Waterfalls and Monkeys

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February 21st 2011
Published: February 21st 2011
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Well I had another eventful weekend. On Friday evening I traveled with a number of other volunteers to Wli (pronounced vlee) Falls. These waterfalls are at the very eastern edge of the country near the town Hohoe and just before the border with Togo. At the hotel we stayed at, you could actually look over the hills and into Togo. It was quite an interesting trip and really great to see a part of the country away from the coast, which is where I've traveled before. The trip also had some very interesting/crazy elements: Me and a few other volunteers left to go to the tro tro station around 3:30 Friday afternoon. After arriving and finding a bus amidst the rediculous crowds of people, we ended up having to wait nearly two hours before the bus was full and we could leave. Extra space is not something taken lightly here. No space is wasted, nowhere left empty. The bus was a small one and besides the five or so volunteers there were perhaps 10 other Ghanaians. Well these particular people happened to be some of the liveliest and most argumentative people in Ghana. As soon as we were finally on the road immersed in the rediculous Ghanaian movie playing, we discovered that it was going to be a loud ride. First the air conditioning broke which caused some serious yelling about the right to air conditioning or money back. That turned into a debate about opening windows and all over the bus people opened their windows and others come over and shut them. People were standing up and yelling so in an attempt to quiet them, the driver turned on some very loud music. This resulted in half the bus singing along and the other half of the bus yelling that the music was too loud and waking a baby sleeping, which turned into an argument about child raising, which turned into an argument about men versus women, which turned into an argument about something else, etc, etc. The funny part was that all of this was taking place is Twi (the local language) and so several people would scream and scream at each other then turn around and calmly translate what just happened. After about a 5 hour ride we arrived in the biggest town nearest to the falls. From there we managed to hire another tro tro to drive
Pure water sachetsPure water sachetsPure water sachets

Most drinking water comes in bags like this.
us out to Wli which is a fairly remote village. The road to Wli, well calling it a road is quite generous. It was more of a series of mountains and craters which required constant swerving and weaving to prevent falling into a two foot deep hole in the middle of the road. This ride only lasted about 45 minutes, but felt like a roller coaster ride gone bad. We finally arrived at Wli quite late and thankful for quiet and stable ground.
The next morning we woke fairly early to get an early start on the hike up to the upper falls, which is best to do early in the day before it's too hot. The hike took about 2 1/2 hours and was certainly quite a climb, especially with the heat. After struggling up and up we finally came into the clearing, and it was incredible. Wli falls are the highest waterfalls in West Africa and are really quite stunning. After the hike we were so happy to jump into the pool and swim under the waterfalls. After speding some time swimming and admiring we started the treck back down to the lower falls. The lower falls were equally as incredible, but because there was no hike, this waterfall was much more crowded, but also housed many caves full of bats. The evening I spent lounging in the slightly cooler than Accra, air.
The next morning we again got up very early to catch a tro to a monkey sactuary nearby. With this visit we got a guide and a bunch of bananas and took a walk through the forest. The monkeys that are in the conserved forest are called Mona Monkeys and are quite small. This is the time of the year when many have babies, so lots of the monkeys were carrying babies. We got to feed the monkeys and they climbed around a bit on the trees and our arms.
It was a really incredible trip that showed a part of the non coastal Ghana.

Additional photos below
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The green volkswagonThe green volkswagon
The green volkswagon

Because there are no street names or house numbers in Accra you have to learn to find your way using landmarks. This particular car is the landmark of the street. So if asked where I live I just say, the house across from the green volkswagon, it's quite a well known landmark.

2nd March 2011

Jamie, I love all the pictures! It looks like your having a great time! I love seeing your smiling face next to the crocodile! Miss you!!! can't wait to hear more about Ghana!
2nd March 2011

Fascinating blogs!
Hi Jamie, I have been following your blogs and find them so interesting! I think that the experiences you are having will no doubt be of much more educational value than a year of academic learning in an ivory tower school! The teaching of human rights concepts to teachers seems to me to be filled with possibilities. One never knows when a concept learned will blossom!

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