#CUinAfrica - Accra Adventures

Monday, September 18, 2017

Road to Accra seemed long - 22 hours long to be exact, but that didn't matter. We were prepared, by doing lots of research and reading, drawing on previous coaches experiences, and most of us brought way to many things with us, but the team of eight coaches have landed in Accra and are ready for this two week adventure. 
We spent last two days getting to explore Accra - from the cultural market, to malls, beach and a hidden gem that served delicious local cuisine. Accra is beautiful, bursting with energy and continuously developing. The streets are busy and I was thankful for our CUA colleagues and drives (Patrick, Robert, George) and guide Gifcy because navigating the streets on our own would have been a challenge. (There is some kind of code that everyone honks and that lets them know that they are either merging, letting them merge or not to cross... it was unique and I couldn't have figured it out. Oh and the motor bikes, they obey by their own rules.)
The people here in Accra are so friendly and hospitable. Our trusted guides took us to a small local restaurant. It was lined up out of the door and eight of us were the only tourists to be found anywhere in the vicinity. We let the Gifcy order for us. We got a chance to try Fufu and Banku and it was authentically delicious. The owner of the restaurant stoped by the table - greeted us and fast informed us that we were eating it wrong. After a short lesson, he brought in more food for us to sample and practice eating like the locals. 
The cultural centre and the market are very much like a bazar, filled with little mom and pops type of shops. You can find ton of wood carving type things, paintings, clothes and jewelry. The people are friendly but do brush up on your bargaining skills because you will need them. 
I think that Africa as a continent is very young sort of speak; the population is young and a lot of parts of the continent are still developing and growing. In anything, like your business career, building a network is very important. Being successful means that sometimes you have to build and relay on your network connections to get a little better/bigger/stronger/more knowledgable (if you get my drift?). I strongly believe that this CCA/CDF program does exactly that - it's, in small part, helping the global cooperative network become a little better world. 
Today we are flying to Tamale in Northern Ghana, where our volunteer program and jobs begin. I am excited and a little anxious. Excited because my experience in Ghana so fast has been amazing, anxious because I am two weeks is not a very long time to get to know, learn from and help other credit unions. 

If you wanna follow our adventures, you can check out #CCACoaches across all social media or #CUinAffrica to follow my story along. Thank you for reading