Thursday, August 31, 2006

Water, water?

For the record, I wasn't trying to be rude about the pictures. I am growing increasingly frustrated because I can't upload all of them for some reasons. Plus, I have to admit that I haven't taken very many pictures (a little paranoid about carrying my camera around all the time). I will try to take some more pictures and then attempt to upload them.
So, I learned something about electricity and water here in Accra. Accra is powered by hydroelectric power by the Akosombo dam (which created the largest man made lake in the takes up 4 percent of Ghana's land area!). However, there isn't enough water powering the dam, so every three days or so, we don't have power. Every third day, we don't have power between 6am and 6pm. Every 6th day we don't have power from 6pm to 6am. It rotates based on where you live, as the whole city is on a grid system. Luckily, the campus is not all on the same grid, so some buildings will have no power on a given day while on the same day, other buildings do have power. So far, since I have been here, we have had no power in our hostel twice. Its not a big deal, because you don't really need power during the day, but electricity is connected with water. As the day goes on with no power, the water in the well no longer pumps into the buildings. Then you can't flush the toilet, wash your hands or take a shower until the power comes back. It's not something to really complain about...i think about the people who don't have access to bottled water and who go days without any water at all to drink, cook with.
So, a little bit more about my life here. I still don't have a roommate. Apparently, the Ghanaian students know that classes don't get "serious" for another couple of weeks or so. I am only allowed to transfer 4 classes back to Elon, which is a very small course load here (most kids take 6 or 7 classes). I haven't decided yet which four. I am definetly taking Population Studies (geography), Comparative Public Administration, Conflicts in African States and either Regional Development or Geography of the Developing World. I am also auditing three or four french classes. This may seem like a lot, but most of the classes only meet once a week for two hours, so I have a lot of free time. In the hours that I am not in class I am at my internship. I am really excited about this oppportunity, but I am a little disappointed in the fact that I am spending 5 hours a day on the internet and sitting in an office. Nothing is wrong with that, but I feel like I could be missing out on the whole Ghana experience while I am here, wasting time on the net. Oh well.
I am begining to enjoy the food a lot more now. I am jealous of ISH 1, the other international hostel. Its older, and more established and has a full restaurant, store and internet cafe. The restaurant makes pancakes for breakfast (1 for 2,500 cedis...less than 30 cents!) and the restaurant upstairs sells waffles for 5,000cedis (50 cents) from 5 til 10. We don't even have hotplates on the all the floors in our hostel, even though they keep telling us we will get them. There is also a very tasty restaurant in the hostel next to ours, called Tasty Treats, that serves banging red red (beans in some spicy sauce) and fried plantains, which are two of my fav foods here. So I am content. You have to eat dinner here around 5 because most places run out of food by 6:30. It gets dark around 6 here, but the sun rises around 6 in the morning. And so do all the Africans. And they are not a quiet bunch in the mornings. Its virtually impossible to sleep past 10. The weather has not been what i expected. Its been overcast 90% of the time and a little sunny and warmer the other five percent of the time. It rained yesterday for a moment and it drizzles but doesn't pour like I expected the rainy season to do. Its not cold, temps hover around 75-low 80s. But then I have Senegal to look forward to - 90s everyday! Its supposed to be hotter during september and october, but we will see how that turns out.
This weekend we are going somewhere, but I don't know where. We were trying to go to Cape Coast, but there is a festival of some sort, and all the hostels/hotels are booked. I will get there eventually, however. Next thursday is the one month anniversary of my arrival...its really hard to believe I have been in Africa for that long!

No comments: