Hector Wotherspoon: Footprinter off to Ghana

Hector Wotherspoon

15 days to go… and counting! I’m so excited to be heading out to Ghana in the New Year. “Woah, hold on a minute.. Ghana? I thought he was going to Nepal?”. Due to problems outwith both mine and Project Trust’s control I was unable to secure a visa to volunteer there. So Ghana it is! While I was very excited about the prospect of Nepal – Ghana seems just as good, if not a better, alternative.

The project is really rural – just how I like it, flexible with what subjects I can teach and extra-curriculars I can get involved with. And I don’t have to worry about fitting all my woolly jumpers, walking boots, fleeces and jackets into one rucksack. All I’ll need are flip flops, a couple tee shirts and a pair of shorts.

After an intensive week of teacher and traveller training on the Isle of Coll I’m ready to leave – if Christmas and New Year weren’t between now and my departure date I’d have no idea what to do with myself.

There are so many things about Ghana I’m looking forward to. As a keen cook I can’t wait to experiment with all the local fresh produce I’ll be able to get my hands on. We’re near the coast so there’ll be masses of fresh fish as well as baskets of fruit, mountains of spices and a whole range of new vegetables, grains and pulses. My project partner, Harry, assures me he’s a good eater and an even better washer up so we should make a pretty ideal combination.

The music is another aspect of Ghanaian life which excites me. Relaxed and laid back it fills the streets – blasting out from every car, restaurant and shop window. Ghana fashion is all about bright colours and funky designs which is just up my street.

Villages on stilts, a monkey sanctuary and the Mole National Park which contains hippos, crocodiles, elephants and leopards, are all on my Ghana bucket list. Hopefully I’ll have time to visit them with the other volunteers at Easter or over summer when we get time to travel.

If there’s anything for me to worry about before going to Ghana it’s the range of illnesses and parasites out to get me. Seven jabs and 280 malaria tablets later I should feel prepared to defend myself but some things I just can’t protect against. The climate will also take some getting used to. I’ve grown up in the blustery highlands of Scotland and haven’t really had much of an experience of high heat and humidity – I’m told it can be exhausting.

Despite this I really am excited about going to Ghana – as you may have already gathered from report. Thank you to Hazel’s Footprints for supporting me in this adventure. The next time you’ll hear from me I’ll be in Ghana, bye for now.

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