It is now week three of my time in Ghana study abroad. There have been so many different culture shocks. I am still getting used to my being here. However, I am still finding it quite enjoyable. The first two weeks were more difficult than this third week. The first day of arriving to Ghana, I actually almost passed out in my room. I think it was due to a combination of a lack of sleep, jetlag, dehydration, and extreme weather changes. One thing that I immediately had to get used to was the weather change. The way that our rooms are set up is that we don’t have AC but fans. I was somewhat caught off guard because I was used to the privilege of having AC. Another privilege I had to let go of was having my own private bathroom. Here in Ghana, I live in a hostel. The hostel is mixed gender but there are majority males here. And we have to walk to the communal bathrooms. At first I didn’t really like doing that but I have gotten used to it. The days also seem to go by so much faster over here for some reason. Especially when majority of the time is spent in traffic or timing. For example, I took what we call the “trotro” one or two times to drive somewhere. The trotro is like a big taxi/bus for multiple people. However, it goes very slow. It makes multiple stops throughout the journey that causes it to prolong even more. It is also highly congested, so there is no such thing as social distancing. The upside is that it is super cheap. One time we spent 2 hours on the trotro due to the multiple stops and already congested traffic.
During the second week of my being here, we were supposed to start classes. The process to register for classes was a whole new experience within itself. For example, we had to register in two different ways: (1) at the registrar’s office and (2) at each department in which we had courses. We ran into a couple of issues during the process. At my departments we had to write our names and contact information down on paper and wait to be contacted again. The reason why this was was because the timetables were not released yet. The reason why the timetables were not released yet are because the lecturers are on strike. The lecturers have been on strike since last semester. The reason why they are on strike has something to do with the amount of pay they’re receiving, or lack thereof. We are yet to start classes, however, as for international students, our program advisors are working directly with the Dean in order to make sure that we start classes in some way, shape, or form.