Saturday, February 6, 2016

About Me!

Why hello there gorgeous. :) Welcome to my first ever public blog. Hopefully we can share a journey through the unknown together, or you can just be humored watching me struggle through this crazy life. Either way everything will be documented here: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I assume you’d like to know a little bit about me, so here comes the icebreakers. I never understood how terrible icebreakers were until I got to college. “Hi, how are you? What’s your name? Where are you from? What classes are you taking? What do you like to do? Where are you living? Do you have a job?” Other than the fact that these questions are boring, they are also borderline creeper status! I’d rather have no one talk to me than ask these questions, so I won’t bore you with such answers…

My middle name is Anne with an “E” because I’m cool like that. I’m an Aquarius and proud of it, if you judge me by my horoscope we’ll probably become friends. I love the smell of rain, gasoline, and brewed coffee. I’ve had my heart broken once and without lime sherbert I would never have gotten over it. I still watch disney movies and cry when Nemo’s mom dies. Netflix and chill still means netflix and chill so stop. Overall I’m your average girl who fell in love with JB, 1D, and every Marvel hero pretty much ever. I believe in DIY and am addicted to pinterest, I tried tumblr once but got too overwhelmed by all the hipsters. I rebounded on tinder, regretted the decision and deleted the app only to redownload it five more times before calling it quits. I’ve never seen the Lion King or The Titanic but thanks to internet memes I’ve learned that there was room for both of them on the boat. I think dogs are better than cats, I’m a strong supporter of the olive theory, and my spirit animal is a mountain goat. I love my family, friends, fall, and frappucinos. I strongly believe in bucket lists and will never ever shut up about mine if you ask me about it. I love making goals and I’m here to advocate for any goal you want to accomplish.

It’s great to get to know you, I’m glad we could finally break the ice! Anyways that’s me, if you want to know lame stuff like the icebreaker questions listed previously than you’re on the wrong blog. ;)


Emily Anne

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14,

This last weekend was super enjoyable! We had our first Tamale District Conference. The best way I can explain it is Stake Conference -minimized-. Saturday I went proselyting with the missionaries until 4 and then we went to the Kophlin Branch Center for the District Activity.When I entered the building I started talking to the missionaries, but quickly Sister Julianna, (our relief society president) whisked me away to the kitchen to help cook. We made rice and chicken. It was delicious, but if you asked me how we made it I couldn't tell you. Ghanaians do not cook with recipe books and are always just throwing things into the pot to cook! We all ate out back and for the first time since I've been here...I ate rice with my fingers...this is really quite an accomplishment and I feel more Ghanaian than ever! After eating we played tug of war, had a quick lesson and then everyone headed out. Everyone except the missionaries of course and myself! We stayed an extra hour and half cleaning, but mostly just talking and joking around! I was such a fun and different environment than back at the volunteer house haha! Sunday we had church at 10 and I was in charge of picking up Sister Cynthia, (one of the investigators who happens to be my neighbor). She wasn't ready for church so we ended up being about 15 minutes late, but luckily to Ghana time we were almost on time! :) After church I hurried home to say adios to my room mate who was leaving, but sadly I was too late and she'd already left. :'( Luckily, she lives in Colorado so I'm sure we will meet up sometime. The rest of Sunday was a little mediocre. All the volunteers went to a bar for the final World Cup game and I watched it in the house with my host mom. I called my family and talked to them for awhile and then also got a hold of a few of my missionary friends who have transferred. It was a good ending to the Sunday and week in general! Now, time for the present! I have a pretty busy week ahead of me, today I was at school and taught my kids -again with addition- and then we sang songs and took a lot of pictures! We sang this cute song "Walk like a duck" where we all walk around like ducks quacking endlessly until the teacher and I get tired, and also "The Hokey Pokey." Later I'm going to the large orphanage and sharing some tick tacks my family sent me with the little kids :) Some kids like them and others put them in their mouths, make a face, and then spit it all out :/ A lot of kids are not used to the flavor of candy or really sweet things! It's kind of weird because an american kid would be craving and asking for the entire box haha. Yeah and then the rest of the week I'm traveling :) So that should be fun! Some of the places I still want to go are: 1) Kumasi: to see the Zoo and this humongous marketplace. 2) Lake Voltar: the largest man made lake in Africa or maybe just Ghana?... I'm unsure these are all oral facts, and like oral history it can sometimes be a little false! 3) The city on stilts: which is a city built on a lake all held up by wood stilts....scary! I haven't really traveled the last two weeks so I decided I've got to get going somewhere, sometime soon! Love ya!

