Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In & sound

Well I'm happy to report that I made it to Ottawa safe and sound, I arrived late last night around midnight and got to bed around 2:30 am by the time I got all settled into my hotel....then it was up again in 4 hours to spend the day @ the Canadian Cooperative Association to receive day 1 of my cultural was AWESOME!!

There are 3 groups here all at the same time, my group going to Ghana, another to Malawi and another to Uganda...what an amazing group of people...very welcoming and warm and so talented...I really think that credit union people are a breed all of their own and I was so proud to be representing Interior Savings today with this group......these next couple of weeks are going to be GREAT!

One of the coaches from my group, Lennie, who is from Thunder Bay, we had a great moment today.  We both were being teased by the group about our lack of experience with when we got our passports back today from CCA and they actually had stamps in them from Ghana for our travel Visa we both were pretty excited and took pictures of each other with our "stamped passports".  I can't say enough about the coaches on this trip, they really are amazing people!

Our group met up with two individuals from Ghana today, Vida and Isaac.  Vida was born and raised in Ghana and moved to Ottawa 12 years ago with her husband and family.  Isaac is from Accra and he is in University here and plans to go back in a few weeks.

We learnt so much from them today.....WOW...where do I start......

  • A home remedy for diarrhea (this one I paid particular attention to!) either drink coconut water (they called it coconut water not coconut milk) or add salt to your pop, apparently if you have salt and sugar together this is a great remedy...who knew?!

  • do not use your left hand for pretty much anything (as this is your wiping hand for when you go to the bathroom.....good thing I'm not left handed! hahaha)

  • do NOT make a fist with your thumb on top and then flick your thumb at someone...apparently this is their version of flipping someone the bird....boys do not use this one at school!!!

  • do NOT talk while eating (this is apparently bad manners!)

  • And NO singing in the shower or at night.....I guess I'd better lay off the i-pod while I'm there!

But one of my biggest take aways from today is that Canadians are very highly regarded by the Ghanaian's and there isn't anything they wouldn't do for us....even if they don't know the answer to our questions apparently they will still give you an answer as they want to be I guess it is always wise to double check  if you are getting directions!

All in all a marvelous day...we have 2 more here in Ottawa and then it's finally off to Africa