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The Truth Shall Set Us Free!

For those desiring to reside in Ghana, remember it's a developing country and living here is nothing like visiting. You will find within Ghana, there are two worlds colliding. On one hand, there is modern development happening. While on the other hand there are still poorly kept shacks/buildings, roads remain unpaved, there are sanitation/trash issues, and wildlife (chickens/goats) just running about.

The Modern Side of Accra
The Developing Side of Accra

Many have told us that we were running away from America and that Africa would have its own issues. Not being naive about our decision, we knew living in Ghana would come with a cultural shock and there would be challenging aspects just like living in the States. However, we always asked ourselves, "What type of sacifices were we willing to make in order to live with more freedom and purpose?" We decided we were willing to deal with whatever challenges that would arise and trust us when we say, we have been challenged! 

First things first, the electricity in Ghana is a major issue. At any given moment, the power will just cut off. Dumsor, as Ghanaians refer to it, occurs mostly during and after it rains. Other times, we are literally confused as to why the electricity just goes out in the middle of a sunny day. It's as if someone is standing next to the power switch just flicking it on and off. Since we arrived in Ghana, the electricity has cut off at least 10 times without reason. When the lights go out, you don't know when they are coming back on. On average, when the electricity goes out, we have been without power for 6-7 hours. 

Truth be told it is frustrating! It's more of a inconvenience for us because we have  internet-based businesses and need electricity to power our electronics. When the power is out, unless you have a generator, you are without air conditioner or fans, the refrigerator stops working, and without a power pack electronics may die, the hot water heater will not work, etc. It's not fun at all and there is really no excuse for it. 

Dinner by phone light during Dumsor
For those of you who intend to move to Ghana, we understand that inconsistent electricity can be a deal breaker.  For us, the inability to conduct business efficiently is more of a deal breaker. We understand the electricity situation will get better as Ghana continues to develop. However, we suggest to those who are coming plan to invest in solar power or a generator for your own home until the country rectifies the situation.  

Second, unless you live right in the center of Accra, it will be hard pressed to find activities to participate in. We have found that everything is located in Accra and having accessibility when you live in areas a little further outside the city can be time consuming and/or expensive without a vehicle. Recreational options for DJ and ourselves, restaurants that cater to the foreign platelet, or even places to handle business are mostly located in Accra, East Legon, or Osu. This causes issues for us because coming from places such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta, accessibility was never an issue. Everything was convenient and we got what we wanted or needed, when we wanted it. You can have accesibility here but you will most likely have to pay a pretty penny for it. 

Third, we came expecting a big repatriate  community and some young families to connect with. Although the repat community is pretty big, there are no young repat families here to gather with and most of the repats stay to themselves. We have taken advantage of some of the opportunities to congregate with repats, however establishing relationships with Ghanaians in addition to the repats has made us feel more at home. We believe the dynamics will change as more of us continue to come as long as we are coming with a communal mindset! 

Chillin Alone @ The Movies
Come with the understanding that no place is perfect, and that includes our beloved Africa. We don't say this to be negative about Africa or Ghana in particular, but to be real and honest about what awaits those you coming. Therefore, we advise everyone to come visit and visit multiple times to see if living in Ghana is for you. We also suggest traveling the continent as much as possible becasuse there may be another african nation that's a better fit. Until next time...

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  1. Thanks for the article. I've visited East and West Africa and although it was a very short visit in differnet countries, I did experience the electricity shutting off and generators being needed in many communities. Like you said, the amount of time the electricity will remain off is unpredictable. But also like you said when you have a purpose, it outweigh the inconveniences one may encounter. We sacrifice peace of mind for the material benefits and the addictive conveniences of living in the U.S. but once accustomed to living without usually unnecessary luxuries, peace of mind will triumph. Unfortutunately your ability to make a living is dependent upon electrical accessibility. I hope things improve for you situation and may people be motivated to work together to improve the situation. It takes grassroot thinkers and activists to get things done. Waiting on the government might be a lost cause. Many countries in order to make substantial improvements in their infrastructure recieve loans from European nations. That usually puts a burden on the population, turning a once serene atmosphere to another , capitalistic, rat race environment and the negative effects that come along with it, similar to the US. Peace and Love!

  2. I applaud your efforts indeed.