Adventures In Ghana 🇬🇭 #3

The joy of being home. Ghana, my heartbeat.

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My final weeks in Ghana was really tough for me. The pain of leaving my family behind was really hard for me but it brought me so much joy to be able to see them after 16 years. God is so Good. If I can be there right now, I would love to be. I believe that everyone should at least visit an African country once or even more in their lifetime. There is so many things I loved about being in Ghana. I loved the joy it brought me to see my family and the chance to meet my other brother for the first time. I love him so much. Words can’t even explain it. It was so hard leaving but I know that there is a time for everything. I cried so much leaving but I carried so many memories of my time in Ghana. The picture above was taken in Tema while spending time with my brother. 

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Man riding a horse

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There was a woman selling icecream. I didn’t want anything but my brother asked me to try it. It was actually really good 🙂

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Monday Blues

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Children walking back from school. 

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Little kids just being themselves. Enjoying their childhood.

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Plants in our family house. 

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Tema: Boys Walking Back From Church

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If only you knew how I was craving these peanuts. I tried to describe it but no one knew what I was talking about until one day my family and I were in the car heading home. There we saw a woman selling peanuts and my aunt said that those were the peanuts I was talking about. I tried it while in the car, couldn’t help but to capture a photo of it. Apparently they are boiled peanuts. As I child, I really enjoyed eating these peanuts. It brought me back so many memories of living in Ghana.

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While sitting in the taxi on our way to Makola, I saw  a few school girls heading back home.

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This is Makola Market. The busiest market I have every stepped foot on since birth. The hustle is real. You will walk a lot so it’s best that you wear a comfortable shoe. It’s extremely crowded. You must know what you are looking for before coming because then you most likely will get frustrated and want to go back home. It’s advisable to come along with the someone who knows the language and can bargain or you will spend all your money.

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A few days before departing from Ghana, I got the opportunity to visit my cousin’s school. There I was given the chance to take pictures of kids with the teacher’s/administrator’s permission. Unfortunately, I will not be able to share all the photos because of  protection of the children’s identity.

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I had a wonderful time capturing the kids and having a conversation with my cousin while at it. 

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The kids wanted me to capture more pictures of them but I had to go. My taxi was waiting for me outside. 

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Afternoon Delicacies: Yams & Fish/Shito (Pepper)

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On my last day in Ghana, I was blessed with the opportunity to dine with my brother and family and friend at Azmera Restaurant. I mean just take a look at the food. I know sometimes, looks don’t mean a thing but the food was good. Well, for the most part what I got. Overall, my trip to Ghana was amazinggg. I can’t express the joy and the peace I felt while being in the Motherland. Home is home and there’s no place I’ll rather be. I thank God for making it possible after 16 long years. 2017 was phenomenal. My time came at traveling and your time will also come. If I can travel to Ghana every year, without a doubt I will go. With this being said, whatever you are trusting God for, know that your time/miracle is around the corner. Continue to seek God in all that you do. 

I want to take this time to say thank you to everyone who stops by my blog to read my posts. I hope you have been inspired and have taken something away whether it be a lesson or admired a picture. I’m truly grateful. It’s always a blessing to share things with you all. I must also say that this has been the year that I have been consistent with my blog. I started this blog March 6th, 2015. It isn’t always easy writing but I told myself that this year, I will be consistent and I did my best with sharing with you all. I hope to be even more consistent in the year right around the corner. Cheers to what lies ahead of us in 2018. 🙂

Sending you light, love & many of God’s blessings your way. Muaah 🙂

Copyright © 2017 Karen Owusu

All rights reserved.

 

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Adventures In Ghana 🇬🇭 #2

Home is where the heart is: Ghana, my heartbeat.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. -African Proverb

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Week 3: On our way to the Art Centre with my favorite family taxi driver. He makes the trip worthwhile. 

