After an *exhausting* 7-hour red eye flight from Chicago, the team landed in London all safe and sound. Since we were divided into three different flights, we regrouped at the airport shortly after landing. We napped and snacked for several hours in the Heathrow airport before boarding our next flight to Accra. This time, our team was united on a British Airline double decker plane. The flight passed much more quickly, as this time we were all grouped together J (I – Ryann- made friends with a lovely passenger from London, as I was seated by myself).
Landing in Accra around 8:30 p.m., we were welcomed by our leaders at Sports Friends (Kyle, Bryan, Josiah and Ben) – and a balmy heat wave. Soon we were all sweating, experiencing our first encounters with mosquitoes, and loving every minute of it. As we worked our way through customs, we listened to a live airport duet perform “Time after Time,” time and time again! Honestly, they were pretty amazing for only playing this song and an instrumental rendition of “Killing Me Softly.” Luggage arrived smoothly, and assistants from the airport then loaded our luggage and split the team into two vans. First one to the second van, Joey (writing in third person here) encountered his first experience as a rookie traveler. An official-looking employee instructed Joey to tip the luggage loaders. Hesitantly, Joey asked “How much?” while trying to make eye contact with the leaders outside the van. Moving to block his view, the “employee” stated 20 dollars would be fine, and they would take any currency. Joey (still third person) may be new to this, but he wasn’t completely lost in this game. After stating he was just going to check with his leaders, the man told Joey not to check with the leaders, to sit down and not worry about it. After Joey’s first lesson, the crew continued to the place they were staying, which was just a short drive from the airport.
The house we’re staying at is pretty cool, but not in regards to temperature (until you turn on the AC !!). There’s enough beds, fans and pizza for everyone, so we can bare the heat!! There are also some frogs that have not been visually identified, but their croaks have been heard from the second we got out of the vans. I (Ryann) think that we are all pleasantly surprised at how well everything is coming together as Bryan, Kyle & the gang is providing for us, especially since we had no idea what to expect from the living arrangements without having seen pictures before arriving. Currently, we’re sitting in the conference room, eating pizza and just sitting around talking. Kind of funny that all we want to do is sit after SITTING ALL DAY, but that’s just how it is sometimes!! Since the first day we all gathered together, we have each shared our “one-word description” on how we feel at that current moment – with what we’ve dealt with so far, it’s ranged from initial excitement and jitters to exhaustion and disbelief (at the flight cancellation). Today, some of these words were mentioned, but I think Jacinda put it perfectly in hers: “Finally.”
Shoutout to all of our moms for letting us go on this amazing trip- Happy Mother’s Day to you, we love you all!!
Peace, Joy and Tailwinds,
Joey & Ryann