The Lone Ranger and His Ladies in Wli

The Lone Ranger and His Ladies in Wli

Agomacha. Here in Ghana it means to go with the flow. I couldn’t think of a better word to describe my feeling towards life right now.

Our trip began in Accra where we began to get to know each other and learn the Ghanaian ways. By the third day we were already off to Wli, a small village in the Volta region of Ghana for our orientation. The ride to Wli was long and exhausting and included a stop at Mount Gemi where we stood atop the second highest peak in Ghana.

Up top Mount Gemi

Up top Mount Gemi

After a relaxing first night in Wli, day two of orientation was quick to start. We were up early and off to hike up to Wli Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in West Africa. It was an amazing day of hiking which included stops at two spots for the most refreshing swim I have ever experienced.

We all decided to take a late night walk through town where we stopped and did some karaoke the old school way…under the stars and with no background music! Despite a few scares from a stray goat and Ghanaian farmer walking home, the night brought a bonding experience like nothing I’ve ever been a part of before. The sky was so clear in Wli that you could see the entire Milky Way skyline. Coming from Boston, that’s definitely not something you see every day and it is truly a surreal sight.

The next morning, our trip leaders Kali and Tippy decided we would go on another quick walk. This time, however, we were headed for unchartered waters. Wli happens to be one of the border villages to the neighboring country to the east, Togo. After a quick chat with the guards at the gate, we were allowed to continue onwards to Togo. During the short time we spent in the French-speaking country, I couldn’t stop thinking, “this is Africa.” We were in small villages with red clay roads surrounded by mountains and waterfalls.

Waterfalls in Togo

Into the wild?

Our orientation was like something written in a book or seen on television, but never seemed like it could really truly exist.

Coming here to Ghana with full knowledge that I was the only guy in the group was certainly going to be a new experience for me. Living with girls was something I had little familiarity with as I come from a family with two brothers and no sisters. Sharing a room with eight girls definitely has me at times putting my headphones on to avoid conversations about…well, you get my drift. But the bond I have been able to build with these ladies after just one week has completely blind-sided me. This past week has been, without a doubt, in my mind the happiest of my short lived life.

If this first week is any indication of what’s to come on the rest of the trip, then my original ambitions of this being a “fun” trip have already been met and this is turning out to be a life-changing adventure. I know that we have only spent a short amount of time together, but I can truly already say that I now have ten sisters, and each one of them is unique and beautiful in every way.

Until next time…agomacha,
Jean-Micheal
West Africa Global Health

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