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TravelStream™ most recent 25 entries from Travel Blogs | Travel Journals | Travelogues | Travel Diaries ( Since 1997 )


a short longer while. Amersterdam, Netherlands

Amersterdam, Netherlands

Where I stayed
In Airport for 8hours
What I did
Nothing but, duty free shops, resturants, smoking rooms

The next plane I went on was very tiny and I was too jet-lagged to even figure if it was the right plane or not. So, I sat down and went back to sleep . 5mins past... we are here?
Amersterdam was literally, two minutes away. When I arrived i felt like a fish out of water. My
hair ,my skin, my everything was the complete opposite Unfortunately, one of my habits while travelling abroad is to seek out people who look like me. The more of them, the less I have to worry about discrimination. While waiting for my lay over i was checking my email and preparing for my presentation. This German guy stop by ans assisted me with logging into the dutch site to access internet. He was travelling back to work for a while, he was sober enough to talk with but as time passed he became incoherent. he later asked me to touch my hair. Most black women would deem this rude but, hey he is curious so i allowed him to. He remark" it feels like a balloon". I walked off in search for my flight.. oh the people you meet while abroad.

London Jul 08, 2012 London, United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom

Bagani Jul 29, 2012 Bagani, Namibia

Bagani, Namibia

Settling In Kumasi, Ghana

Kumasi, Ghana

I'd have to say that the bus I took was the nicest I've ever travelled on. The seats were comfortable and spacious, could lean back a long way, and the bus was air-conditioned. Furthermore, there was a big TV at the front of the bus and it was broadcasting Ghana's world cup qualifier from Zambia live. I sat back and prepared for a comfy ride.

My comfort was cut short, however, when after 20 minutes of sitting in Accra traffic, the bus decided to turn back to the station - apparently it had a fault. We got on a next bus that was identical, besides no Ghana game on the TV. Instead I had to make do with the radio commentary, which was in the local Twi language, but fortunately Twi has no words for specific footballing terms such as 'long ball' and 'goal' so you can sort of follow it. Contrary to the predictions of the opinionated cabbie from earlier, who said Ghana would win 4-0, Zambia took the spoils 1-0 in a major upset.

The rest of the journey comprised watching a Ghanaian comedy movie, and this got me thinking a little about the many recurring features of the countries I have travelled in - be they in Africa, Asia or Latin America. Starting with the local films they show, which always seem to be set in a rural/ market setting and contain a soundtrack that resembles a polyphonic ringtone. Drinks in these countries seem to be frequently served in bags, not bottles; glass bottles must be returned to the place of purchase for recycling; public toilets sell you loo roll before you go in; local mass-transit works efficiently with hundreds of small minibuses with arbitrary, but honest pricing; the minibuses are personalised with religious/ pop culture slogans; long-distance buses stop at newly built restaurant-cum-service stations - and there's much more. I don't know any anthropological or economic background to my observations, but it is striking just how many similarities there are between countries and cultures that are completely unconnected.

The journey itself was uneventful - Accra and Kumasi are separated by around 240km, but it takes 6 hours because there is no paved road for most of the way - although a $3bn loan from China means construction of a new dual carriageway is well underway. Halfway through we stopped at a service station and I got some fried rice and chicken - something I think I'll be eating a lot of over the next 6 weeks, as Ghanaians seem to be almost as fond of rice as they are in Central America.

Eventually I got off the bus - not at Kumasi but a few kilometers outside, at a village called Kwamo, which is where the AIESEC house is and thus where I'll be living for the next 6 weeks. When I say village, it may conjure up images of a compound of huts with a few emaciated cows - but this isn't the case. Kumasi is like no other city that I've been to - it seems completely unplanned, and seems to consist of a network of roads that lead to a central point, along which are a neverending expanse of development, with the major areas coming at the junctions. Kwamo is at Kwamo junction, and sits alongside the dual carriageway that leads out of the city and back to Accra - one of the few paved roads in the area.

