A Journey to a New Continent

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Pre-departure ended with a pub night at Crocodile Rock.  We didn’t stay very late, but we did end up getting drinks and playing cards back at the hostel until 2 in the morning (bad idea!).  Especially since I set my alarm for 5am… yikes! It was a fun night of bonding with my fellow ProFs though!  I got up, showered, and attempted to fit everything in my bag, which wasn’t happening.  I had already decided to bring two check-on bags (my big back-pack and a cotton duffle from Peru), along with 2 carry-ons (my small daypack and a slouchy purse)… however, it didn’t seem like enough space!  Eventually I packed a small bag of extra stuff to leave in Toronto and left it with the guys to put in storage for me.  After some prodding and shoving by Alexis and I (thanks girl!), we were able to get everything closed and caught a taxi to the airport.  Sometimes I wish I could pack like this guy (^) but I’m way too much of a girl scout and feel like I need to be prepared for every situation.  Hence a sore back and arms every time I travel!

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London… we arrived on Friday night and had to take a bus to another terminal.  We went through a really easy-going security check and found out where our gate might be.  However, I was hungry, so of course we headed to the vending machine!  I found a coke bottle with my name on it (cool!) and Ben & Jerry’s in a machine (whhhhaaaat?!).  Unfortunately, I had no pounds and it didn’t take credit cards, so no snacks for Amanda!  Time to use free WiFi to check my email before boarding the next plane.

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The next morning we arrived at about 5am in Cairo (this is as close as I got to seeing any of the real Egypt, or pyramids :P).  I didn’t get much sleep and mostly just watched movies.  There was also a prayer at the beginning of the flight which freaked me out, I’ve never experienced that on an airplane.  I’m still not sure if it was a call to prayer (which makes total sense) or a prayer about the safety of the plane (which just makes me paranoid, especially since I’m neither Muslim nor religious!).  The airport had lots of yummy looking food, so I grabbed a couple bottles of juice, a cheese croissant (full of real delicious grated cheddar cheese) and a hot chocolate.  Again, no local currency but they took credit, so that works.  The place was pretty dead, and we grabbed a seat in the food court to eat, check emails and read my Lonely Planet guide to Ghana.  It’s a good thing we stayed put because the place started to fill-up and we had primo seats for the next 5 hours.  An hour before departure we headed to a big line by our gate, had to go through security and ditch all my juice again (I hate when that happens!) and then stood around, because the gate is way too small for the number of passengers.  Then we got on a bus and headed to our final plane… to Ghana!

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And finally… we arrived in Accra!  It was around 2pm on Saturday, and we had been awake and travelling for over 24 hours straight.  We were pooped and starving but found our way through the airport anyway.  Unfortunately Alexis’s bag got lost (so we spent a bit of time at the baggage counter), but thankfully it just had her motorcycle helmet, sweater and yoga mat in it (and it was returned a few days later when Mike arrived)!  We met up with Lauren from EWB, got new MTN SIM cards for our phones so we could call, text and email, and took out money from the ATM.  We then took a taxi back to the guesthouse (I think we look decent for how little sleep we got), got changed, and headed to dinner to meet some cool EWBers who were in town.

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About Amanda

Hi, I’m Amanda! Originally from Ottawa, Canada, I am currently living with my partner (Steve) in Sucre, Bolivia for the next year. I work in the unique space between industrial design and international development – but what does that even mean? I’m passionate about working WITH marginalized communities in a way that utilizes design to improve the lives of different types of people around the world. I have worked, studied, traveled, and researched on every continent (except Antarctica), and most recently I lived in Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal. I love exploring new cultures and learning more about myself along the way.
This entry was posted in Ghana (2014) - Professional Fellow Placement (EWB), Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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