn't in dire straits, but I'll have to say that having running water is really nice. I'd rather go without electricity before going without running water. 

 It was like this all day on the second day I was without running water. Ironic isn't it? I wanted to pull a McGuyver and make a rainwater collection system on the roof to channel the water into the holding tank.

It was like this all day on the second day I was without running water. Ironic isn't it? I wanted to pull a McGuyver and make a rainwater collection system on the roof to channel the water into the holding tank.

     So getting settled has been a long process. For a while I was shopping every other day for food, housewares and various other random stuff you need when you move into an new apartment. There were a lot of random things and there was only so much I could carry with me given the 20 minute walk from school to my apartment. For that reason, I bought a bike for about $60. Not a bad deal. It's made life a whole lot easier since I don't have a car. I'm in the market for one and hope to get one soon but my bike will do. Anyway, this picture of my bike in front of the Legon Mall is a familiar site. I do most of my shopping at the Max Mart there. I think after several trips here and to the open air market on campus, I have what I need to feel settled in my apartment.

      I'm starting to form a routine so my grocery runs are now 2-3 times a week, usually on my way back home from teaching. I'm feeling more comfortable so I'll be looking to get off campus more to explore.  

 Here's my bike loaded with a sack full of groceries from the Max Mart 
just off campus near the old main gate. I feel like a Sherpa when I load
 up the bike and my backpack sometimes to get everything home. They're 
not used to people bringing their own bags so they gave me funny looks 
the first time. They know me now. :)

Here's my bike loaded with a sack full of groceries from the Max Mart just off campus near the old main gate. I feel like a Sherpa when I load up the bike and my backpack sometimes to get everything home. They're not used to people bringing their own bags so they gave me funny looks the first time. They know me now. :)