During the week all of us volunteers stay very busy with school, the clinic, and other projects within the community. So on the weekends we enjoy going out and exploring other parts of Ghana. In our village we had met two medical students from England who were visiting the monkey sanctuary. They were volunteers in another village a few hours away and were on an excursion. We all decided that together we would travel the next weekend to the tallest waterfall and the highest mountain in West Africa. It was Saturday morning and only the 4 Global Scholars decided to go on this trip. We travelled to the waterfall and had to wait for Dan and George, the medical volunteers, to arrive so we could begin the 45 minute walk to the falls. It just so happened that when we decided to head into the forest Cole, Taylor, Ellen, and their guides were leaving. It was the craziest thing running into people who not only go to the same University as you but were also apart of Global Scholars in the middle of a forest in Africa. We talked for a little and decided that we would hike the mountain the next day together.
We spent the night at “Water Heightsbotel” and in the morning made our next trip to the mountain with 6 of us all crammed into a taxi. We met up with the other Global Scholars at the entrance and began our climb up Mount Afadjato; little did we know what we had all just signed up for. It started out at a slight incline with a clear path but out of nowhere comes a steep rock and mud path which was still damp from last night’s rain. Hoping that maybe it would smooth out again we all gave our best effort in the beginning which I think slowed a few of us down by the time we reached the first motivational sign that told us “Don’t give up, quitters never win” and that we were only a quarter of the way to the summit. It was obvious we weren’t as prepared as we should have been because only the few of us didn’t think to bring any water on this hike. Dehydrated, nearly fainting, and covered in sweat we made it to the top. The view was worth every struggle it took to get there.
The climb down was probably more dangerous than anything. I really think there should have been a warning sign that said “climb at your own risk” because we were all slipping and falling. Tatiana was the first to fall and after that it just went downhill. Hannah slipped, fell and hit her head on a rock. (Pretty sure she had a slight concussion for a few minutes, she’s fine now). Kelly fell multiple times and still has the battle scars to prove it. And Tatiana was covered in dirt and bruised. We made sure to document these falls though and never let it slow us down. It was a great weekend spent with our new English friends and the other Global Scholars.