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August 3rd 2012
Published: September 1st 2012
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Some of the staff needed to go to Accra for a conference, so we hitched an early morning ride in the hospital van so we could get there in relative comfort. Rosalind had friends in the city and one of the friend's daughters was getting married so she was invited to attend, and in turn all of us were invited as well. Once we arrived in the city we headed towards Gaby's home, the husband of one of Rosalind's friends. He was instantly likeable and was incredibly kind to us. He showed us to the nearby hotel we would be staying at. Once settled in we were given a lift to a fast food place called Papaye's, and I got to have some beef for the first time since arriving here. It was subpar at best. Nevertheless with a stomach full of food that would last me another two hours, we first headed back to the hotel and then Gaby took us through central Accra where we drove past shanty towns, government buildings, hotels and restaurants, towards independence square. We arrived in James town and parked alongside a red dirt field where a soccer game was being played. This district was right off the Atlantic and there was a nice lighthouse overlooking a fishing harbour. We made our way to the top and were greeted with a 360 degree view of Accra, as well as dozens of fishing vessels out at sea.

Following our descent we ran into a "yovu" from Italy who mentioned that along a thin strip of beachline they had a foundation called streetwise that was set up by a local couple who helped orphaned children eat, sleep and go to school, and have fun with play. We went down there and were greeted by a plethora of kids flipping, cartwheeling, playing and just smiling in general. The drinks we had there went towards funding their project. They explained that this section of beachline was once a garbage wasteland until it was cleaned up and transformed for this group of kids. Ultimately their dream was to raise enough money to build a school for the children right above the beach. We hung out with them for several hours until the sunset and several of the girls in our group longed to bring home some of the children home with them. That night we ate dinner at this amazing resto serving fried chicken and rice and had a multitude of bagged shots (cost about 20 cents each) to get the night going. We went to a bar after this that offered STAR beer and dancing. Everyone seemed so blissful, I guess alcohol really helps with that.

We woke up early the next morning, to my initial dismay, for Rosalind's friend's daughters engagement service, which was interesting to say the least. It was held in someone's backyard of someone's house and was a powerfully religious pentecostal service that was more akin to gospel and joyous preaching. It offered an intricate look into a slice of Ghanaian culture I otherwise would never have experienced. After the service we went over to the brides home and had more fried chicken and rice. We returned to the hotel and many of us felt tired but a couple of us said screw it, let's explore shit. And so we did. I left the hotel with Marina and Beener and we walked around until we found some train tracks, which we then began to follow. We walked through a level of poverty which was both greatly compelling yet quite unfortunate. After a few hours our walk reached its end and we returned to the hotel. For dinner we took taxi's to the Osu district as some of our group wanted to have some comfort food reminiscent to back home. We went to a place called Frankies and shared a pizza. Later on when we returned we found a little shop selling beer and brought some back to the hotel to enjoy while playing dobble.

The following morning we had the actual wedding ceremony to attend at the church so we all wore our traditional garbs. We took a few photos of the awesomness. Then Gaby gave half of us a lift while a cab took the rest of us towards the church. As this was sunday morning, it was probably the best time to be driving in Accra as just about everyone was off the street and in church. We arrived and sat near the front and again this was like a gospel service where everyone sang, danced, and praised the lord by saying things like halleluja and amen. I actually begun to get a little bored but the girls seemed to get really into it all. I left a little earlier with Gaby, Rosalind and Marina to get all our stuff from the hotel and brought it to Margaret's house while the others joined us there. We ate Jollof rice and chicken with STAR beer. So damn good. The bride returned later with her entourage and the Duke asked one of bridesmaids for her number and got it! We then thanked everyone profusely as the hospital van left with us on a journey back to Abor.

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