A group of students from Lancaster University are in Ghana alongside counterparts from Boston, USA. studying for an undergraduate level course in health and infectious diseases and working on public helath projects with organisations in Ghana. We will carry regular updates written by students. This week Jack Hill says the first few days were spent getting acquainted with the environment.
This week has shown us that there is very much two sides to Accra, Ghana’s capital city – there are buildings that wouldn’t look out of place directly opposite shoddily constructed huts made out of whatever their inhabitants can find.
Saturday was spent visiting Jamestown, which is little more than a shanty town with a population of 17,000 people.
The living conditions were terrible – six people sharing one tiny ramshackle hut the size of a bed – but there was a real sense of community among the residents.
Adela Boboc, a 21-year-old biological sciences student, said: “The people here don’t seem unhappy with their conditions, because they look out for each other”.
In contrast, we went to see a play by Ghana’s number one playwright, Uncle Ebo Whyte, in the majestic playhouse.
This building was beautiful, it was far classier than any British theatre I’ve been to.
The culture of the play was a surprise, as it was so different that we ended up missing some of the jokes and salient plot points.
But, it was delivered with so much energy and enthusiasm and there was such a good atmosphere that it really didn’t matter – we all had a great time!
After our classes one day, we drove up Aburi Mountain to what were without a doubt the greatest views I have ever seen. They were phenomenal.
To say you could see for miles is by no means an exaggeration – you could see nearly the entire city from the top.
To say we have had a mixed picture of Ghana is a huge understatement.
We really have seen all sides to this amazing country throughout the week.
We’re going to Shai Hills – another area of renowned beauty – this weekend, which will have a job topping Aburi Mountain.
And while we enjoy the views, it’s important we don’t forget the poor who are struggling to live in Jamestown.
n The summer school is
supported by Santander Universities UK, Lancaster University and Lancaster University Students’ Union.