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Monday, August 10, 2015

Host Homes



Before I arrived in Ghana I was really nervous about staying with a host family. It was a scary thought to be living both in and with people from a different culture. I wanted to write this blog to reassure any volunteers that may be apprehensive about staying with a host family and to thank our Ghanaian families for being such good hosts.

Each volunteer from the UK is partnered with an in-country volunteer and they live together. My ICV is Mary, we share a room together, and she sometimes surprises me with late night snacks such as sweets and even sweet corn! Mary has been my bridge between me and our host family, as she has knowledge of the culture. Having an ICV makes the adjustment of living in a new country a lot easier as they look out for you. She even helped me (whilst laughing) to try and get a small lizard out of our room!
 
Mary and Kendra

Me and Mary heading back after going on a walk
















 


My host mum, Madame Prisca, has been amazing. Since arriving here I have started watching Ghanaian soaps, and we all rush home everyday to watch our programme together at six. Prisca has really looked after me here and I have enjoyed chatting in the evenings.

My host dad is Kenneth; he is a Lawyer here in Bolgatanga. Before doing law, Kenneth studied French and Arabic, so speaks many languages, which I think is very impressive. He is very busy with his work, but when we get a chance to talk it is fascinating as he has so much knowledge on international issues and human rights.


From the first night that I arrived, both Kenneth and Prisca made an effort to get to know me. I think that lots of volunteers were worried about their first arrival, yet we all found it easy as we had so many questions!

I have a Host sister called Gifty, she is nineteen and has just finished school for summer. She is an amazing cook, and is constantly surprised that I can barely cook more than rice. She has taught me to cook Indomie, showed me how Banku is made, and has despaired at my inability to hand wash my clothes!

I have another host sister called Kendra who is five and a host brother, Kenneth Junior, who recently turned eight years old. They are very busy with school and extra classes, however we have found time to play many games of snakes and ladders and I have recently taught them stuck in the mud (I regret this now, as I am terrible at running around in this heat!).


 Host families are chosen because they actually want to host volunteers, so I would encourage every volunteer to remember this and not be shy about spending time with their family. The more time I have spent with my host family, the closer we have become and have found that we have more to talk
about.

Ghanaians are renowned for being friendly and inviting people, so I think it is fair to say that we have all felt very welcomed by our families here in Bolgatanga. Of course this is just an account of my experience, and every volunteer will have different experiences, yet so far living with my host family has been my highlight of the programme and I am sure has been for the other volunteers.

A volunteering placement with International Service ICS gives you an experience with a real development organisation while living in the community that you're supporting.


Want to meet your second family? Sign up here:
www.internationalservice.org.uk/work_with_us


Walking back from Work

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