Jason: Coming off the airplane

After sitting for nine hours from Washington DC to Accra, none of us knew what to expect. After the seatbelt sign blinked off, everyone stood up to grab our carryons, and they opened the doors. Immediately the heat hits you. We were led into the heat, right onto the tarmac. There was no gate or anything, just a short walk into airport to go through customs.

Surrounding the runways were trees, and the sky was filled with haze from the dry season. There were nobuildings poking above the horizon line of the trees.I was struggling to pull my sweatshirt off while I pulled my yellow fever vaccination card out so I could enter the country. I was nervous about how I would be greeted at customs, but walking through the door I saw Christmas decorations still up. There was red and green fabric everywhere in the airport, and we’ve seen pictures of (African) Santa Clauses throughout the city. I was so happy to see one of our guides at the airport who led us through customs while he was barking orders in a walkie talkie.

Leaving the airport felt so surreal. We walked out of this huge building with nothing across the street. Beyond the parking lot, it was all trees.I am used to Logan, where real estate is pricey for the surrounding fifty miles and completely over-developed. Maybe this observation will not come accross in prose, but the cultural shock is astounding. It is rare to see a building above two-stories. It felt like I was watching a movie from the first-person. This is truly a very different continent.

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