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Volunteers' Stories





Web Design Work Experience Internship in Accra, Ghana


I arrived safely, with all my luggage, thankfully. My first impressions were, well, wow, this place is hot! I mean coming from snow to 30 degrees is a bit of a shock. I'm getting used to it now though, just need to make sure I'm drinking enough water. I'm sure you must hear this all the time, but the people here are really friendly. They really go out of their way to make sure I'm OK.

It's interesting what a contrast I see on the walk to work and actually at work itself. At work we use computers that wouldn't be out of place in UK offices. But on the walk to work I see people living by an open sewer 10-15m wide, which I guess we haven't had in the UK for around 100 years. The house I'm staying in is good. I even get a flushing toilet and shower!

Things I like:
► You get real responsibility on projects once you’re familiar with the software/hardware/programming languages that they use. Though you’re not just thrown into the deep end, Robin (my manager) is always willing to help out with any problems.

► Since this placement is in Ghana, the atmosphere is very laid back. I love it! The work colleagues in the office are all very friendly too.

► You’re free to work almost whatever hours you like. Working hours are loosely based around 9am – 5pm weekdays, though, they really are flexible. So you can work longer/shorter days, weekends or evenings if you like. As long as you get the work done it’s fine!

Can you describe a typical day?

Well, I would like to say that I’m the best worker in the world and get into work every morning at 9am sharp. But that’s just not true! This really isn’t a problem out here, everyone here is so laid back, which is what I love about this country. So, I start work at around 10am/10.30am. It is similar to working for a small new web development company in the UK.

There’s plenty of up-and-coming projects to be working on, and currently I’m working on an online DVD/Video rental website. The website is coded in PHP and connects to a SQL database. The website is coded up using Dreamweaver MX.

Another project in the pipeline is an online e-commerce site. Though I’m not sure if I’ll begin work on this during my time here [not enough time left before my placement finishes].. I generally spend the majority of my day coding and designing the website. Since I’ve been made project manager on this I have a great deal more responsibility than I feel I would get back in the UK doing similar work.

I finish work on average between 5pm and 6pm and spend most evenings socialising with other Travellers volunteers around Accra.

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