Akwaaba! (pronounced: Ahck-wah-bah, or Ah-kwah-bah) This is what I've been hearing all the time since I arrived in Ghana on February 19th, 2009. It means Welcome! in the predominant language of Twi, and I've been feeling very welcome here.
Ghana is in West Africa and, according to the Bradt Guide, is about the size of Great Britain or the State of Oregon in the U.S. The estimated population of Ghana in 2006 was 22.5 million people.
English is the official language but according to the Bradt Guide there are 46 African languages spoken. The major languages spoken are Twi, Fante, Ewe, Ga, Dagomba, and Halisa.
The temperature right now is varying between 25 degrees Celsius to 38 degrees Celsius. Those of you in the States will have to figure out what that is in Fahrenheit. Here's a hint: I wear shorts and sandals all the time and I sweat a lot. I also, when I can, use a fan at night.
When I researched coming to Ghana, I read that the people of Ghana are known as the friendliest people in the world! I knew I had to meet these people.
Just two days after I arrived, I was invited into a family's home and made to feel a part of their family immediately. Last Saturday, March 7th, I attended the daughter Mabel's wedding in the city of Kumasi. The family wanted me to sit with them and also get into the official family photo! I felt very honored.
Often times, when I enter a store or a home, people will say in English, "You're welcome" or they say in Twi, "Akwaaba". Twi, pronounced almost like "tchwee", is the predominant language, an Asanti language, from the area I'm living in now, the Kumasi region. Ga is primarily spoken around the capital city of Accra (pronunced Ahh Krah).
The family I lived with also spoke Ewe (pronounced: Ay Way) They are from the area east of Accra, near the country of Togo. There are many other languages I'll learn about as I live here and let you know about them.
I'll be in Ghana until November 21, 2009. Soon, I hope to include photos, possibly video, and sounds from my experiences in Ghana. I will be sharing what I see and do, and hopefully you get to know Ghana and the wonderful people I meet through this blog. I hope to write something once or week, so stay in touch and learn about another part of the world!
Please feel free to write comments and ask any questions you wish. I will try and find people here who can answer your questions as well. Please feel free to share this with anyone as well. Thanks, Daniel