Posted by: mckenzie | October 16, 2008

just an udate on life.

So, I realized that I’ve been trying to get way too deep in these last posts. I should probably just tell you about me.. what I’ve been doing and how I am, rather than all the boring life lessons I am learning from Africa.

I’m healthy! Which is so good and such a blessing. Still having some serious stomach issues.. but I think that just comes with the territory. My mom still thinks I should post about my doctor/medical clinic experience, but I think I’ll spare you all the gory details. I think I can pretty much sum it up in four words.. stool sample, African style. Good times all around, no doubt.

We’ve pretty much mastered the game of finding ‘western food’ around Accra. We know the best places for hamburgers, pizza, ice cream, etc. and you could say we are pretty much regulars at each place. Ghanaian food hasn’t gotten any more appetizing. It is still just a mound of dough in a bowl of oily soup.. probably wont change much over the next two months. But hey, I gave it a go and I threw up every time I ate it (no joke), so I would say it’s pretty fair for me to stick to food I know.

We have also mastered the Tro-tro system and are pretty darn good at getting around town. I have also recently become a master negotiator and can use my sweet charm to bargain for a taxi pretty darn well.

Carly and I always talk about how strange it is to be in our shoes when people ask us what Ghana looks like or what the campus is like. We always wonder what our family and friends see in their mind when they try to imagine where we are. We try to describe it to people as vividly as we can but it’s so hard to describe because we simply live it everyday. So we both thought we would try to give you a little look through our eyes of what we see each day.

So here is a little picture tour of our lives in Africa, its not much, hopefully I will do more soon.. but this is a good place to start…

This is me and Carly’s room. Yes, our beds are pushed together like we are 5 year olds at a sleep over, but it works better this way because somehow our room was unofficially named the hang out room (probably because Carly and I are super cool and everyone wants to be like us) so at any point and time during the day there are usually at least 5 people just in our room being awesome. And we watch movies/Lost every night in here on my 5 inch DVD player.. so people have to get real close and personal. (and no, I have not become a cleaner, neater, more organized person.. Carly made me make my bed and clean my side of the room for this picture)

The view from our door. We like the setup of the International Student Hostel because everyone is always out and about and it social makes life so much easier. Except, since it is set up this way, it echos like crazy and for some reason African people wake up at ungodly hours of the morning and are always banging around and yelling African words at each other, making it impossible to sleep in past 8 am. Rough life.

Our bathroom. Sometimes is works, most times is doesn’t. Good thing I’ve taken a real liking to peeing outdoors (I know what you are thinking, McKenzie is so earthy now, and yes, you are right. I am such a hippie.. i wish.) Also, there is another bathroom directly above ours, so the run-off from that bathroom drains from a pipe directly above and into our showers. Needless to say, sometimes when you aren’t paying attention, minding your own business, taking a below freezing shower and you feel a strangely warm flow of liquid.. it’s not an answered prayer for a hot shower, it’s someone elses filth/waste.

Outside of home sweet ISH2. I feel like this picture makes ISH look nice, kind of like the Hilton of Africa. Don’t be fooled by Carly’s sick photography skills, it’s not that nice. I can’t have you guys at home thinking I am living some kind of comfortable life here.. then you will stop feeling bad for me and stop sending me nice letters and sour candy. We are truly roughing it, I promise.

Our sweet little market.. more affectionately known as the Night Market, or NM for short. This is where we eat the majority of our meals. Yes, I know it looks a little sketchy and no, in no way is the food source sanitary.. but it’s food none-the-less, so no complaints here.

Pretty crazy to think that we are on the downward climb of this trip. It almost feels like we are on the homestretch already.. considering we have 12 days of classes left and less than 2 months (with at least three weeks of this spent traveling) before we come back to the states. It’s also crazy to think that when we get home it will be Christmas time! We will be coming from over 100 degree days to hopefully cold weather (you never really know in North Carolina, though). It will be so so great to have almost a month to reunite with my wonderful family and friends before heading back to Chapel Hill, which I am excited about too! I feel like life has just been put on pause since coming to Africa.. which means my American life skipped straight from summer time to Christmas time.. pretty sweet deal.

Until next time, much love from Ghana!

(sorry these posts are always so long, who knew I could be so long-winded?)



  1. Hey sweetie. Great post. Thanks for letting us know what’s like over there. We miss you like crazy and can’t wait to get you back here.

  2. Thanks for the great blog Kenz! It really helps put visuals to what we hear from Maggie. We LOVE hearing your and Carly’s thoughts as well. You’re both great writers and photographers. You’ll be so glad you have this record of the adventure in years to come. Keep up the great work. Our best – Tom & Alice

  3. Yay! I love this post! So fun to see a bit more of your daily life. You seriously are too funny, by the way. I love it. πŸ™‚

  4. i still cant believe ur in africa. its so amazing that you get this amazing experience. i cant wait to update you on things here…sorry ive been missing ur calls. i love you kenz and miss you sooo much!!!

  5. Hi McKenzie! Thanks for,the great pictures and walking us through a typical day; if you can call it that! Guess you have learned some life lessons along the way….Beware of little ghanaians in white coats with popsickle sticks and a baggie!!HAHA If it looks like a piping hot bowl of grease, it probably is! Beware of unidentified warm water when you least expect it!! That was nasty to read! Glad you got away this weekend and enjoyed the sun and coast. More $ for the girls from Rocky and Pat Pat, will put it in your account. Let us know how they are doing. Love you tons Mom

  6. Hello Baby Girl…..great blog….everytime I take a shower now I will be thinking of you…you need to start dancing African style while you are showering, maybe you will be able to dodge the warm water….UGH !!! love ya lots and miss you you even more….I sent you a surprise, I hope you get it before you get home!!!! You know back in the day the mail was run by the pony express, but I believe over there it is the elephant express…OOONNNEEE SSSTTEPPP AAATTT A TTTIIIMMEE….

  7. ohhh big mac. i loved this. truthfully we have been trying to see what its like, you know me, miss visual over here! i cannot wait to come home for christmas because YOUUUUUUUUU are the best present ever! i love you so much and im glad your finally healthy again and not having the stomach problems anymore, they are stinky! literally πŸ˜‰ haha. i think i might have missed one of your calls over fall break, it was some crazy long number and you can ask mom, i almost started crying! but i love you so much and im so glad your loving it all again. keep safe!!

  8. haha clara…im sitting in the library at 2am…and trying to hold back all the laughter and tears.
    for some reason…mabye because its so late/early i found it very funny.

    i know i already posted but i just want you to know that i love you kenz! still miss you! πŸ™‚

  9. I’m so happy to see pics of your everyday life-your room, etc. It’s so fun to picture you there. You are doing so great, and seem to be taking in so much, I can’t wait for you to download it all on us when you get home-sooner than later now! Yay!

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