Hello and welcome!
I’ll be sharing some travel posts here for the next couple of weeks. These adventures are from my recent trip.
Arrival into Accra, Ghana West Africa
Arriving in Accra at 8:00pm has moments of glee and patience.
Excitement because I’ve arrived in Ghana after nearly 24 hours of travel, and patience because of the time required to get through Ghana customs and retrieve luggage can be a task.
Freedom from the Internet
One thing is for sure, the internet isn’t always accessible and in some places, it’s spotty at best.
We tend to take the internet for granted in the USA without a second thought.
Once you open your phone or computer, boom!
Congratulations! You’re on the internet!
However, in Ghana you can be without internet access for several hours and sometimes even days.
Brown/black outs are frequent here and having a wifi router in your own home doesn’t guarantee internet coverage especially with the heavy, monsoon precipitation that come during the rainy season.
One can view this as a gift or a curse.
What I decided when I first came to Ghana was this: being in this country and the ability to travel is a unique and incredible offering which to me, is a blessing.
I view the unpredictability of the internet as a welcome repose: to step away from my devices and enjoy the freedom of being off the grid, and being in the moment.
If you haven’t taken a break from technology and being online, I highly recommend it. One thing Ghana continues to teach me is the beauty and power of presence and to relish each moment.
Back at the airport, I go through customs which takes over an hour (primarily waiting in line) and where the friendly customs agent photographs me and scans my fingerprints. Ghana doesn’t mess around with incoming visitors.
My agent is young women in her twenties and I greet her Dagbanli (the native language of the Dagombas) and she greets me it Twi, which is the most widely spoken language in Ghana, in particular Accra. We both laugh at my attempt and ultimately snafu of speaking Dagbanli.
She says in Twi:
Akwaaba Miss Stacy.
which means welcome. In Daganli, welcome is:
You can see the similarities.
Overall there are nine official government languages in Ghana and several more that are used in the bush and rural areas.
These languages are beautiful and arduous to learn so I’m taking my time to fully study the language bila bila – meaning little by little.
The kind customs agent stamps my passport and I’m off again to another customs security officer to check my passport and visa one last time before I proceed to baggage claim.
A Much Needed Break
After waiting for nearly an hour, I grabbed my bags off the luggage carousel when a security guard comes over and asks:
Are you Stacy?
I’m perplexed. How this security guard knows me, I have no idea.
Yes. I respond.
Please come with me.
When I round the corner, and there is Chief Suale and our hotel shuttle waiting. We hop in and we’re off into the night. It’s nearly midnight when we arrive at the hotel, and we both fall fast asleep after a very long day.
I wake up the next day at 10:00am to discover we only have a 1/2 hour to eat breakfast and check out of my room. We both scramble to make ourselves presentable, and head down to the buffet.
The Wonderment of Kokrobite
After checking out of the hotel, we decide to stay an extra day in Kokrobite; a beach town located just outside of Accra.
Along the drive through the city, thousands of people are going about their daily work; shops along the street are frenetic with activity.
At traffic lights, individuals come to our car windows selling their goods, which could be anything from food, chewing gum to hunting knives and machetes.
Life on the Sea
Ghana recently celebrated their Republic Day, when they became a sovereign country from colonial rule.
We arrived at our 2nd hotel, the Bojo Beach Resort and since most people came and went during the holiday, there are now only a few other guests here; making it the perfect reprieve for rest and relaxation.
Strolling over to the beach, Chief Suale and I discovered a lone table out on the pier. We take our seats, order dinner and observe the waterway brimming with life.
Several graceful, gondoliers transport passengers up and down the waterway to their destinations. The long staff propels their boats with ease as these water taxis glides up and down the waterway.
A gathering of fishermen wrestle with their nets, hauling them into their boats as they set sail towards the ocean in hopes of a fruitful evening catch.
Across the waterway, women with large bowls balanced on top of their heads have wares to sell on the beach.
Mind you, all of these boats; both the water taxis and fishing boats, are row boats or gondoliers.
None of these seafaring vessels are motorized or have any sources of illumination.
While the sun sets, the fishermen sweep the blade of their oars into the water, rowing their large row boats out towards the sea.
I’m awestruck by their courage and navigation skills to attempt this feat at night with only the guidance of the stars.
Watching them and the women work in their tireless, daily routine is humbling.
You can feel their hard work dripping off their brows after a long, strenuous day and yet, there is also laughter and elation in their interactions with each other.
Perhaps this is what it means to live a full and rich life; to do good, honorable work while enjoying the journey and the people around you along the way.
With love from Ghana,