Sunday morning we traveled by bus to Cape Coast and then by taxi to our host family’s home in Abrafo. We stayed with the assistant park manager and one of the park’s tour guides both of whom were incredibly lively and friendly. Despite my shyness I found it refreshingly easy to converse with them. It did not take long before we thought of them as friends rather than hosts.
As for volunteer work, we did an odd sort of tasks in Kakum National Park ranging from tourism to cleaning up the canopy platform area. We even went on an anti-poaching patrol for several hours. On our off days we went with a few people from the park to Elmina and Cape Coast.
I would strongly recommend travelling with Ghanaians to the larger towns primarily because as a white person you will draw a lot of attention.
People are constantly interested in selling you some good or another and if you have a camera they want pictures. My best advice is that you ignore as many as possible because after a while it does get very stressful. However, despite the poverty people were very trustworthy and happy with their lives. I felt safer in Ghana than I do in my rural hometown in the States!
As for the food it definitely took some getting used to. Some dishes are very spicy and others were very heavy. Their pineapples and bananas were the best I have ever had. Overall, the experience was very eye-opening. My favorite part of the trip was the people I met. They are incredibly genuine and inspiring. Although the Ghanaian culture is different from the American-German one I am accustomed to, I did not feel overly out of place due to the widespread hospitality.