The house where I'm living is not quite what I'd imagined - but then since I had nothing at all to base my imagination on, that's not a problem. The bathroom consists of a frail shower which is cold and must be handheld. A bucket of water flushes the toilet. The beds consist of worn mattresses either on the floor or on a creaky bunks, with pillows scarce and sheets nonexistant, but you do get a mosquito net. The kitchen is pretty bad, with a fridge that keeps things slightly cool and nothing much else that you want to use. There's no more furniture in the rest of the house, and the internet doesn't work. This probably sounds like I'm complaining, but I stress that I'm not, at all. Creature comforts are something I'm used to and expect in Europe, and certainly something that will be a treat upon my return. But I've stayed in worse before, and my time at Inotawa in Peru has definitely taught me that there's more to life than a comfy bed. What I do get here is a household of people from across the world, who are all friendly and cheerful - and when you arrive somewhere that everybody else is cheerful, it's very hard to be downbeat.

The people in the house are an eclectic mix. There's a live-in group of five or six Ghanaian guys who are all students working for AIESEC - I think their job is to run the household and guide us through our time here, but they're also easy to get along with and I'll talk a bit more about them later. For the first few days of my stay, there were some Ivorians and a guy from Burkina Faso - in general their English isn't strong so they don't mix as much with the rest of the house, although I chat with them more than most since I have French (some don't want me to speak French because they want to improve their English, but sometimes it's the only way!). After that there's three Chinese lads and a Chinese/ American girl who are all a good laugh, in particular one called Stifler (named after the fantastic American Pie character). For the first weekend there were a couple of American girls who were in Kumasi 'to look pretty and go dancing' in the middle of a project out in a village in the middle of nowhere with no running water. Finally, there's a Finnish couple around my age who thus far I've spent the most time with - they both speak excellent English and are also really interesting to chat with, and most importantly they're comfortable enough with one another that you never feel like you're getting in their way just by being around.

My first night in the house was a fun one. As I'd arrived, I'd bumped into a group of people going off to a bar to watch the Germany vs Portugal game. In desperate need of a shower, I headed down there later on, after having joined the Ghanaian guys for dinner - dipping hunks of yam into a spicy and oily tomato soup which is eaten with rice/ noodles/ fish/ goat/ yam/ anything else almost every day at some point by the locals. This was my first experience of what I can see is a refreshing culture in the house - sharing. Literally everything is shared here, with everyone confident that they will see a return on their generosity soon. I'd also say it's very easy to share when everything is so cheap, but it feels so much freer than attitudes back home, when I often feel annoyed to have to share/ guilty for not sharing/ guilty for benefitting from another's generosity. Here it's just a way of life.

I enjoyed the football, and afterwards we all went back to the house to get ready to go out - it was Saturday night and the American girls wanted to go to a club. My introduction to life in Ghana was coming thick and fast, as firstly we procrastinated in the house (something Ghanaians are very good at), and then there was a scandal. One of the American girls reported a theft of 200 Cedis from her purse. The whole house was gathered in the hall and told that they'd arranged a minibus to come and take us to the club, but that until someone owned up to it, the minibus would take us to the police station instead. I wasn't really bothered at this stage because I'd only had one beer and was tired; plus, it was a refreshing sign that they took theft seriously and apparently it was the first incident in four years. I did feel a little sorry, however, because the American girls had come to Kumasi especially to go clubbing and were clearly quite frustrated at the prospect of missing out. There was much deliberating about what to do, with Steven, one of the Ghanaian guys, even threatening to bring a witch doctor to the house to find out the truth if nobody owned up (I think this was more a threat for the Africans amongst us, because I was quite keen to see one!). It did seem that the Ghanaians were taking it more seriously than anyone else, and eventually the American girl who had been the victim managed to persuade them to drop the issue until the morning and to let us go to the club.

The club was attached to a hotel and more problems awaited us at the entrance. We'd already been told no flip flops, but all of the boys were made to wait outside for wearing shorts as well. Steven managed to negotiate, and we finally got in. It was a good night - the club was air conditioned and it was a great opportunity for me to meet and make friends with my new housemates, even if drinks were expensive. At 4am our van arrived and took a tired bunch back home.

