29 days in Ghana, 29 photos, 29 quotes and 1 lifetime experience

#1: Starting the journey

Arriving in Accra — TP1511

The Lights of the city are amazing, but the light of Ghanaian People is from another planet. How thankful I am to witness such energy!

Today, I took a flight to Ghana to start my Social Sabbatical experience. I thought it would be a regular and normal flight where we sit for a few hours, have a meal with small portions and sleep for a few hours but it was just different. The question is what different means. Well normally, when I get a flight within Europe, I am alone, listening to music, reading a magazine or a newspaper. This time I just laughed during 5 hours with two genuine guys from Ghana. After 2 minutes they already started pushing conversation and making jokes about each other. My first reaction was that the guys were drunk and you know what I think was right.

Anyway they were respectful with everyone and even I was in water mood it was an amazing time. It was funny to see a typical Portuguese lady, with a distrust face looking to them like they were crazy, but it was even more funnier to see her dancing with them in the middle of the plane hall. Anyway I had a wonderful time and my first impression was delightful :)

#2: 4 smiles and 1 amazing picture

Keep on smiling

Having a tour in Accra was wonderful even more when you have an amazing guy call Bismark that make impossible always happening.

The sightseeing was amazing but seeing the conditions in which some people live in Accra, make me think how thankful we all should be for having it all. All the thing that I take for granted and all of the things that I still complain are just an extra topping from a big ice cream where the only thing that really matters is the simple ice cream. That’s exactly how I feel when I look to this picture with those 4 big smiles.

It’s just insane that even those kids might not have anything that we consider basic but they still keep smiling…

#3: 12 SAP Volunteer and 4 Amazing NGO

kick-off meeting

What an amazing 4 NGO organizations and what inspiring people we met today. This was an important day where we had the opportunity to meet face to face for the first time our clients that we will work in the next 4 weeks.

I just can tell that I am so proud to be an SAP employee. I am really delighted with what the SAP Social Sabbatical Program represents.

It’s is really what we wanted to be: TO HELP THE WORLD RUN BETTER AND IMPROVE PEOPLE’S LIVES.

#4: First day Onsite in Impact Hub Accra

Impact Hub Accra Office

Impact Hub Accra, an NGO, which allows everyone to have IDEAS. More than just a space, it’s a place propitious to develop ideas that can be turn to business. It’s not for rich people or poor people, but it’s for everyone that are willing to take the risk and turn their ideas to real business, ideas that will make the difference in African societies.

By 2050, African countries will have one of the youngest populations in the world and at the moment Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the biggest rates on youth unemployment. This means that incubators like Impact Hub Accra are really the key to face this social issues.

Our goal is to help Impact Hub Accra to define a strategy which will help them to be more sustainable.

#5: Deep Dive in Sustenaible Energy, Agriculture, Education and Financial Inclusion!!! Which one should we pick?

SAP Colleagues / Impact Hub Accra Office

A good team is when different pieces can work together and take from each individuality the best to deliver a stunning work. That’s exactly what I felt today!! I just want to take the opportunity to introduce my two colleagues which I had the chance to know during this days and which I already admire.

She is an open person, she is interesting, she is spontaneous, She is Martina Schuh (SAP Germany).

He is unique, he is honest, He is humble, He is Ajay Uniyal (SAP India).

#6: Special meal = Good food + Friends

Ghanaian Food :)

When we want a good place to have a meal we should ask the ones that really know the places. I know that if you are Portuguese, the answer will be a taxi driver and if you are from other countries most probably the answer will be tripadvisor.

Here in Ghana I would say to just invite a local to have lunch with you. That’s exactly what we did!!

So we invited Victor to join us for lunch and he took us to a cozy and wonderful place, where eating with your RIGHT hand it’s diving into the real Ghanaian Culture. I need to say that is not an easy process for me and sometimes I forget and use both hands :( Anyway I will get used to it :)

PS: Don’t forget to pay for the meal when you invite someone, it’s a cultural routine here.

#7: SOW done!! New Team Member :) :)

Our new Team Member

Today it’s Friday and our team made a huge achievement and agreed on the Scope of Work that we are delivering to Impact Hub Accra.

That’s important but even more important was getting to know our new team member. He is shy but he is beautiful and he loves chocolate :) As you can see in his shirt, he doesn’t allow everyone to take pictures but I think he kinda like us!