An English Goodbye

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June 8th 2011
Published: June 8th 2011
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This weekend marked Christa's last weekend in Ghana before she leaves (which incidentally is later today,) so naturally we all met up to say goodbye.

The original plan was to meet up in Kumasi on Friday to watch the Congo vs Ghana Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and then go down to Accra for the weekend. So, Louise and I went to buy tickets for the game on Thursday - although when we got there we were told that none were sold in advance (which is typical of Ghana really,) so one could call it a bit of a wasted trip. However, as we arrived the Ghana football team were also arriving at the stadium for a press conference. Chaos ensued. As soon as the gates into the stadium opened everybody in the crowd suddenly rushed through, loads of people were banging on windows and a few were trying to get onto the actual pitch with them. It was quite weird to watch how much the team are loved, although Ghanaians are taught from a young age to be patriotic (in schools they are taught the national anthem and then the history of Ghana.)

On Friday, we did manage to get tickets, but unfortunately everyone who had to travel to Kumasi was late. We got to the stadium at about 5:10 (only 10 minutes after kickoff) to find a huge crowd of angry Ghanaians with tickets trying to get through turnstyles - which had been locked. Whilst standing in the crowd trying to get in, you could actually see people feeling your pockets to see if you had anything they could take (according to the guidebook the stadium is famous for robberies) Rus, unfortunately, hadn't read this. After recently recovering from a bout of Typhoid, he was pickpocketed (wallet containing card, 50 Cedi, Driving License.) This prompted us to give up trying to get in (waiting for 45 minutes in total) and just go to a bar in Kumasi instead.

When we arrived in Accra on Saturday, we went to a hostel which isn't really a hostel. Basically, it is a SYTO host mum who is happy to put travellers up (if they know about here, as it is signposted and it isn't in the guidebook,) and feed them breakfast and dinner! All for a mere 10 Cedi, which is very good for Accra. There were 12 of us at dinner, 6 of us who had never been before, and Mina (the host mum, at least that's what I think her name was,) said that as we were new to the table we needed to be initiated into the family. The first stage of this was that all of the newcomers had to completely finish the trays of food (which there were a lot of, and I think I ended up having 6 portions of food or something like that.) After that, the second stage was to sing a song. There were 2 dutch who sang a Dutch song; Me, Dec and Louise sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Dec's new volunteer, Gwindell, sang Frere Jacque (although we all joined in as he was the only one who had to sing alone.) Finally, we had to accept 'Yo', which was weird. People pointed their thumbs at you and chanted and you 'accepted' the 'Yo'. We were initiated. Then I had to accept Yo individually for eating the most, which apparently happens every night.

As it was an English farewell, naturally that involved a night out. Weirdly, on the night out I bumped into somebody who ran 800m for a rival club in the same league as my club when I ran - meaning I ran against him, and we also bumped into one of the England U21 Women's players.

Sunday was literally just traveling back, which I wish we didn't have to as the only bar in all of Ghana that I know plays the Tennis is in Accra 😞 Ah well, maybe for Wimbledon (where hopefully Nadal won't win.)

As for work, I'm mainly doing school talks at the moment and I will be changing projects in July. Nothing else to report there.

Until next time,

Sam(uel) x


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