A girl I used to go to school with randomly messaged me about halfway through my trip; she said shed seen my Facebook posts and always wanted to do something similar, she was asking for advice.. So I told her what I tell everyone, and weirdly I even said it to myself before I left: "I don't totally regret going through a company first time, but I will never do it again".
I was placed at GREEN from June - October 2014. I was at scarlet a couple if weeks but it was badly run and when Eddie offered I could switch back to my original colour I jumped.
"Yes the food is fine" "the lightbulb is broken" "we're putting up mosquito nets" ~ oh the memories of "meetings"... Respect the staff, they're epic people with that true Ghana-heart to help .. But my biggest tip? DON'T BE AFRAID TO DO LIFE YOURSELF
IVHQ is mostly what you make it, which is good.. That's a good life lesson. & i used it to get me to Ghana- a country I am now completely in love with.. The staff (to me at least) were good, lovely people and I'm very grateful for the things they did for me and the laughs we had.. But if nothing else travelling with a company taught me how I can travel without them.. Which is also a good thing. I learned I'm a traveller, not a thrown-into-a-house-of-people-not-native & just replacing another face before someone replaces mine.
Don't get me wrong; the kids are great kids and there's a few that truly touched my heart and their fingerprints will stay there forever, but I mean honestly give it a year and it's nobodies single fault but you're just another obroni. & you can be amazing or average, it is up to you.. Which is good.
Before I got my program, I read sometimes you get put with a local family and sometimes in a "volunteer house" .. I remember thinking how I so wanted the latter. I met some great people, but I wouldn't do it again in a hurry.. (I don't need to be surrounded by people in a country for six weeks constantly dragging the "group" to the expensive western style restaurants cus they totally craved pasta.... Example; 40cedi on their pasta, 1.50 on my banku & peanut soup... Uhhh.. I know what id buy first given the choice again!)
I've actually got 6 weeks left that I paid for.. (Btw once you live in country you will feel you overpaid but I knew that going in) so I am hoping to use them.. But I'm just gonna use it as my base in all honesty.. I made some amazing friends the times I did wander off, and I'm desperate to proper-travel north (you're always near the capital which is nice cus I love Accra but not as helpful for travelling)
Evans, Eddie & Mina (greens cook) were all great helps and friends during my 18 weeks.. & for every "fault" of Ghana (as with ALL countries !!) I fell in love with something else ten times more.
If you want to go to Ghana, go. If you want to go via IVHQ - do. For what it is, it works.. Just know that once you find your feet and balls you can do it a lot cheaper & for me at least, you'll get a much more "truly-traveller" experience !
Get connected, get involved, don't watch the clock ever & have the patience of an azonto-dancing-saint... You're gonna love it :)