Capital Key Clubs: Volta Village Life and Service

An immersive homestay experience that introduces you to Ghanaian life in a remote village and in the big city

Welcome to the Volta

The Volta Region is a lush green mountainous region in eastern Ghana home to some of the friendliest people in the country. Few visitors to Ghana travel to this region but those that do enjoy stunning natural beauty and warm hospitality. Our trip is based in the village of Adaklu Abuadi, where the Queen Mother of the district has asked us to help support her goal of increasing the resources available to this underdeveloped area through educational initiatives and sustainable tourism. Over the course of our trip, we will offer support to community development projects such as the construction of an eco-lodge and work with children in the local preschool. During this time you will have the chance to live with a local family to learn first-hand about their way of life and traditions. We will also participate in a number of workshops to learn about local skills such as cotton spinning, bee keeping, and kente-cloth weaving, providing you with further insight into village life.

Monkeys and Mountains

In addition to our time in the village, we will travel to enjoy some of the sites that the Volta Region has to offer. In the community of Tafi Atome, we will be entertained by traditional fables around a campfire. In the morning, we will wake up to feed sacred Mona monkeys who will eat bananas out of your hands while our local guide tells us the history of the people's relationship with these monkeys. Afterwards, we will hike to the top of a peak overlooking the town of Amedzofe, the highest town in Ghana, with views out to Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. We will also hike through the rainforest to Wli falls, the highest waterfall in West Africa, where a dip in the cool shallow pools is exactly what's needed after a humid trek in the jungle.

Cruising to the Coast

After saying farewell to our friends in Adaklu, we will head to the beachside city of Cape Coast. Arriving in the afternoon, we will explore a local craft's market and climb an old fort for a spectacular sunset over the city. In the morning, we will tour St. George's Castle for a solemn yet powerful portrayal of the history of the slave trade in this region. Afterwards, we will continue our trip down the coast to a secluded beach paradise.  After putting forth great effort in your service, you have earned some relaxing time on the beach where we will soak in the sun, play in the waves, and enjoy the carefree West African vibe.  Our last day will be spent returning to Accra, where everyone will have the chance to buy great souvenirs in the Arts and Cultural Center, which sells a huge range of Ghanaian crafts such as hand-made drums, carved masks, and beaded jewelry. After a final farewell dinner, we will make our way to the airport for the trip home. This is a journey you will never forget!

Who Should Come?

This program is for students who are excited about having an authentic village experience with rustic accommodations. A student who is looking for an in-depth cultural exchange and is up for adventure is a great candidate. We hope you join us for the Volta Village Life and Service program!

Itinerary

Day 1 (Tuesday)

Depart the USA for the overnight flight to Accra, Ghana

Day 2 (Wednesday)

Arrive at Kotoka International Airport in Accra in the afternoon and drive to our beachside accommodations. Enjoy your first taste of the local food while we have our cultural orientation to prepare you for this exciting journey.

Day 3 (Thursday)

Depart after breakfast for the lush mountainous Volta Region in eastern Ghana. We will stop to tour the Akosombo Dam and enjoy lunch overlooking the largest man-made lake in the world. In the afternoon we will depart for the village of Tafi Atome where we will enjoy an evening of storytelling around a bonfire.

Day 4 (Friday)

Wake up early to find the sacred Mona monkeys of Tafi Atome. While our guide tells us the history of the village’s relationship with the monkeys, we will walk the trails in the protected forest and feed the monkeys bananas from our hands. Then, we will drive to the town of Wli, home to the largest waterfall in West Africa, stopping to enjoy some local sites along the way.

Day 5 (Saturday)

We will wake up early to trek through the jungle and climb up to the falls where a refreshing dip in the shallow pools is a just reward for a rigorous hike. We will enjoy a picnic lunch at the falls before hiking down and traveling toward Amedzofe, the highest town in Ghana with its interesting German colonial influences.

Day 6 (Sunday)

After exploring the town, we will hike to the top of Gemi Mountain for a panoramic view out to Lake Volta, stopping to enjoy some reflective moments in a botanical garden. We will then continue our trip to the welcoming village of Adaklu Abuadi, our home for the next week and the site of our service immersion. After we arrive and have lunch, we will take a tour of the village and meet the local people. Our hosts will have their own orientation for us and after dinner will put on an entertaining cultural display.

Day 7 (Monday)

We begin our service work engaging in community development work that in the past has included constructing an eco-lodge, working with a local preschool, and construction on a community library. In the afternoon, we will have a lesson from some local women in farming and spinning the local cotton.

