Longing for a home you never had!
- June 27, 2018
‘You have been chosen for a trip to Ghana,’ announced the head of a leading IT company based in New Delhi, India that offers applications, digital imaging and communication through a combination of technology knowhow, domain and process expertise across Africa.
While the news of an all-expense paid international trip thrilled her, Ms Shabnam Hayat, the employee chosen by the Indian company for her hard work over the years, also felt sceptical about this journey that she was to embark upon with her entire family.
The uncertainty arose from the myths and stereotypes linked with the African continent. The countries in Africa are poor; wild animals roam across the roads of the cities; it is unsafe to travel alone, even during day-time; it is hot and sunny and dry all throughout the year; locals carry guns with them; there are diseases everywhere; so on and so forth.
Having worked with the citizens of Ghana for a considerable time, she was sure of the warmth that she was going to receive by the people of the country on her arrival. As for the rest of her worries, she decided to explore the country and find out herself how legitimate those typecasts were!
Day 1: June 13th, 2018
Reached Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana from Delhi via Ethiopian Airlines.
For one night, she stayed at the Accra City Hotel, a 4-star establishment with 196 rooms, fully-equipped conference and meeting rooms, with a capacity to accommodate about 250 guests. Located in the heart of the Ghanaian capital, the property is just a 15-minute drive from the Kotoka International Airport and offers a complimentary airport shuttle.
Second day, June 14th, 2018:
On the second day of her visit, she traversed the city for sight-seeing and visited the Independence Arch, the Accra Stadium and the Jubilee House.
Late evening, she left for Elmina Beach Resort in Cape Coast. She arrived post-midnight without any security hassle or fear. The highways were well-maintained and she observed, with relief, that there was absolutely no risk in travelling during the night.
Third day, June 15th, 2018:
She stayed at the Elmina Beach Resort for two days. During the stay, she visited the famous Kakum National Park, the Cape Coast and Elmina Castle, and the Crocodile and Bird Park.
The Crocodile and Bird Park
Day Four, June 16th, 2018
Ms. Hayat reached Busna Beach Resort in Sekondi-Takoradi, where she visited Nzulezu village in the Jomoro District of the Western Region of Ghana. Nzulezo overlooks the Lake Tadane, and is entirely made up of stilts and platforms.
Day Five, June 17th, 2018
Spent the day at Busna Beach and Resort and enjoyed the local savouries.
Day Six, June 18th, 2018
Checked-out from the Busua Beach Resort and travelled back to Accra, where she visited Makola and Osu markets. Ms Hayat later dined at the Noble House Restaurant and her mind drifted back to her country as she relished Indian cuisine in a ‘foreign’ land.
Day Seven, June 19th, 2018:
As she left Accra for India, Ms Hayat looked back at her experiences in this West-African country. She realised how judgments often land automatically, and how people suffer the consequences of those judgments. Ms Hayat made a promise to herself that when she reached her home country, she would spread the good word to change the prejudiced mind-set of the people around her. And with that promise, she bid adieu to Ghana with a feeling that can be best described by a word in Welsh language – Hiraeth – which means longing for a home that you never had!
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