Our trip to the art centre was quite interesting. We got to the shop approximately around 4pm and most of the store were closing. My aunt was looking for a specific store were she usually purchases bags for a reasonable price. The art centre is located on High Street/28 February Road,  the National Center for Cultural Arts. It is the place to go in Ghana’s Central Accra to purchase good quality artwork. According to my aunt that place is usually best for tourists but their items can be quite expensive compared to Makola. It’s advisable to go there with someone who knows the place well and who speaks the language. It helps in negotiating the prices. The art centre is crowded filled with so many vendors. What attracted my eyes the most was the colors of the fabrics, slippers and key chains being sold. I really loved it but you have to be wise when it comes to spending your money. You must not shine your eyes bright and reach for money on everything you see. 

On our way back home, I saw this sign board that said “Stop Aids, Love Life” Abstain from sex or Be faithful together or Condom use every time: The choice is in your hands. As a Public Health graduate, I was astonished to see this in Ghana. I love how they were promoting safe sex.

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Following day: My cousin were headed to drop our clothes at the seamstress place. Before crossing the street, I saw a Trotro and I decided to snap a photo. I took the trotro at least 8 times while I was in Ghana. Very interesting experience.

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That afternoon, we went to Makola Market. I mean just take a look at these African fabrics. They are beyond lovely. It took me a while to select the fabrics I wanted to purchase.

While sitting in the car, I was able to capture a few pictures of little children walking back from school in their uniforms.

Pictures of people working and around the neighborhood. The yellow gallons are used to fetch water. 

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Coconut for days. This picture was also taken while in the car (windows rolled up). This was in front of someone’s store/house.

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Streets of Accra

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While purchasing phone credit with my cousin, I saw satchets of Milo, Cowbell and other chocolate drinks hanging outside the store. So most of the store in Ghana are mostly homes. The back is the house and the front is the store. You can be driving and you will see that there are many shops selling the same thing.

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Boys & Girls walking back from school. 

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Rooted In Soil

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Brother & Sister Walking back from school.

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I got the opportunity to visit the Christianbourg Castle in Osu. I went with my cousin to explore this castle. Apparently this was one of the castles the slaves resided. Unfortunately, the Christiansburg Castle is not open to walk-in visitors. We only went to the castle because my aunt had a friend who worked there. We weren’t allowed to use phones and cameras but because my aunt’s friend was with us, it was permitted. I really wanted to go to Elmina Castle but it was four hours away from Accra and due to time, I didn’t get the opportunity to visit while on my trip.

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The view of Jamestown seaport from the Castle. 

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Afterwards, we walked over to the Osu Beach with our tour guide (my aunt’s friend). The feel of the cool breeze and the calming sound of the waves brought so much peace to my soul. I just wanted to write a poem while walking on the sand.

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Faraway view of the Osu Beach

The next stop for the day was the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum (Memorial Park). I really enjoyed my visitation at the park. I actually learned a lot about Ghana’s first president. When we first arrived, we were just walking around but someone informed us that there was a tour guide. We went to a certain area in the museum and we were given a tour guide which was extremely helpful. The tour guide gave us a history of Kwame Nkrumah and also showed us pictures of our president. One thing I loved about the tour guide was that she was friendly and educative. She knew her stuff from the back of her hand to the front.

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After our tour, my cousin and I alongside with our taxi driver walked around the music. I usually carried a bag with Bible verses inside. I asked the taxi driver to pick one from the bag and this was the one he picked up. This is an encouragement for someone. God loves you 🙂

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Entrance way to the museum but at this point we had already toured the park.

Children carrying children. Student walking back from school.

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Until next time, stay blessed & lovely.  You are loved & appreciated. Be you, always.

Copyright © 2017 Karen Owusu

All rights reserved.

Adventures In Ghana 🇬🇭 #1

Allow the sun to kiss your skin. Sweep your feet. Charle, feel the breeze of Mama Africa.

The way the sun will welcome you every morning as early as 5:45am, you will rise to open your window blinds. Akwaaba. Day 2 in Ghana was so refreshing. Woke up and ate some bread and eggs with some Milo. Let’s talk about the eggs. When I tell you the eggs in Ghana is so good, you will even wonder what they are feeding the eggs in America. It is delicious. I must say that when it came to eating well, charle I dey chop paa. Hausa Koko & Bofrot for breakfast. Fried yams + Shito + fried fish for lunch. Rice and tolobeefe for dinner. So many variety of foods to eat in Ghana.

