God is in Ghana
While prepping for this adventure, loads of the blogs stated how epensive ‘Africa’ was to travel within.So we budgeted a bit more for our Africa travels, aiming to hit: Ethiopia, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Senegal, and Morocco. Benin probably isn’t happening now, ,as visa costs and time aren’t working for us. A bit bummed to miss the origins of voodoo. I was going to learn some and threaten AT for life! Lol
Ethiopia is home, so hitting Ghana, kicked off the real journey. Arriving in Accra started with a hassle to get visa for AT. He was told at the consulate in Addis to get Visa on arrival, which is typically: ok you’re not a criminal, here’s your stamp. However, they required the same information needed for a standard prior to arrival Visa, so the officer demands a typed invitation letter from our host, which we couldn’t get until the next day. Good thing the Dads (yes, I went to school and know I’m using the plural, I have 2 Dads) hooked us up with some of their friends here so we had someone to ask…otherwise, I think AT would have had to sleep in the airport the month we had allotted for Ghana! HA!
The first week, we were a bit spoiled, Dads have friends that have a place, so we had a 3 bedroom apartment with rooftop, warm shower and a TV with more than one channel (Most hostels have a TV with only one channel).
While in Ghana, we managed to visit Kokrobite, Cape Coast and Hohoe as well. Kokrobite was a small beach town with a nice Rasta-vibe, while Cape Coast has a big castle used by the many European-slaver countries, as the slave port- which are now nicer beaches.
Bustling around the city is no more than GHS$10-15, so under $3 bucks! We’ve been sharing most of our meals, as portions are pretty generous, so diving in on some Jollof rice, banku w/tilapia or fufu with groundnut or Okra soup is $2 :).
I’ve been super cheap with accommodations. All are clean, simple rooms, and paying about $15-20 a night for a private room.
I think I may have rice nightmares soon, there hasn’t been much variety of food, it’s literally the options I’ve rattled off, all accompanied with a cow leg or goat meat. Rice and Banku will chase me in my dreams, but hey when in Rome!
Ghanaians have been super inviting and welcoming. I’ve felt totally safe in all kinds of neighborhoods. In Hohoe most people say “You’re Welcome” when they see you with a real smile on their face. While earhussling on a Sunday near Crystal Hostel in Darkuman, I must have been looking so out of place and longing, I was invited to come dance with the community at a Naming Ceremony. A beautiful gathering of 6 houses to honor a newborn, and giving her an identity, Patience. I danced with the new mom, and was showered with (I think fake) money. Makin’ it rain in Ghana, yeah boyeeee! It was Sunday so after dancing, they asked us where we were headed, I said to find food! In 2 seconds, we were invited to the hosts home, had laundry detergent in my purse and orange soda, We sat to warm joloff rice and tilapia, and the best non-alcoholic beverage I’ve ever had….Malt!!! ohh yeah, I’m sure it’s not gluten-free, but that shit was freaking awesome! Like food, like dessert and I’m sure the calorie content proved all the above.
What a great day, new friends, a home cooked meal and got to get my groove on.
I promise, a hot shower is overrated…. kidding, but hey, whose boiling water up in this piece?! It’s warm enough, it’s refreshing. I’m a pro at a bucket shower now! Hold the bucket in the same arm you want to hit the armpits on, and it’ll make it’s way!
Churches here are very in abundance, at every corner is a church. A church can be a small field or a big villa with no cross to mention. You see people on the streets with bibles in their hands, for those that can’t read, it’s translated down with reverence, scripture, and song. We even saw a mobile-preacher come to a stall in the arts center in Accra, pray/speak in tongues on the lady, loudly with his hand on her head as if she was possessed and walk away. Most business names also has ‘God’ in them. (God is Great Grocery, In Jesus name Cold store).
- Refrigeration may be overrated: I was so scared to eat salad- fresh veggies not served boiling hot- advised all the books and doctors. I think my tummy has African-ized, and I may even try tap water tomorrow!
- I’m surprised I haven’t gained a million pounds, my American-eating theory that all carbs are bad…I’ve eaten mostly rice and yams with sauce, and feeling in control! Guess it’s those American-carbs…
- Ghanians think they are kinder to outsiders than their own
- I miss brunch! I miss drunk Sunday brunch!- Palm Wine is my new haven. We have YET to eat at a restaurant here. We get all of our meals from Auntie’s side road stalls. I haven’t ventured to Kaneshie Market for food shopping, and it’s mostly ingredients for Jollof rice anyway! humph
- All the store names are linked to God- “God is Glory Tyre service”, “In Jesus name Cold store”……
- I really appreciate that Muslims and Christians here coexist. Mosques next to Churches, and both sides that worship, live together in various communities. In Ethiopia, there’s a growing divide in these religious communities, so much so, that it’s seeping into politics, work life, and family celebrations.
- I’m in love with “pay wata”, little pouches of 500ml of water for GHC.$20. Bite the tip and you’ve got a bottle of water with less packaging and way less cost.
- I’m starting to love the smell of burning trash. A sweet smell of plastic and earth. Plastic embers fly into the air, and fall all around you
- BLACK LIVES MATTER: See Chale Wote post. There seems to be a sympathetic remembrance possibly to a struggle once living here for human rights. At Chale Wote Street Art Festival, the spirit robot theme drew out much of the current events happening in the good ole US of A. Police brutality, Black lives being less valued, and economic disenfranchisement