Day 8 (Tuesday)

We will continue our service work in the morning, then after lunch, we will run an afternoon of sport activities for the kids. In the afternoon, we will learn about the practice of bee keeping in the village and how to make honey.

Day 9 (Wednesday)

We will start the day by participating in a local kente-weaving class run by a cooperative whose mission is to preserve this important traditional craft. In the afternoon, we will continue our service work and learn how to prepare some local meals.

Day 10 - Day 11 (Thursday - Friday)

We will continue shadowing our host families for meals and contributing to our service initiatives. We will enjoy a workshop making our own batik tie-dye cloth and will have the option of having some local clothes tailored. We will also hike up the imposing Adaklu Mountain with our new friends from the village. On Friday night, we will enjoy learning some local dance styles.

Day 12 (Saturday)

After breakfast, we will depart for the city of Cape Coast. In the afternoon, we will explore the crafts market, take a walk along the beach, and climb an old fort overlooking the city for a spectacular view of the sunset.

Day 13 (Sunday)

In the morning, we will tour St. George’s Castle in Elmina which stands as a sobering monument of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. After the tour, we will head to a remote palm-lined beach for a chance to unwind after our strenuous service work.

Day 14 (Monday)

Enjoy a relaxing day on the beach, we your guides will organize some local games and activities. You will also have the chance to swing in a hammock, catch up on your summer reading, and enjoy a freshly cut coconut. We will also have a big bonfire on the beach and enjoy our last night together as a group.

Day 15 (Tuesday)

We will depart early for Accra, where we will have a last chance to pick up souvenirs in the Arts and Crafts market, and enjoy a meal together before getting to the airport for your overnight return flight.


An Important Note about Schedule Changes

Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity. The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.

Packing List

All of the items below are guidelines. If you are doing a combination of trips over two or three weeks, be sure to check the packing lists for all sections of your trip to pack appropriately. The average temperature range for Ghana during our April GAP program is 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. During the months of June, July, and August the average temperature range is 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of the areas that we travel to within Ghana observe more conservative dress habits so please bring some shorts and/or skirts that cover past your knees. If you have any questions about the Ghana packing list please feel free to email our Ghana team at ghana@rusticpathways.com.

Travel Documents:
Valid passport
Copy of passport
Yellow Fever Vaccination Booklet
Airline Ticket

Carry-On Luggage:
Wallet
Spare T-Shirt
Sunglasses
Toothpaste/ Toothbrush
Camera
Journal and Pens
Medications
Contact lenses and accompanying paraphernalia
Bathing suit

Checked Luggage:
1x Pants (lightweight hiking pants are great)
8x Underwear
4x Socks
5x T-Shirts
2x Long Sleeve T-Shirt
3x Shorts (at least 2 items that cover the knees)
1x Dress Shirt or Blouse (short sleeves are good)
1x light fleece or sweatshirt
1x Lightweight Rain Coat
1x Hat for the sun
1x Tennis Shoes or Sneakers (close-toed)
1x Sandals or Flip-Flops
Personal First Aid Kit
Flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries
Toiletries Bag
Bug Spray- recommend at least 30% DEET
1x Towel (pack towels or hiking towels are great and save room)
Sunscreen and lip protection, SPF 30+

Optional Items:
Camera
Notebook & Pen
Deck of Cards
Frisbee
Music Player
Reading Material
Musical Instrument (Guitars and Harmonicas)
Power converter (British Style 3 flat prong plug is in use in Ghana at 220-230 volts, 50 hertz


Contact Us: For more information about Capital Key Clubs: Volta Village Life and Service, email keyclub@rusticpathways.com.

Highlights

  • Live with a local family in the welcoming community of Adaklu Abuadi.
  • Feed sacred Mona monkeys at a village eco-tourism project.
  • Learn local skills such as kente-weaving, bee keeping, batik tie-dye, farming and organic cotton production.
  • Dance to the pounding rhythm of African drums.
  • Hike through the rainforest to the base of the largest waterfall in West Africa.
  • UNWIND at an eco-lodge on Ghana’s pristine beaches.

Program Details

Ages: 14 to 18 years old

Length: 16 days from the USA

Hours: Up to 30 hours awarded

Cost: $2,795 + $2,270 Estimated International Flight Cost

Departures: Students on this program will fly from Washington, DC.

Eligibility: You must be a current Key Club member from the Capital District to attend this program


Notice: Delayed until Summer 2015. Please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you're interested in other opportunities.

Departures

Departs Availability

Dates shown are inclusive of travel time from the United States.

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