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Week 1 in Ghana was very adventurous. Went around the neighborhood and visited my cousin in Osu. First stop was Vodafone then Papaye which was right around the same street. When I was a little girl, I remember my aunt taking me to this spot. This time around I went with my cousin. This Papaye restaurant is located in Osu, Accra.

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After spending approximately an hour in Papaye, we headed out to the streets of Osu. We walked and came across many art crafts. And of course not to my surprise, I was asked if I wanted to purchase anything. There were so many beautiful artwork and African clothing. Here are a few pictures I took while walking on the streets of Osu. Osu in general is a busy place.

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After walking and setting our eyes on all this beautiful handmade work, my cousin and I walked to catch the Tro Tro to Ako Adjei to surprise my cousin. My first time on the Trotro was very interesting. Everyone is sitting and minding their business while the Trotro “mate” is asking for your fare. At last, we reached our junction, walked a while on the rich soil grounds of Accra. My cousin and I took pictures and planned on how I was going to surprise my cousin, Uncle and aunt.

At last we reached my Uncle’s house. I hid on the floor as my cousin entered. After I just ran inside and they started screaming. They were so surprised because no one told them that I had come to Ghana. My cousin at the time was in the bathroom but because they were screaming, I think she was aware. I hid awaiting for her to leave the bathroom, but once she walked out she mentioned my name. She was really happy to see me. We spent and hour and some change at my Uncle’s house. Afterwards, my cousins and I took pictures together. So many memories we created within a few minutes. Next up, we headed to my cousin’s seamstress. We spent a few minutes there while my cousin tried an outfit she had sewn.

Afterwards, my cousins and I walked to the junction to pick up a TroTro to LA Maami. As we waited for the TroTro, the aroma of Kelewele (local fried plantains) engulfed my nostrils. After waiting approximately 10 minutes, the TroTro arrived and my cousin parted ways with us. My other cousin and I arrived home safely.

Accra, Labadi (Streets)

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Something that I also realized while in Ghana was that a lot of stores were Christ based. Like Sweet Jesus, His Grace, God Will Provide Supermarket, God First Carwash, and etc. The names on the Trotro were even more funnier. 

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On my way to get my hair braided, I saw a young man selling coconut. We stopped by to get some coconut. It tasted so good and was refreshing. I mean look at this goodness. 

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On our way back home, I saw little children playing outside.

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Mama buying snacks for their children before school.

I enjoyed taking pictures of the streets of Ghana. On our way back, we stopped by TT Special to purchase fried rice and chicken. (Trade Fair).

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Little boys walking back from school. Unfortunately some children don’t attend school because their parents can’t pay for their school fees. There were many days, I saw little children selling food outside.

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Little girls walking back from school exchanging in their native language (Ga).

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Brotherhood & Sisterhood

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Tema Community Place

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Palm Trees in Tema

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Homes In Ghana (Regimanuel Estate): Visiting a family friend.

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During our visitation, I was served Waakye, stew and Fish/boiled eggs. Charle Ghanaian food is good. Finger licking food paa.

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On our way back to Labadi, I saw a woman selling donuts. It amazed me how I was able to capture these pictures while sitting in the car (windows rolled up).

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Preparation To Make Kelewele With My Cousin. Week 1 Festives.

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Road Trip To Akosombo: Excursion With Cousins

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Kpong is a town in the Lower Manya Krobo District of the Eastern Region of Ghana and particularly noted for the Kpong Dam.

Welcome To Akosombo. Let the fun begin. Below are some of the pictures I took from the excursion.

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Friend Posing…

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Excursion was extremely fun. Enjoyed every moment and capturing pictures.

Right after church duties. Cousin preparing pepper.

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Fried Yams + Shito + Shrimps. 

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Kenkey + Fish + Pepper + Guizzard + Shrimps. Please I beg both meals aren’t mine. 

