Back in February, we read the amazing story of Myra Parks, her husband and young son, who made a bold move by transplanting their lives from the US to Ghana. We followed up with Myra to see how things are going, and were surprised to learn that some new and interesting developments had steered their lives into a whole new adventure in Africa.
Two months ago, my family and I took a huge leap of faith. We sold all our possessions and moved to Africa from our comfortable lives in Los Angeles. We appreciated all the support and encouragement we’ve enjoyed over these months, especially from our network of friends in Ghana. But, let me just say this, a lot can happen in two months and a lot can change as well.
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster living in Ghana. We have been extremely overjoyed at times, while at other times our days result in pure frustration. The country is beautifully amazing but living here over the past few months has gradually uncovered a lot of obstacles in our path, and we’re not sure these obstacles are worth hopping over, day in and day out.
Has this changed our mind about repatriation? Absolutely NOT! Africa is going to be our home, and there is no turning back. BUT there are a couple of major reasons we have questioned if Ghana is the permanent place we should be based.
Firstly, the lack of major family activities is a major issue for us. Yes, we do spend most of our days sightseeing, checking out local eateries, and, believe it or not, spending a lot of time at the mall (the AC is delightful in the merciless heat!). However, it has been quite difficult to find family-friendly activities. We’ve come to realize there’s little to do here and the activities that do exist aren’t cheap and cater to expatriates and the wealthy. It’s hard to explain to our 4-year-old that there isn’t even a park where we can take him where he can run around and play. That’s right, Accra and the surrounding areas don’t have parks. This is one of our major frustrations because we are a young family and a very active one at that.
In addition to the lack of family-friendly activities, the electricity and internet services are major concerns for us. Frequent and long power cuts (we’re talking 6-7 hours sometimes) mean we are left sitting in the dark for hours. Imagine not being able to use your computer or cell phone because they have died. Even having a power pack to charge our devices is pretty futile because the battery eventually dies on the power pack as well. Overall, not having consistent electricity is hard to deal with, mainly because running an internet-based business seems almost impossible with spotty, unreliable, and expensive internet.
And to add to our woes, we are disappointed that there are not many like-minded repats. We came to Ghana 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 them keep to themselves.
“Why are you still there?” you may ask. Well, like I said in the beginning, a lot can change in 2 months. When we arrived in Accra, the plan was to find a place to stay, fork over the required upfront rent (1 to 2 years in advance), and do business. But, we had to have a serious conversation about whether present-day Ghana is the right fit for our family.
Well, we have decided it isn’t.
So now a new adventure begins. We’ve decided to travel the African continent to determine what country we will eventually call home. The beginning of April will see us head off to neighboring Togo, and then on to Ivory Coast, Senegal, the Cape Verde islands, and Morocco, and we plan to visit many other countries well into 2018. We hope our journey ends with priceless memories and a place to call HOME!