Planning for the trip began with my connecting with Global Volunteers. They gave me a road map of what to do including practical tips from obtaining a visa to a packing "what is needed" list. After receiving the confirmation for my trip, I realized that this was actually going to happen!! So, I got my shots. 8 shots in one day!! Four in each arm!! Sore arms for about 5 days-just a minor discomfort.
Both of my upstairs bedrooms are covered with items for the trip. Minimizing my clothes packing is my goal because then I can bring the school supplies and books that are so needed in the villages. I will never fit everything in two suitcases!!
Luckily, I had a birthday in September and received quite a few thoughtful gifts-including a headlamp, booklights, emergency poncho, backpack, travel clock, journals, bookmarks, etc. Karla and Brittany have been supplying me with pens and pencils. Justin has jerky and batteries. Caroline and I had a "what to wear" session where I was given much needed advice on "what goes together" and how to make one skirt go with several tops.
Studying every night by searching the web, finding other blogs and photos, checking Ghana weather and news keeps me tuned in to my "second home". My ipod is up to date with alot of music-adding new children's music for the trip. Even the kids' music required research. Have you guys heard of "Raffi"? Apparently, he is very popular these days. (I am at a disadvantage for the latest kids' trends as Justin is 32 and Caroline is 24!)
I bought some jump ropes at BeeBeep along with a cute stuffed tiger to be my mascot. Haven't named him yet. Picked up about 7 frisbees at the Dollar Store. Also, some bubbles, jacks, and marbles. It would be great to get a hula hoop but that definitely won't fit! Hope to pick one up in Ghana.
I have read several good books about how Americans are viewed by foreigners and the manners, etiquette, etc. that will be required of me while visiting Ghana. Global Volunteers have several informative handbooks that will be my "go to" guides.
Another priority is going to the gym. I want to make sure that I am in as good a shape as possible. Also, building my stamina will be important, I know. I am back into my yoga which will be good for my patience building! I hope to get my yoga mat on the plane. Hopefully, there will be some understanding flight attendants!
My only concern is not bringing something that will be needed. Most trips you can go to the store and buy whatever you forgot. But, not where I am going. Senchi Ferry and New Akrade are villages about 90 miles north of Accra. No Walgreen's there!
I'm sure my teammates and I will help one another with things like this.
I am so looking forward to meeting them and finding out more about them-their lives, their desire to volunteer in Ghana... I just know that there will be quite a few "kindred" spirits in my midst.
And, I can't wait to see the children and reach my goal of leaving love and learning in Ghana and taking some home with me.