A Student in Scotland

I think I can finally safely say I am over most of the Jet lag (Ha!). I woke up with a good nights rest and went to prepare some breakfast and green tea for myself and my roommate, Monica. We were out relatively early today, as Monica and I have a meeting at 9am with our program coordinator, to go over our finalized timetables. We were both excited and nervous on our walk to school this morning (Fun Fact: The sun really doesn’t come up here until around 9am). So, we have both learned to do most things in the dark lol! (Which also saves on electricity, thumbs up for sustainability).
 
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As we walked to the university (about a ten-minute walk from our flat), we shared our excitement and nerves regarding our upcoming semester at the University of the West of Scotland. Upon arrival, we met with our coordinator who happens to be from Greece (so he has both a Greek and Scottish accent mushed into an entirely different fraken-accent). He’s great. He was able to work out and give us our identical timetables and… guess what! We only have three classes (due to credit sizing conversion between Canada and the UK). This meaning, we only have classes on Wednesday mornings and Thursday’s. Giving us five extra days for exploring, study and whatever else we can get ourselves into, Woohoo!
 
After discussing enrolment and some paperwork; Monica and I were free for the rest of the day. I ended up buying a University sweater to show some UWS pride (and it’s a plus because it’s very warm!). We got hungry around 1pm, so we decided to go to “Malatso” (a cafe located near campus,  as they carry a vegan menu and have student discounts!).
 
I had a delicious vegan mini “Scottish breakfast”, it was very tasty! Monica also enjoyed a baked potato, which is a staple food here in Scotland. After eating, we explored the town of Paisley together and finally bought pillows for our flat!! Yay! (no more sleeping on my airplane neck pillow…lol). For the remainder of the afternoon, we took some photos together and explored the old churches in the area. The main attraction here in Paisley (the town we are staying in, near Glasgow), is “The Paisley Abbey”, which is an old church that dates back to the 12th century! It is so beautiful and we are so lucky as it can be seen from our flat window.
 
After finishing our exploring for the day, we visited Morrison’s (a UK grocery store), to do some food shopping and use their wifi. We are loving all the new and exciting products that are offered here. What an adventure it has been. When we got home, I made us some long-grain rice and vegetables for supper (alongside some trustee convenience store bananas! Which are surprisingly very good).
 
I finished packing my school bag for tomorrow and prepared myself for bed. I went to bed around 9pm. I know that seems early, but since it gets dark so early, we feel tired much quicker. Also, we did a ton of walking today.
 
Tomorrow marks the first official day of classes!! We are both so excited!
Love and Greeting from Bonnie Scotland!
 
You can continue to follow Monica and I’s adventures by following us on our Instagrams;
Melanie: @melanie_mueller5
Monica: @milamoniquemara

Waking Up with the Natural Universe

My first video blog and moving images that I had captured while I am here in Llano Bonito.  I invite you to listen and see what I am experiencing and be apart of it as well.

Waking Up with the Natural Universe

Every morning I arise to the sound of the Rooster in LLano Bonito.  My first morning here, I was woken up by the sound of the Rooster, house cats, the school children, and cars zooming by the house.  I live in front of an elementary school, and the students usually starts class at 7am in the morning.  I can hear them recite and repeat speeches in unison.  This school is also where I will be assisting the students.  I had attended a bullying intervention at this school.  The activity was an hour long and was facilitated by the University students of Costa Rica.  I had visited two other schools as well.  One of the school, I will be helping the students with an upcoming English festival, that includes a spelling bee, an impromptu, and a theatrical speech.

Early in the morning around 5 am here, birds are singing and chirping happily.  There are many hummingbirds, tiny creatures that flutters their wings in lightning speed while drinking the nectars of the purple butterfly bush.  I also wake up to freshly new insect and mosquito bites.  What is helpful is wearing light clothing, long pants, shirts and pants helps to deter them from doing this.  Living higher in the mountains, it gets cold here at night and early mornings.  But the late mornings and afternoons temperature increases.  The sounds, sight, taste, and smell while living here is new to me but is very natural.  What senses that trigger special moments in your life?

Until next time, Hasta Luego!

Sherry Ing

Massage Therapy student at Centennial College

Things I Learned in Ghana… Day 6

Things I learned in Ghana in my first 6 days of being here…

 

Sometimes people will give you the wrong directions. I have found that the people that give you the right directions will usually tell you landmarks to look out for to know that you are going the right way.

You should not use irons that look older then you are, they will ruin your clothes (SEE PHOTO BELOW).

 

Even though you don’t see any mosquitoes, you should still wear bug repellent. They are there and ready to make a meal out of you (I have a leg full of bites to prove it).

Men pee in the streets regardless if women are walking by… no shame whatsoever!

There are almost no sidewalks here (SEE PHOTO BELOW), therefore you need to be alert anytime you are walking in the street, cars and bikes will come close to hitting you.

 

If you buy locally grown food you will save a ton of money (bananas are my new favourite food). Breakfast, lunch and dinner, yes please!

When trying to get a taxi, it is normal for taxi drivers to quote you at least double the price for a ride just because you are a foreigner. Be sure to ask locals the prices of rides to where you want to go first and negotiate with the drivers.

Ghanaians can be extremely friendly and helpful.

Don’t be alarmed when you see small animals living in the streets, I equate them to the Canadian squirl (SEE PHOTO BELOW).