Love Emily

Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 12,

Things are slowly going... sometimes Ghana is a busy place and other times I would be more entertained running through molasses. :) We didn't do anything touristy which I think drew the week out really long! A few nights this week volunteers went out to bars, so I stayed in and went to bed around 7:30! (That also makes for an early awakening in the morning!) I went to school all week except Wednesday...Now this is a weird story and difficult to tell, but the volunteers decided (unannounced to me) to go on strike Wednesday. I had no idea and walked out of my room and all the volunteers were just sitting around the table in their Pj's talking. Long story short they were sick of all the beatings in the school. If you look at the pictures I've downloaded a few posts back there is a picture of a long stick. The stick is used by teachers to discipline the kids. You have to remember that it is a cultural thing and not really an abuse. Obviously if any school in the US hit a child with a stick the teacher would be fired, the school would be fined and penalized, all kinds of things. Here in Ghana every school, government or private, beat or hit their kids. I personally believe it's something that can't be changed because it is so deeply woven into the Ghanaian culture. Children don't understand other forms of discipline, but the volunteers disagreed and thought they could change the school. Thus, because it was a unionized effort, I couldn't go to school Wednesday. I personally think it is better to teach the kids than not to teach at all, but whatever I guess... Luckily, the volunteers came back to their senses Thursday and taught. They told the principle they would only teach if the kids were not beat. He agreed, but I teach the shift no one else works and...they still beat the kids. So really they made no difference. Not to be a debbie-downer, but one day strikes aren't really beneficial when trying to change an entire country's culture haha. This week I taught mathematics to the kids, we count and we count and we count. On Friday I felt they were ready for simple addition, (1+1), I was severely incorrect. The children could not grasp the impossible concept that one finger plus another finger equals two fingers. (Or equaled anything for that matter!). Next week the kids have exams all week and then a one month break so I get to correct and mark their tests and see how well I did as a teacher and how well they did as students in understanding and comprehending the material! I am a tad bit nervous!!! I went to the orphanage twice this week in the evenings, we have many volunteers here and they usually want to be with the babies to I've taken to hanging out with the older kids. I taught three ten year old the difference between big and small through a very thin Dagbani-English barrier. I was extremely proud!! I've taught them body parts, colors, clothing, and food terms in English! It is really great because when I first started going to the large orphanage all the older kids were very shy and ill-tempered because they are usually ignored by the volunteers. I'm glad I've been able to help them, now we are all besties! :) Haha, later today I go proselyting with the missionaries, have a district activity and after dinner get to watch the consolation/third place world cup game! It'll be a pretty productive day and so I must say goodbye :) Love you all!

Love Emily

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7,

Last week was a riot! :) Just kidding, but it was quite enjoyable. The largest entertainment days were Tuesday and Friday. On Tuesday we went to the Paga Crocodile Ponds, (in Paga, Ghana). On the way we stopped in Bolgatanga which is a city I had never even heard of... It is a city set on a hill and there are humongous rocks everywhere!! Although they are only on the hill, it is a mystery how they got there, the local village believes God is in rocks and animals and so he put the large rocks there to bless them and to reside with them... They have a shrine from hundreds of years ago that we had the opportunity to visit with one slight drawback. In order to go into the actual shrine -you had to go topless- um yeah. Experiencing the culture in Ghana!! All ya'll knowing me know I could never, thus a group of us who didn't want to walk around with a ton of Africans, (while being completely topless), got to learn how to make Shea butter and went rock climbing on holy rocks! Woot woot :) After that tour we drove to the croc ponds. In order to lure the crocodiles out of the pond they had live chickens they shook to squeal and chirp, it made me a little nervous...Regardless, I sat on a 94 year old crocodile and was not eaten alive! What. A. Blessing. :) Next up we drove to Burkina Faso and crossed the border! Since none of us had a visa to actually be in Burkina Faso a Ghana Military Guard had to walk us there and back with a gun. Very interesting...Tuesday was packed full of things to do, lastly we went to the Paga Slave Camps and had a tour around the living areas where the slaves lived. I don't have a lot of pictures from it because I felt a picture couldn't really capture what had happened there. On the bus ride home we hit a rain storm...Our bus has a sunroof...I sit directly under the sun roof...I'm sure you all can imagine the fun ride home I had. It was an extremely wet ride home. :) Friday as you all know was July Fourth! Not all the volunteers here in Volunteering Solutions Ghana are American, and thus all the Americans felt it was our duty to make the entire day a festival they would remember. Sadly for me, festivities involve a lot alcohol in most cultures. On the upside without drinking I still managed to learn how to play beer pong and some kind of cup flipping game! For dinner we ate PB&J sandwiches and deviled eggs! (We also attempted Onion Rings...but we aren't going to discuss the final result :/ ). We were going to also do coke and mentos instead of fireworks but from a pretest on Wednesday we learned that Ghanaian coke and mentos only rise about three inches high! Haha kind of a disappointment. I fell ill Friday and didn't start feeling better until Saturday evening. Luckily, I am now back to my great healthy self! Sunday was amazing, I love church here! I was asked to teach Relief Society Lesson by the Branch President after Gospel Doctrine so I had about five minutes to prep a lesson, phew! Luckily the sisters here are really nice and didn't judge my teaching straight out of the manual. For the rest of the day I just hung out with the new volunteers, it's a party. :) Ha I hope all is going well for everyone else this fine summer, and I love you all!

Love, Emily

Monday, June 30, 2014

I posted pictures!! :) This includes my departure, Kintampo Water Falls, my school class, Mole National Park, The Elders (my besties), etc...

Follow that link?!
June 30,

Today is the last day of June for those of you who didn't know ;) That means I have been out for over a month now!! Crazy!! :) This last week was pretty relaxing; I walked to town a few times (4km), worked in the orphanage, met five new volunteers (we have a full house!), and started to learn Twi! That last one is relatively very new, a volunteer and myself decided to pass the time yesterday teaching it to ourselves! We know only a few words... Saturday was the most fun day of the week and the saddest... we said goodbye to two volunteers who had been with me this whole time but later in the day I went proselyting with the missionaries and that made me happy! Man, I seriously am like on a mini mission over here, the missionaries love to bring me with them because everyone likes talking to them when they also have a white girl! Ha...So the five new volunteers came and we had a big meeting/social welcome party for them and while I was eating dinner, (this was last night), I realized I was in a room with all white people and seriously got awkward and had to leave! I went and hung out with the Ghanaians and they were all laughing at me! It was kind of embarrassing...There was also the last world cup match for Ghana this week, it was crazy the guys got super into it, I have a video that will hopefully post! :) I don't have a lot of time to write! Lots of love :)

Love Emily!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

P.S. :) Just so I have it posted, my address here is

Emily Conrad
PO Box 313
Tamale, Ghana

Thanks! I just keep forgetting to post, sorry!!