Hello friends and family (and strangers that may come across my blog),

This is my third day in Ghana and finally I’ve been able to acquire a USB Modem which connects me to the internet as well as my family and friends. My experience has been everything I expected and more. In my first few days I’ve encountered a multitude of cultural differences as the bonfire I came to join turned out to be the slaughtering of a sheep and the local church service woke me up at 2 am in the morning. But besides having such cultural differences, the family and locals couldn’t have given me a warmer welcome. My brother Isaac and sister Victoria (though the bloodlines can get confusing at times since everyone is referred to as “brother” and “sister”) have been an absolute delight. Isaac, apart from being my brother, also serves as my daily alarm clock as everyday before breakfast he’ll come jumping on my bed screaming and laughing in Fante, the local language. And Victoria, well she just turned 11, so besides being a joy to be around, she can be quite annoying at times, but I guess that’s part of the brother-sister relationship, something I’ll have to get used to.

My brother Isaac at our local gym.
My brother Isaac at our local gym.

As far as activities go the family has been keeping me busy, and I even managed to get some of the villagers to succumb to some American doings. On my second day, Melissa, my host-mother, decided to take me to the market in my town, Ajumako, which happens every Monday. They sell everything there, literally everything. One stand had Gucci slippers lying right next to some Crocs, as another stand had plastic cups and tomatoes in the same aisle. Not needing anything but still inclined to buy something, I left the market with two tins of tuna and a tub of mayonnaise. The kids had never had tuna salad and probably will not again. Today, as I was just sitting around I decided to go to the Heritage Academy and play some basketball with Odoom, one of our caretakers. It didn’t take long before we had a 3 v 3 basketball game going. Or at least something that resembled it closely since it’s a new sport to Ghanaians.

Today I also found out what I’ll be doing at the school: teaching core mathematics and setting up a curriculum for the coming years. A challenge I’m happy to pursue but also nervous to do. The only type of teaching I’ve ever indulged in was tutoring a 7th grader so taking on a full classroom will be very taxing. On top of that the supplies I’ll be teaching with are limited and relatability will be slim, which will make explaining certain mathematical concepts challenging as real-life applications are immensely different.

So all-in-all I’ve had a busy first few days, packed with meeting new people and names, eating dishes I’ve never had before (cooked by the most lovely woman named Theresa, who will turn any food into a delicacy), and visiting Cape Coast, the nearest big city. As my adventure ensues I will try to keep up with my blog, which won’t always be easy since power outages are more common than having power and my internet will fall out every hour. I wish all my friends the best of luck in college with Greetings from Ajumako, Ghana. Until next time.


17 thoughts on “Hello friends and family (and strangers that may come across my blog),

  1. Bret wade

    This awesome oliver,you should be proud of yourself, and a very well written blog entry if I do say so….I would like to read the rest


    1. Thank you Mr. Wade, new posts will be coming soon and posts about my teaching experiences will be coming in about two weeks when I’ll start. Thank you for reading my blog and I wish you luck as Danny goes of to college!


  2. Olivier, so psyched that you’ve started a blog to chronicle this time in your life. I am excited for you and look forward to reading about your adventures. I, too, remember Theresa’s wonderful cooking–I miss her Foo Foo. Melissa and Kwesi are wonderful and you will have an incredible experience. Please be careful, and tell everyone that Pim Pim Sto (sp?) says Hello!


    1. Yes I will, Theresa says hello back (they seem to remember you with delight) and we should definitely stay in touch. I’m new to this whole blogging thing so I might come with some questions every once in a while. Good luck next year at stoga and talk to you soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. John Bakker

    Hee Olivier,
    geweldige start! lijkt alsof je op een prima plek bent beland. leuk om je blog te lezen. veel plezier en succes met de voorbereiding van je lessen.


    Oom John


  4. Coen

    Great you have started this! Really interesting to read all about your experiences – and you have turned out to be a gifted writer! Best of luck and enjoy!


    1. I’m glad to hear that you like my idea of a blog and even happier to hear that you find it interesting. I’ll take the compliments about my writing lightly as I’m still in my early stages as a writer. Can’t wait to see you next summer and hopefully we’ll be able to skype at some point so I can catch up with Julian, Jasmijn, en Karen.


  5. Karen

    Hi Olivier! What great writing! We are very excited you took on this challenge and we will be looking forward to reading your blogs. Enjoy your time.


  6. Hester

    Hi Olivier,

    Ik zie dat je Nederlands ook wat kan worden ge-update, dus ik schrijf je in Nederlands :-p
    Interessante plek heb je uitgekozen, geweldig om te lezen dat je gelijk familiebanden voelt met de nieuwe mensen waar je je thuis moet gaan voelen. Ik ben wel heel benieuwd hoe de wiskunde zal zijn. Hebben ze boeken bijvoorbeeld??? En andere materialen om dingen uit te leggen? En hoe groot is de klas en welke leeftijd zijn ze? Kortom, veel vragen van mijn kant en ik ga je blog volgen voor de antwoorden!
    Heel veel plezier!!!

    Liefs, Hester


    1. hey hester,

      boeken zijn er wel maar niet genoeg voor alle studenten dus die moeten zij delen? hoe ik dingen ga uitleggen is een vraag waar ik zelf nog niet echt het antwoord op heb dus daar later meer over. de klassen zijn dezelfde grote als in Nederland en Amerika en volgens mij zal ik lesgeven aan wat het tweede en derde in Nederland is. hopelijk geeft dit wat meer inzicht over wat ik de komende weken ga doen. een blog post zal snel weer komen om nog meer informatie te geven


  7. ineke

    Hey Olivier, wat ontzettend leuk om je te kunnen volgen via je blog. Je schrijft leuk, we gaan je zeker volgen!
    Geniet ervan!
    Grtz uit Bennekom van Ineke


  8. Becky (Alsup) & Jeff Kingery

    Hi Olivier, How exciting for you to be in Ghana. Your post was we written and I am so looking forward to reading more of them. I sent the link to my niece, Regan who studied in Senegal for a semester. She also loves to travel and experience new cultures. Best of luck with your adventure! Becky and Jeff Kingery


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