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1) Kokrobite Beach
If you're after a bit of R & R (relaxation and reggae), then Kokrobite beach is a must. Situated just 25km west of Accra it takes about two and a half hours to get there from the Hills (traffic depending!). There's a choice of cheap and cheerful hotels along the beachfront, and the sea is safe for swimming in areas patrolled by a lifeguard (although caution should still be taken). There is also an African Drumming School for those who want to learn a new skill.
2) Dodi Princess boat trip on Lake Volta
The boat departs from Akosombo at 10:30am every saturday, sunday and bank holiday. It takes you across the lake to the Dodi Islands. A barbeque buffet lunch is served on board, and there is music and dancing to satisfy the more energetic crowd. Those after a more relaxing experience can relax by the pool with a drink from the well-stocked bar. It's a lovely way to see a tiny corner of this vast lake.
There are a number of beautiful waterfalls scattered around the Eastern Region. Boti, Begoro, Akaah and many more are accessible all year round, but are undoubtedly at their most beautiful during the rainy season due to the larger flow of water.
4) Shai Hills
Shai Hills because a game reserve in 1962, and is home to large number of baboons, antlope, various species of monkey, and at least 175 species of birds. It is less than one hour away in tro-tro from Mamfe/Akropong, so is well worth a day trip. Game drives and guided walks can be arranged locally, and there are a number of hotels outside the reserve in the surrounding area should you wish to make a weekend of it.
5) City life -Accra
Injera is the basic ingredient of any Ethiopian meal. It looks like a large spongy pancake and some of the sizes produced are huge. It is usually laid down in a large circular tray and sauces, meat and/or vegetables are poured right in the middle. Then you use you right hand (only) to tear pieces off the side and scoop up the wonderful food. It has been described as having a slightly sour taste. It’s a sharp taste, but blends in well with sauces to produce a mouth-watering flavour whatever the dish.
Injera is made from Teff, a small grain packed with calcium, fibre and protein. It is an alternative for anyone allergic to gluten in wheat. It is also less fattening than wheat.
As I approach my halfway point I can without any doubt say that I could quite happily stay on here for a few years, no trouble at all (although I fear my family and friends might have a few things to say about that!)
My 33rd birthday was easily the best birthday I have had on the planet to date! The kids and I were on countdown mode a month before and then it was upon us! I bought two 9 inch Birthday cakes to bring in for all the children and staff, made up hundreds of little gift packs to give all the kids and staff at Hanbury with Australian flag stickers, balloons, glitter, lolly pops and as many sweets as I could squeeze in! It was a stampede as soon as I got out of the car. But I wouldn't have had it any other way! I'm not sure who was more excited me or them!
The day was spent doing little to absolutely no work what so ever! Everyone was so excited! We all drew on each others faces with bright Aussie Zinc (Thanks Mum!), face paint, blew up balloons, party hats, stuck stickers on our faces, played games and ate rainbow iced birthday cake! The kids sang me the Jamaican version of happy birthday in the morning and the morning's Devotion or Prayer time was dedicated to me. I have to say I was almost brought to tears but just about held it together! It was SO SPECIAL!
In the evening 23 of the volunteers joined me for a trip to Treasure Beach for my birthday and upon arriving at the Restaurant later that evening I had the surprise of my life with a huge table covered with sweets, balloons, Happy Birthday Banners, hand drawn posters all decorating this gorgeous beach side restaurant. How touched was I.... I really did not expect that, especially as my family knows that I am always the one behind all the surprises normally! I honestly could not have had a better ...
Two months in Cambodia seemed like a long time to be away from my family and friends back in Europe. I remember thinking “What am I getting myself into?” as I was settling into my new accommodation, which was deserted at my arrival in the early morning. I felt lonely and I felt insecure. Who were my roommates? Would I make friends easily? Will I get used to the culture shock?
The answer was YES. After just a few days in Phnom Penh I started feeling more at ease with my surroundings and I even found myself feeling “at home” sooner than I expected. The staffs were always there and helpful, smiling and offering whatever they could to help. My first month’s placement was at the Southeast Asia Globe Magazine and I was to be a journalist intern. Having very little experience in that field I was both excited and apprehensive of what was to come. On my first day on the job I got to go to a press conference at the Australian Embassy with my boss and I remember thinking: “Wow this is some serious stuff!” It was a nice start to what was going to be an otherwise office-confining month. My daily work consisted of researching the web for international news that wouldn’t be old a month later and that was relevant for the Mekong region…needless to say that was quite a difficult task. I then got to write some short news stories, which were published in the next month’s issue along with an interview I had done via email with a young and successful Vietnamese chess-player. As the days flew by, I did more and more things both on my own and with others. One weekend five of us volunteers went to Sihanoukville and had a blast. We stayed at Otres Beach, a beautiful beach but very quiet and far from the lively town centre ...
This past Sunday, several volunteers based around Madurai came to the Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary to help repaint part of its complex as part of the program’s “Dirty Weekend”.
The six volunteers, along with the help of three staff members, were able to spiff up two of the rooms with blue and red paint, and have an awesome time in the process! We gave the walls a new cover of paint, touched up the room’s furniture, and even covered some of the outside shutters and doors.
TTS thanked the volunteers for a job well done at the end of the morning, after which the volunteers celebrated their success over a wholesome Indian lunch of sambar, chapati, and other dishes provided by Projects Abroad India.
Contributed by John Qua - Staff from Projects Abroad UK