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Published: September 1st 2012
Austin was intrumental in arranging transport at the break of dawn with a driver known as paddy K. We headed north on a five hour journey that took us through Ho and then through Hahoe. The school had forbid us from going to that area due to a previous conflict but I don't think they realized who they were dealing with. Finally we arrived in his village to view one of the most impressive waterfalls this country had to offer.
Upon our arrival we were met by Austin's father who escorted us to meet village chief and his entourage. We entered the home first and were seated and then they entered and greeted all of us. We were asked what our mission was and we explained that we were nursing students working at a hospital in Abor and had come here on our day off to visit the beautiful falls we had heard about. "You are welcome," they exclaimed before they made a plea to us that their local clinic needed many supplies and a new maternity ward, as the mothers give birth on the floor there. We were brought along to visit the facility which gave us food for
thought on how we could potentially help them out in the future.
The walk towards the falls was fun as we passed multitude of bridges and encountered different sorts of insects. Once we arrived there the myst from the falls was so powerful we began to get wet even though we were still dozens of feet away. We ran towards the falls and got pretty close to it, while seemingly taking a nice dip into the water without actually doing so. I felt quite liberated by the moment.
We then hiked back to the chief's home and gave us some drinks. They then invited us to have lunch with them. They made rice with delicious sauce and fowl. I had multiple helpings. Some of the girls cringed as the looked at the ceiling infested with massive spiders, some carrying sacks of eggs. Mmmm. We thanked our hosts profusely before departing to our next destination with Austin's father and brother in tow.
Mt. Afadjato, while not the most impressive climb at 800m, is nevertheless Ghana's highest peak. The day grew hot and sun and dehydration could still prove to make the climb difficult to those ill prepared. We
began our steady ascent and I was scammering for cover from the sun wherever I could find it. Once we reached the cover of more dense vegetation the incline increased steadily but made for some very enjoyable hiking. Many amongst our group were doing surprisingly well, powering through the elevation despite the heat and copious amounts of sweat we all produced. While all I wanted to do was power to the summit asap, I stayed back for the last leg (at the urgings of some of the group lol). I'm glad I did as Hartropp started to have a mini asthma attack. She had lost her asthma pump several days prior when it was forgotten in a taxi. She began experiencing very audible expiratory wheezing and was bent over in an attempt to maximize her lung expansion. She began to panic and I did what I could to keep her calm and encourage her to regulate her breathing. Luckily her breathing became more constant, she recovered and insisted on continuing to the top. She made sure to pick up a new pump from a pharmacy soon after.
Once we got to the top, we were treated to an amazing
view of the surrounding mountain ranges and even saw some waterfalls from the Togo side of the border. Everyone was drenched and most seemed to be out of water, I know my camo pack was completely bare. Some lay about taking it all in, while some just attempted to compose themselves and get their energy back. In my opinion I don't think there's much that compares with summiting a peak, no matter what elevation, I get the same feeling when I finish a rock climbing route. It's a feeling that becomes very addictive.
Our voyage back to Abor took longer than anticipated, as Paddy K. got hopelessly lost for over an hour and we picked up some stragglers who helped direct us on the right path. We arrived home at about 2230, exhausted and smelling something awful. But it was so worth it as this day provided enriching lessons of scenic and cultural worth.
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