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End of Week 1 in Ghana 🙂

Week 2 Chronicles

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Accra, Labadi: On my way back from the seamstress place.

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Roads of Tema. This was absolutely beautiful to me. I couldn’t help but to capture the roadside and the trees.

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Until next time, stay blessed & lovely.  🙂

Copyright © 2017 Karen Owusu

All rights reserved.

Ghana: My Heartbeat

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Where do I even begin? First off, before going to Ghana I was extremely nervous. Every time, my friends asked me if I was excited to be visiting my homeland, I always responded “No, I’m actually nervous.” You may be wondering why I was nervous about visiting Ghana. Well, I haven’t been to Ghana in 16 years. I haven’t been on a plane ever since I stepped foot in the states. I haven’t seen my family members in so many years and the feeling of going back home filled me with so many emotions. The day before going to Ghana, I was a little excited but still nervous. I felt the Holy Spirit reminding me of 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” That same night, my friend sent me a text with the same verse. I felt a calm in my spirit.

The day arrived for me to go to Ghana. My suitcases were packed. Passport and everything settled. Arrived at the airport to check my luggage only for the luggage attendant to say that my luggage was above the limit (50 pounds). I stood to the side and situated everything. The crazy part was that my luggage barely had anything in it but I learned that the luggage itself consumes weight depending on the brand you purchase.

Airplane Experience:

So I flew with KLM.  I didn’t take a direct flight to Ghana. My departure flight delayed by an hour. Eventually, the plane arrived and we were all ready to board. Before entering the plane, you have to show your boarding ticket and passport. On the plane, they served us pasta, rice, fruit salad, chicken and desert (icecream, almond, apple crumb cake). I actually enjoyed the foods that were served on the plane.

Upon arriving at Amsterdam airport, I walked around and when it got close to time to board the flight to Ghana, my mom and I went to the flight hostess to check our boarding pass ticket to make sure that everything was intact. It was almost time to board our plane to Ghana so we walked over to our Gate. There, I saw so many Ghanaians alongside with Caucasians and other races boarding the plane to Ghana. We waited patiently and eventually it was time for us to get on the plane. Once again, our passport and boarding pass ticket had to be checked. I cannot count how many times I had to show my passport and boarding pass. Everything worked out and we walked a pathway to enter the plane. At this point, I was excited. Ghana here I come. I sat back, relaxed and watched Fences and Hidden Figures. Let me tell you about the movies they had on the plane; it was the bomb. I mean from African movies to Bollywood to Chinese movies. C’mon the plane was serving us well especially with all that money that was paid to board to the motherland. They were not playing when flight hostess went around multiple of time asking us if we wanted water, soda or tea. I wan’t surprised how many times I went to the bathroom. I enjoyed every moment. The clouds were beautiful. If you are ever flying, I would definitely recommend you to take the window seat. You will surely enjoy your trip unless you don’t care much about the view.

Let’s talk about the babies. Yes the children who cry throughout the plane ride that you can’t even sleep. To be honest, sometimes it’s the parents who cause the children to cry. For instance, there was this little boy sitting next to his father. He was watching his show. All of a sudden his father started asking him questions, then he started crying. Mind you this little boy was around 3 years old. His father kept asking him if he wanted to eat. He was asking the child too many questions and the child was probably already frustrated sitting on the plane for so long. The father couldn’t handle the child to the point that he ended up tapping his wife who was sitting in the front seat with his other child for her to come to his rescue. Sometimes, children want to be left alone. When they are playing games, they don’t want to be asked so many questions. The child cried until half way to Amsterdam before he stopped crying.

Arrival to Ghana:

I remember this like it was yesterday. The plane landed in Ghana at exactly 8:07pm. Upon landing, I loved how everyone was filled with joy and started thanking God for safe arrival. It was amazing. Compared to arriving at Amsterdam, the plane was silent. Though we landed at 8pm, we actually got out of the plane around 9pm. Apparently, the bus that was supposed to take us to Kotoka International Airport hadn’t arrived upon our arrival. I was waiting for the heat to welcome me as my fellow friend told me it would once I landed. It welcomed me but I didn’t think it was so hot as she expressed it but I also believe that it was due to the time of my arrival. If it was in the afternoon, the heat will seriously welcome me that I would need at least 3 bottles of Voltic water.

