Blogs from Northern, Ghana, Africa


Africa » Ghana » Northern November 5th 2018

Things don’t always go to plan in Africa, or even as might reasonably be anticipated. The old hands have a couple of acronyms for this: TIAB (this is Africa, baby), or the more fatalistic AWA (Africa wins again). But this can go both ways, and the positives never seem to get much of a name-check. Seeing elephants in Mole National Park was definitely one of the latter. It’s the back end of the wet season here. Water and vegetation are everywhere, so animals disperse; no need to congregate around shrinking resources when there’s an abundance. The chance of seeing anything in the long grass – sometimes 10-12 feet just high at the roadside – let alone in a national park where only a small percentage of the park is accessible and then only when being driven ... read more
shooting the breeze, Mognori village
your boat is waiting...

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Mole National Park March 25th 2015

Oh it’s been so nice to be back up north. Larabanga is such a wonderful community, which is why I enjoyed my time up here so much. I’ve been having so much fun playing with Hussein’s children and seeing my students from Class 5. On Monday I went to school and spent time with my class. Today I took my parents by the school to meet them. For me and the children it got pretty emotional because I had to say goodbye again. One of the boys even cried. Today also marks exactly 3 months before I leave. I recently bought a ticket home and I’m flying back on June 25. Therefore saying goodbye to these children again was like a precursor to what saying goodbye to my children in Accra will be like. It’s going ... read more
School headmaster
Blogger at work at Savannah Lodge
Shoing off the flag ofthe Black Stars

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Mole National Park March 24th 2015

(by guest blogger Kit Rawson) Besides spending time at Mole Park and hanging at the Savannah Lodge, we found several other interesting things to do around Larabanga. Ten km from town, on a dirt road bordering the park, is the Mognori "Eco-village". Some years after the park was set aside and the elephant population started to grow and expand its range, the agricultural areas around this village were devastated by foraging elephants. Rather than move away, the villagers obtained some funds to make Mognori a place for ecotourism as an alternative economic activity. We visited one morning and had a nice tour of the village, learning a lot about the culture and the old ways. We also noted that the town has installed solar panels that provide public outdoor lighting and a little power for other ... read more
15th Century (or older) mosque
Mognori eco village
Canoe trip from eco village

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Mole National Park March 22nd 2015

Coolest birthday ever! My parents and I went into Mole National Park and went on a jeep safari with four other tourists, including one guy from Tennessee. We saw some warthogs, several different kinds of antelope, lots of birds, but best of all I finally saw African elephants in their natural habitat. Of course I’ve seen them in zoos before, but it’s just not the same as seeing them where they are supposed to be living. We actually didn’t see them until the end of the safari and the three of us decided to get out of the jeep to extend our safari in foot so we could watch the elephants. We watched a couple of different elephants at two different watering holes. There were also crocodiles hiding in the water while tentative antelopes came down ... read more
Birthday girl and guide
Laurel and Lukeman
Big ears (and egret)

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Mole National Park March 21st 2015

I hope all of you have enjoyed my dad as a guest blogger. It’s been amazing to see my parents again. I have been having a lot of fun showing them Ghana and having them meet the children who I’ve been working with. I could tell that both my parents and the children enjoyed spending time at the beach. It’s also the first time I’ve seen them in a grandparent mode. Anyways, we have been having fun traveling together. I went back to Cape Coast, where my dad loved the beach. It was overwhelming shopping for fabric in the Kejetia Market (the largest open air market in Western Africa) with my mom. We found some beautiful prints. We spent a night in the Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary, where we saw some incredible butterflies and really cool trees ... read more
Laurel's hut with outdoor bucket shower place to the left
Inside of K&K's hut
Hanging with a passel of kids in the shade of a Shea butter tree

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Mole National Park November 14th 2014

November 14, 2014 I’ve been back in Accra for over a week and I thought I would have all my Larabanga adventures posted by now. I apologize for the delay, although the person who really should apologize is President Mahama. I’ve never understood why Ghana exports so much electricity, yet doesn’t leave enough for the people living here. Volunteers always talk about things they miss from home and what they’re looking forward to most when going home. The things that top the list are: having reliable power, hot showers, dairy food, and washing laundry in a machine. In the time that I’ve been here the power’s gone through periods where there are fewer cuts and then periods where there are more cuts. Since I’ve gotten back even Jamal has said the amount of cuts has been ... read more
Yussif hanging around
Alhassan 2 and Rauf goofing around
Children in the window

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Mole National Park November 10th 2014

November 10, 2014 Back from Larabanga. The traffic was terrible when I took Laura to the airport. It’s nice to have a cool taxi driver as a neighbor. Phil took me to the bus on my way up north, and he gave me a good price going to and from the airport. It was so great to see the children at the orphanage, especially to see how excited they were to see me again. Ema of course was glued to me, and I was so happy to hold my baby boy again. Erica was all smiles. Hiswell read a book, which he did very well, and after I told him I missed my Mr. Dimples he looked at me and said he missed Mrs. Dimples. Children kept climbing all over me, and Grandma and Andrews were ... read more
Agnes taking a photo of Ibi and Simba
The pile of hair after all my braids were finally taken out
Cows in Tamale

Africa » Ghana » Northern November 5th 2014

Here is the first part of my Larabanga adventures: October 6, 2014 I arrived in Larabanga yesterday after about 18 hours of bus, trotro, and taxi. I was wiped out, but I was greeted by one of the Salia twins. Hussein and Hassan run the Salia Brother’s Guest house that I’m staying at. Hassan lives in the town, while Hussein lives at the hotel just outside of Larabanga. The interesting thing about them being twins in Ghana is how they consider which twin the older. Hussein was born first, but is considered the junior or the younger because apparently they believe the senior twin sends the junior out first to see what the world is like for the senior. Hussein has a wonderfully welcoming family. He has about 8 children living with him, but I’m still ... read more
The colorful huts at the Savanna Lodge
The colorful huts at the Savanna Lodge
Ibi and his friends in front of my hut

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale August 20th 2014

Here are a selection of photos from my time in Tamale. From the food pictures you will note that almost everything consisted of soup with a bowl of stodge - I didn't get a picture of Fufu, which is another ball of stodge to eat with soup. Despite appearances I really liked all of them, and will be trying to recreate some at home. In summary, I had a great time, met some wonderful and incredibly welcoming people, and hopefully did some good. Hope you've enjoyed the blog, whilst I'm tempted to continue with a fascinating insight into the life of an auditor in the UK, I suspect it would have a little less appeal, so I'll leave you all alone until I see you in person. Take care... read more
Me and the host family
View from  Mobility foundation family
Banku and soup

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale July 20th 2014

Three days. Three attempts to contact God. I don't know if He was listening, but apparently it's the thought that counts. On the first day I succumbed to peer pressure and curiosity about my physical limits, and agreed to do a day of fasting with the family. For Muslims, Ramadan is 29 or 30 days of fasting from dawn until dusk, no food, no water. I barely made one day, let alone over four weeks. At the moment it is light here from just after five until just before seven, so I had almost 14 hours without water. In Ghana. Which is quite warm, in case I haven't mentioned it. I was up by half four for breakfast, then back to bed for an hour or so. I got up for the second time and cycled ... read more

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