The next day, Sunday, was a quiet one. I think it always is, with most of the locals focussed on mass and rest. Not having had much sleep, so was I. However, it was the Finnish girl, Belinda's birthday, so there were plans afoot for a barbeque that evening. Steven went off to buy a goat, but we weren't allowed to go with him because he said white guys put the price up. No matter, me, Belinda and Matias (her boyfriend) headed into town to go and have a look around. When I say into town, it means taking a 10 minute tro-tro (a small minibus) along the dual carriageway to Tech Junction, which is a tro-tro hub, lies next to the KNUST campus (Kwame Nkruma University of Science and Technology, where all the Ghanaian guys living at the house are studying), and boasts a fair few market stalls along the roadside. The journey costs about 40 pesewas, which equates to something like 15p. Here, we had a walk around and went to a stall where they sold yoghurt drinks made by students, and pancakes, which made for a nicer breakfast than koko. Afterwards, we headed back to the house and I kept myself out of the afternoon heat, before heading next door to a guy named KOD's house to watch Spain vs Italy. His house is a cramped affair, but it's got a fan, and a TV, which is all you need.

That evening, the boys helped carry a large barbeque from the main road down to the house, and it was set up. The goat had been killed, gutted and chopped by a local guy, and he set up the barbeque. We then all gathered in the living area to celebrate Belinda's birthday, Ghanaian style - which meant forming a circle and lots of cheesy prayers blessing this and that. Then we all had to make a wish for her in turn - all the African guys wishing her and Matias a long marriage with lots of babies; my wish was that she could put up with me since we'll be working together on the Afritour project.

Then it was time to eat. KOD had made the spicy tomato soup with bits of goat in it - the soup was good, as were the bits of meat I could find hidden amongst the skin and gristle... and then it was time for the barbeque. I have to say, I wish I could have prepared it myself, because the goat kebabs were ruined by being not just sprinkled with chilli powder, but literally caked in the stuff, to the extent that my first bite was almost entirely powder and a tiny morsel of meat. As well as the texture being all wrong, my (and everyone else's apart from the Ghanaians') mouth was on fire. I struggled through the first kebab, but after a break the next was much better, since I asked the chef to knock most of the chilli powder off it. The rest of the evening consisted of some dancing and football, before I headed to bed knackered.

Naturally Occuring Plants That Aid In Beauty
New York City, NY

New York City, NY

For whatever reason, you find out and maybe the hard way that you must know a bit more about instant eye lift. Well, welcome to the club because you are absolutely not alone with that feeling of needing to know more.

If you want outside help that is up to you, but as for us we like to be more hands on. Outside help can be great, but we never like to go that particular route.

The most important thing to keep in mind is what will be comfortable for you and be able to work the best for you.

We all proceed at a pace that is comfortable for us, and you will have the best results that way, anyway.

Everyone, all around the world, seeks to be beautiful. Many people realize that beauty is found internally and externally. Big improvements in appearance can be achieved with even simple changes. By making these changes, you will have the chance to become much more beautiful.

Your hair really does not need to be washed daily, no matter what type of hair you have. Over cleansing your hair can actually cause excess oil to be produced in your hair. On the contrary, not washing your hair regularly can create excess oil as well, so washing every two days has become the suggested frequency.

You should moisturize your face. If your skin is oily, you should still be using a moisturizer. Use a lotion that has sun protection in it.

If you want to restore the shine to your hair, you can actually use baking soda! Add a touch of baking soda and shampoo into your hand just as you are about to use it. Then you would wash your hair as normal. This will restore the luster to your hair.

Apply coverup for dark circles prior to applying eye makeup. This provides an even foundation for the rest of your eye applications. Always apply facial products gently to avoid irritation of the skin.

Daily use of a soothing lotion can be an effective way to stop ingrown hairs. Right after shaving, use lotion all over the area to stop ingrown hair growth. If your skin is very dry, you may be more prone to ingrown hairs. Apply lotion daily to prevent this problem. This will make existing ingrown hairs come out, and stop new ones from forming.

If your favorite nail polish is running out, you can always add a few drops of acetone or clear polish to it to give you a little more. Shake it, and then use it in the same way you normally would. The color could lighten up, but not by much.

Always make sure that you are not allergic to the fake eyelashes you plan to wear. Apply the glue that is used to a non sensitive part of your skin to determine if you might have an allergy. Cover the part of your skin that you tested.

These processes open your follicles, and tanning during this time can cause issues. If you do, you may experience extreme irritation. Your skin is delicate after waxing or sugaring, and you should avoid products that contain harsh chemicals or fragrances that can cause discomfort.