Our bus eventually arrived. I loved how the bus looked. It was very simple and pleasant. The airport was really packed. I wasn’t expecting that since we arrived on a Monday. It took a while before everything got settled. Some people had to stand in line in accordance to their stance (immigrant or citizen). While on line, I met a girl name Vanessa. I loved her braids and attire. She is from America but is currently doing her Master’s in Public Health in University of Ghana. I also met a couple who were coming to Ghana to know more about their roots. After taking their ancestry test, their results showed that their family were mostly from Ghana. Though the line was very long, our engagement in conversation made things more quicker and interesting. As we stood on line, one of the ladies that worked there, directed us to someone to take a look at our documents and everything. Eventually, everything got sorted out. Now it was time for us to go and pick up our suitcases. One thing that I noticed is that everyone wanted to help so that they can get money from you. There was one guy who kept parading our luggages because he wanted to help us but my mom didn’t want him to help.

As we arrived the waiting area, I made a plan with mom that I didn’t want my aunt to see me. I wanted to surprise her because as far as I knew, she didn’t know that I was coming to Ghana. So my mother took a different pathway than I did. When my aunt saw me, she started yelling. Mind you, it’s been 16 years of not seeing her. She was the one that raised me when I lived in Ghana. It was pure joy seeing her after all these years. Honestly, writing this post is bringing back too many memories.

So after all the yelling and hugs, we packed our luggages in the car. My aunt kept saying “I can’t believe it you.” On our way back home, my aunt showed me the schools I attended while I was in Ghana. She mentioned a few street names and junctions but I couldn’t remember them because years have passed. Close to home, tears trickled down my cheeks. It saddened me to see so many children sitting outside at past 10pm. The road was extremely rocky and seeing the neighborhood I lived in surprised me. As a child, your not aware of too many things. Your’e just living life without a care. In the same way, the children that were sitting outside, are most likely accustomed to their way of living but because I have’t been to Ghana in so many years, seeing children sitting around that time shocked me because in the states, you barely see children at that time of the night.

Meeting My Family:

Everyone was surprised to see me. My grandmother didn’t recognize me. Mind you, it was at nighttime so she probably wasn’t really aware. She was half asleep/awake but once she woke up, she was able to recognize me. We spoke for a short time then proceeded to do some few things.

This was Day 1 in Ghana. 🙂

There is so much I want to share but one post won’t do any justice. Watch out for the next blog post. Till next time, here are a few pictures I took while in Ghana.

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Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to my homeland Ghana. Today we have turned 60 years old. For the first time, I actually didn’t do anything to celebrate. I didn’t eat any African food. I wasn’t home. It was a beautiful feeling seeing the amount of posts that people shared online on how they were celebrating this day. I miss Ghana very much. I haven’t been there in 16 years. Soon and very soon, I will go. I’m telling you the plane ticket is like someone’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. To think of it, if we allow money to get in the way of going somewhere, we will never travel. Tell me, how did you celebrate this Independence Day? What did you chop today? Fufu & Light Soup, Banku & Okra or straight Ghana jollof rice?

Here are a few pictures I came across online on Ghana.

Picture Credit: All photos were found on Tumblr. P.S. Happy two years to my blog. (March 6,2015). We are in 2017 and we will continue to flourish 🙂

Questionnaire:

  1. Were you born in Ghana or another state/country?
  2. What do you like about Ghana?
  3. What do you dislike about it?
  4. What are some of your favorite foods?
  5. Do you see yourself living in Ghana if your not there?
  6. If there’s one thing you can change about Ghana, what would it be?
  7. What are some of your childhood memories living in there?
  8. What day of the week were you born?
  9. What tribe are you from?
  10. If there’s one place in Ghana you’ll like to visit, where would it be?
  11. What are some good restaurants you have visited?