My name is Jessica Festa and I am editor of the travel site, Jessie on a Journey. Last summer, I was lucky enough to get the chance to volunteer abroad in Achiase, Ghana, doing orphanage work. The experience was amazing! I also got to travel on weekends, as well as before and after the program, and I fell in love with every city I went to.
2. What made you choose this country and what were your first impressions?
3. How much money can someone travel Ghana for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap?
4. What is the local cuisine like? Did you find yourself trying new things or pining for the familiars of home?
Their diet is very high in starch, which was difficult for me because I loved protein. While I appreciated trying new foods — fufu, banku, rice water — I did miss my home food. I did love their spicy peanut soup with riceballs and a dish called red red, which was kind of like beans and vegetables. When my house mother would make those I would be very happy!
5. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while you travel in Ghana and why?
Do a homestay! There is no better way to experience a culture than by staying with a local. Also, visit the slave castles in Cape Coast, which are very educational, and do some hiking in the picturesque Volta Region to get to know the country’s natural side.
6. What is your favourite thing about travelling this country? What is your least favourite thing?
My favorite thing was how inexpensive it was and how friendly the people were. My least favorite was all the trash everywhere and how friendly the people were (it was a blessing and a curse, even when I would go running in the morning people would shout at me and try to chat).
7. What things do you focus on most when you blog about this country? Why do you choose these things?
The volunteer experience, the foods, and the transportation. All are very interesting, and things I wish I had known more about before going.
8. What’s one thing you can’t travel in Ghana without?
9. What kind of response have you had to your blogs about Ghana? What post had the most interest?
Mostly positive! Many people ask me how they can also have my same experience. It’s not a hugely popular tourist destination, so I get a lot of curious readers. Here’s one I really like and that I’ve gotten a positive response about: Find a Home in a Ghanian Orphanage.
10. If you could think of one thing you wished someone told you before you started travelling in Ghana what would it be?