As this article helped point out, you have absolute control over how you incorporate beauty into your life. Why not start right away to decide how you will go about enhancing your own beauty? You should think that you're beautiful all the time, because nobody deserves to feel anything less than that. The beauty enhancing tips you learn can last a lifetime, but it is up to you to apply them.

Naturally Occuring Plants That Aid In Beauty
New York City, NY

New York City, NY

We all just live our lives and sometimes would never think there would be a need to know more about eye secrets.

It is usually not enough to learn enough or know enough just to get by with anything. It is a good thing that not everything in life falls under the category of being completely objective or immediately rational. So, here you are in your search to simply become more aware of this.

There is a lot to think about, but this article will absolutely get you on your way.

Beauty is a huge factor when it comes to women these days. Beautiful women are treated much better than average looking women. A lot of women just do not know what it takes to be beautiful. The following article gives you simple and effective advice on how to maximize your appearance and your potential.

Your hair really does not need to be washed daily, no matter what type of hair you have. Over cleansing your hair can actually cause excess oil to be produced in your hair. On the contrary, not washing your hair regularly can create excess oil as well, so washing every two days has become the suggested frequency.

We often strive for perfect skin, but our beauty can sometimes be interrupted by an unwanted pimple or any sort of blemish. An effective home remedy for treating a pimple is to place a small dab of toothpaste on it. Don't use the gel form - only regular toothpaste will work. Keep the toothpaste on the spot for approximately 10 minutes before removing it with a clean, moist cloth. You'll find the pimple has both dried out and become less red in appearance.

If you want to restore the shine to your hair, you can actually use baking soda! Add a touch of baking soda and shampoo into your hand just as you are about to use it. Then you would wash your hair as normal. This will restore the luster to your hair.

Dab the glue onto your hand instead of directly on the lashes. Then, dab the lashes onto the glue that is on your hand. This will ensure that you do not use too much glue.

Get daily exercise if you would like to look young and fit. You will stay youthful-looking and healthy by moving around. This is critical to looking good. You only need to exercise for 15-20 minutes each day. You should stay active it it just means cleaning your home or walking around the neighborhood.

Remain confident. The best move you can make toward finding your personal beauty is being confident. Self confidence is immediately noticeable to all who come in contact with you.

Rosewater and cucumbers can be used to ease the puffiness and dark circles under your eyes. They contain properties to soothe thin skin and make it appear lighter. Use a gentle cotton pad to dip into rosewater or cucumber juice. Then, place the pad on your eyes that are shut for around 15 minutes.

Want to hide those blemishes? Pick up a pink lipstick! Rather than wearing the lipstick on your blemish, apply it to your lips. Choose a warm shade that pulls attention to the mouth. With the doubled effect of concealer and warm pink lips, no one will notice your blemish.

So if you want a way to completely overhaul your existing beauty regimen or just need a fresh way to look and feel your best, the advice in this article is sure to help. Remember these tips when you are need of a complete makeover.

City of Angels Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Where I stayed
SB Tower
What I did
My house!

Another month, another adventure, more planning, the days aren't long enough, so much to do! I've been scrambling this past month to make sure that everything I have going on in my life (which is a lot, more than most people could handle) is in order, has been taken care of so that my absence will not negatively affect anything. I definitely bit off a bit more than I could chew by engaging myself in multiple new companies all at once, but it's alright. I've done nothing but prove to myself this past month that I can do IT--whatever it may be, whether that's dealing with laundromat brokers, setting up LLCs, flying to Vegas, directing a crack team of designers and programmers, multi-tasking while attempting to get my nails done--ALL of it! I can and have tackled it all this past month.

And boy do a I NEED A VACATION! Thank goodness I'm about to fly back towards Asia tomorrow around 1pm. Not that this is entirely a vacation, it's much more than that, but still it's a much needed change of scenery, change of company and most of all change of pace. America sometimes moves too fast for me, and I often find myself at the end of the day running short on hours. Where did all the time go? Somehow I always use and abuse the poor daylight hours by running around helter skelter trying to get my daily laundry list of "to-dos" done before it gets too late. But, no matter what (I blame the LA traffic) it seems I never get even a second to catch a real meal or to take some time for myself to just relax.


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