Me: Mom. Dad. I’m going to the village, and I’ll be there for a week.
Mom and Dad’s reaction…
Paying a visit to a rural area or perhaps a village is not a bad idea. I’ve been there before, and it’s fun. You get to learn a new culture, meet new people, and try new dishes. I did my service learning in Nandom-Dondomenteng, a village in the Upper West region of Ghana. In Ashesi University College, as part of a course called Leadership Seminar IV, you have to serve the community. It could be teaching in a school, spending time with children, volunteering at an orphanage, or pursuing other issues in your community that make you restless. I spent a week teaching and helping out with various school activities. I brought French back to them, since their French teacher was posted somewhere else, and I also remodelled their library.
Throughout my stay there, I learnt how to IMPROVISE. Sounds like a strong word hurh. It isn’t. It’s the act of improvising that is tough. Whilst there, I wish I had taken these items along.
- Sun Screen
The northern part of Ghana is pretty hot. For people with lighter skin tones, you wouldn’t want to leave the place with sun burns and lots of freckles. Sun screens are a must-have.
- Antiseptic and Iodine pills
In most rural areas, the source of water is from a borehole. Therefore, it is not treated water. To the people who use it, it is clean as long as it’s colourless. Don’t forget to purchase an antiseptic such as Dettol or Camel for bathing, and some iodine pills for drinking.
- Insect repellant
- First Aid
- Portable sources of power
Carry along a power bank or power banks if you have that many. Don’t forget to put some batteries for your torch lights and lamps in your luggage. Most times the power is not constant, and the current is low. In unfortunate situations, there is no power at all for about a day or two, and you want to contact your parents to say hello, have those sweet talks with boo, and holla at your girls to listen to the gossip in town, but then you can’t. If you have solar-powered lamps, that’s cool.
- Chalewote (slippers) and comfortable shoes
- Network service
Always ask in advance the network that works there. For example; in the north, only Vodafone and MTN work there. Other networks struggle to get service.
- Clean towels
Due to the hot weather, it is advisable to have lots of small clean towels, not handkerchieves. You’ll need them to clean the sweat away.
- Hats and comfortable light clothes
Enjoy the villagio side of life.