|After 3 months of amazing and eye opening experiences in Southern Africa, we left Zambia and flew back via Johannesburg to Ghana. It was great to be back and almost felt like we were ‘home’ again. News of swine flu had spread and we were handed leaflets at passport control warning us of the dangers. We were surprised at how the heat and humidity hit us again. We thought we’d become acclimatised to it but it appears our bodies had readjusted and we were sweating again the minute we left the airport. Michael and Elizabeth Ezan (Richard’s headmistress) had kindly offered to put us up for the couple of days we were back. They sent their driver Godwin to pick us up from the airport which was great as it meant we didn’t have to hang around negotiating the ‘white man fare’ (ie double) for taxi prices. We had a wonderfully warm welcome from Michael and Elizabeth and we knew the weather was unusually bad as even they were complaining of the heat. It was hot and sticky and it didn’t help that both the water and the electricity went off about an hour after we arrived so no possibility of a shower. We were back!
We had a phone call telling us that our flight had been brought forward by 15 hours which was surprising but when we asked why they told us it was official and couldn’t give a reason. It was a shame as that meant we only had 1 full day in Ghana and we had a lot of people to visit! We went back to the school in the morning and it was great to see everyone again. People wanted to hear about our adventures and it was sad to leave knowing we wouldn’t be returning in the foreseeable future. On the way back, we stopped at Elizabeth’s sister’s house, Auntie Grace, to say our goodbyes and who was also suffering with the intense heat. We popped back into the Ghana National Association of the Deaf which hadn’t changed one bit. My six months of work were still sitting on the boss’s desk waiting to be looked at (the TV was still on…). On the plus side, before I left I put a proposal to Citi FM, a big radio station in Accra, to get GNAD on the air and highlight their issues. While I was away this was accepted and they got a half hour slot of publicity which was excellent.
We went round to all our old friends saying final goodbyes and early the next day we were dropped off at the airport for our final journey back to London. We both had mixed feelings about going home. We were very excited knowing we would see our family and friends again soon but also sad to be leaving our new friends and all our adventures behind. As we boarded the plane we noticed a United States airplane next to ours. We presumed this must have been why our flight time was moved as Obama is due to visit Ghana in July and they took our take off spot. We were pleasantly surprised that we were about one of twenty people on the huge Ghanaian International Airways plane. We got a seat by the emergency exit so there was plenty of leg room, although they came with a warning from the air steward that ‘these seats come with great responsibility’…
Our flight arrived on time and we were back to the chilly climes of Blighty. We feel incredibly lucky to have been able to take advantage of this opportunity and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. If you are considering doing something like this and want to find out more please let us know as we would happily bore you for hours about it. It was a fantastic experience and we have so many wonderful memories to remember our journey. Thanks for sharing it with us!