Rachael Bonawitz is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College. Rachael received a $1300 scholarship from Sara’s Wish Foundation to support her work as a laboratory researcher in Kumasi, Ghana.
Here are Rachael’s travel safety tips:
– Try to arrive in daylight – the airport is not necessarily near downtown Accra and trying to charter a taxi/get transportation might be difficult unless you’ve made arrangements prior to your arrival
– If you will be in the country for a while, try and purchase a cell phone/buy a card for your own cell phone. Most systems (such as Areeba) are pay-as-you-go, so it’s not a huge financial commitment and it may be useful to have a means of communication.
– When traveling by taxi, set the fare before getting into the taxi.
– When eating out, clearly specify that you want drinks without ice, as ice is often not made with bottled/boiled water.
– Prior to leaving, make sure you have a travel health consultation- bring malaria prophylaxis, bring some antibiotics as prophylaxis if your physician will fill a script, and bring some over the counter medications (ibuprofen, immodium). In large cities you can find pharmacies where most medications can be dispensed (and it’s unclear to me what meds require a prescription in Ghana), but always better to come with some.
– Bring a mosquito net, even if you think where you will be staying will have one. Also bring some mosquito/insect repellent, and be conscious of what you’re wearing – long sleeves and long pants help keep bugs off.