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By Richard Cowley

Ghana is one of my favourite countries in Africa, if not my favourite. West Africa is very different to North, East and Southern Africa. Once you enter Ghana you get a feel for the REAL Africa...

Everywhere you go in Ghana there is always something strange and unusual to see... Pigs and dogs running around in the street, kids kicking a ball around all day with no shoes on, women carrying big loads on their heads... Whatever you do in your lifetime, visit Ghana!

I was lucky enough to be staying with a local family (along with the volunteers) which made my experience all the more culturally interesting. The family I was staying was very large, and there was always something going on in and around the house which made it all a really fun and lively place to be. There was no running water in the house so we had to use the well in the garden to get water. We used a bucket to collect the water from the well, dropping it in and pulling it up again and again. Having no running water was never really a problem though, as Ghana is really hot so a nice cold bucket shower in the morning does the trick of waking you up! It also taught me to be grateful for all the luxuries that we take for granted in the western world.

The food in Ghana was very interesting and mostly spicy! Living with a local family, we got to see food prepared the traditional way which was absolutely fascinating. We would always have a local dish every night, and although we were provided with a knife and fork the rest of the family ate with their hands. I joined in sometimes and ate with my hands too! The meal would take from 30 mins to 2 hours to prepare depending on what it was.

I did a bit of travelling around Ghana with the volunteers and I was a regular visitor to Kokrabita, a beach resort 30 mins outside Accra that's very popular with backpackers. It was nice to get away from all the hustle and bustle of Accra.

Ghana is off the beaten track and away from the hordes of backpackers and tourists that other countries get, which is what I enjoyed the most about it. It is also a very safe country compared to others in West Africa.

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