Blogs from Ghana, Africa

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Africa » Ghana » Volta » Ho March 25th 2014

For our adventure this weekend, we chose to go to Wli Falls. Wli is the highest waterfall in Ghana (about 70 meters drop!) and is a part of the Agumatsa River. Wli Falls are located about 15 kilometers south east from the city of Hohoe (in the Volta Region). But first some quick definitions: Tro-Tro: Get as many people as possible into a van with a broken speedometer and charge them some change to go anywhere around Ghana. Taxis: Taxis in Ghana are more like buses, you go to a station, you get into the car which probably shouldn't be on the road and you share it with other people (sometimes animals), and you hold on for dear life. Obruni: What Ghana-ens call white people. So to start our journey which should of taken five hours, ... read more
Wli Falls 2
Wli Falls 3

Africa » Ghana » Central March 19th 2014

It’s taken me to five days to recover, but here it is; my first observations of this wonderful place. I arrived in Accra, Ghana after a 27 hour trip from Australia via Dubai with few hitches beyond the usual travel niggles. United Arab Emirates Airlines were great as usual. Kotoka International Airport could not be more different to any I have experienced before – either in Africa or in Western world. For a start, my fingerprints were taken as part of the customs and immigration clearing process. Joseph was professional and most polite about his job, but I still found it an affront to my personal identity. It was a great way however to start my adventure however. Driving in Johannesburg is scary, but driving in Accra is like progressing from the usual rollercoaster ride to ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale February 24th 2014

This will be my third and last blog about Ghana. While I was in Kumasi, I visited the Lake Bosomtwe which was formed by a meteorite impact. It’s located about a 45-minute drive by trotro outside of Kumasi and the village Abono lies at its shores. There are a few hotels along the lake and I went to the first one where I sat down and had a drink. Then I walked a little bit along the shore. I had my swimming clothing with me but I didn’t enter the water. I walked further into the direction of the village and there were many locals enjoying a day at the lake: swimming, dancing, eating etc. I just sat down for a while, relax, observed and enjoyed the scene. I continued a bit further where again I ... read more
Kintampo waterfalls
Adanwomase; weaving Kente clothing
Lake Bosomtwe

Africa » Ghana » Central » Cape Coast February 16th 2014

In my first blog I forgot to write about the language. English is widely spoken, since Ghana was a British colony. Besides, the country has MANY different languages but the most spoken language is "Akan". I left Accra and went to Cape Coast. Getting there was an ordeal! Benjamin went with me so I could take the tro-tro (local small bus) to the Cape Coast station and from there continue to Cape Coast. First the buses wouldn’t pass, or they were full. And it was warm! Then I finally got into the tro-tro to the station. Here I needed to walk just a little bit to go where the buses depart from. The station is as chaotic as it gets, pffff! Once I found the Cape Coast bus, I bought a ticket, paid extra for my ... read more
Making boats in the beach in Elmina
A local woman in Elmina
Elmina

Africa » Ghana » Greater Accra » Accra February 10th 2014

"Akwaaba" means "Welcome"! Welcome to Ghana, which was among my top-3 countries I wanted to visit and finally I made it! My visit didn't end very well since I got my notebook stolen (Acer Aspire One) and that's the reason it took me much longer to write the blog. I prefer not to go into the exact details of how it happened as it would make the blog too long. It happened during my last few hours before leaving the country. Thank God I had all my photos somewhere else though, so I didn't lose any picture. The visit to Ghana started in the Netherlands, where I had to arrange my visa in The Hague at the Ghanian Embassy. I flew with TAP Portugal via Lisbon to Accra. During slavery many enslaved Africans in Curaçao came ... read more
Independence Square
Independence Arch at the Independence Square
School kids in James Town

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Africa » Ghana » Greater Accra » Accra February 6th 2014

The goal of today was to finally accomplish Frank’s two goals for this trip: do paperwork for the kids and finalize the land purchase. You know what they say about the best laid plans. We called it our “Terrible, Horrible, Almost Very Bad Day.” We got out of the house later than planned, and the kids couldn’t come with us because they didn’t get their chores done. Frank, Rosemary, and I headed for the Ministry of Social Welfare. We waited for a while, then they told us to wait more. Then the man got mad at us for not coming earlier and told us to wait. All of the waiting took place in the hallway. There were a few mismatched (but all uncomfortable) chairs along the walls. I felt like we were in a hospital from ... read more
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Africa » Ghana » Greater Accra » Accra January 5th 2014

As yesterday was a long day, we took some time to rest. In the afternoon, Frank went to run some errands, meet with an architect and a mason and who knows what. I stayed around and spent some time with the kids. We played all sorts of games. Alex and Rita taught me all sorts of new words in Twi. We had a lot of fun. They are both shy, but they seem to be comfortable with me now. As comfortable as they will be for a while at least. I packed most of my things and started to put Frank’s together. He insisted that he’ll do it tomorrow, but I bet I’m gonna end up doing it a few hours before we leave. Frank got finished with his errands a lot later than expected. This ... read more
Defeat
Pondering
Boys

Africa » Ghana » Ashanti » Kumasi January 4th 2014

We got up early and were out of the house around 8. (That’s about 4 hours earlier than usual!) Today was the day to go to Kumasi. Kumasi is in the Asante Empire. The seat of the kingdom. (Ghana has a parliament and elected government, but it still relies heavily on the chiefs and village traditions to govern the people. Looks like they have a fairly good way of incorporating the two to me.) There are some pretty cool historical and tourist sites, so it was a place Frank wanted to make sure we didn’t miss. It’s about 4-5 hours away from us if we drive. Originally, we had planned to go, stay the night, and come back the next day. As we started to run out of time, we decided a day trip would be ... read more
No Photos, Please
On the Flight

Africa » Ghana » Greater Accra January 3rd 2014

Friday was sleep-in day. After our adventures in Volta region yesterday, it was nice to relax a bit again. Frank and I purchased tickets to Kumasi for tomorrow and set out to run errands. Drives that would normally take 15 minutes at home take an hour or more. Nothing can be done quickly. The goal for the day was to finalize the land purchase. We had to get money, then go to the real estate office and sign paperwork. (He signed. I was just along for the ride.) It was pretty exciting though. On the way home, we were in the neighborhood where Frank lived while in junior high school, Dansoman. He showed me the house where he lived and the bakery his mother set up for his grandmother. It was called Check Check Bakery. His ... read more
Football
Padlocks
The Sun

Africa » Ghana » Greater Accra » Accra January 1st 2014

The tentative plan for today was look at land and go to the beach. Sounds great to me. Rosemary, Frank, and I hit the road. I drove the whole time, including on their version of the freeway! When I was 11, my aunt Helen taught me how to drive a stick in an old Samurai on back farm dirt roads. I use that skill once or twice per year. This is real life practice. Downshifting in traffic, watching for motorbikes to come out from behind you, dodging taxis… Crazy. I think I did okay though. We picked up another guy to guide us to the plots of land that are for sale. I did fine driving until he started being the one giving directions. He would talk to Frank and Rosemary in another language, then tell ... read more
Pretending to Be Scared
More Driving
Land




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