Officially Closed

This blog is officially closed.  Enjoy the archive.

I have been home from Ghana for 10 months.

I have started a new blog – RoamingAbout, featuring photographs from my travels – past and present.

I’ll leave you with one last photo taken in Sandema market – Cooking Cosi.


10 Sept 2011 – Manicured and Pedicured

Saturday afternoon Beth and I went to Elegant Nails for the full treatment. I felt like Dorothy in the salon before she entered the Emerald City. One technician was giving me a pedicure and another was giving me a manicure.  We had a sea salt rub, a masque and a hot rock massage on our calves and shins. My feet were encased in hot wax. The only time I had second thoughts was when the technician brought out a cheese grater to buff the callouses on my feet. I know my feet got tough in Ghana but seriously?!


3 August 2011 – Tamale to Sandema

This morning I awoke to crashing thunder and harsh winds. It was raining so hard it came through the hotel room’s bathroom ceiling. Check out time was noon so I snuggled under by two yard with my book. I had enough time to wait out the storm.

My mother always said “Rain before seven, shine before eleven.” Although it was not yet shining at eleven it was no longer raining. Since I was eager to get to Sandema to see my friends I decided to take the chance it wouldn’t rain again before I got to the station.

The tro was almost full which is lucky because we would probably leave the station within the half hour but unlucky because I had to sit in the back seat. People and luggage were piled in the seats and aisles. The aisles were hardly wide enough for a child let alone a this broad hipped woman with her two bags. Thank goodness Ghanaians are helpful. The other passengers sent my bags to the back seat while I navigated over the bags, boxes and cases in the aisles. I crammed my backpack on the floor between my feet and held my green L.L. Bean bag on my lap. There was no room under my seat or the seat in front of me to stow my bags.

At first I was excited; I was going to enjoy every minute of my last trip to Sandema. Then after about 45 minutes it was no longer exciting. My back hurt, my butt hurt, my knees were locked into position and my right side was 10 degrees hotter than my left because the person in the seat next to me was squished up against me.

After one hour and fifteen minutes I longed for the cushioned wide seats of the STC bus I had taken from Kumasi. But alas I was bouncing in the back seat of a tro tro. Just as I thought I couldn’t take it any longer we reached the outskirts of Bolga. Thank God it was only a two hour trip this time.

I alighted at the station and zoomed the last 45 minutes to Sandema in the relative comfort of a share taxi and Metro Mass Transit.

Sandema Here I Come!


1 August 2011 – Kumasi Night Sounds

As dusk turns into night the street outside my window quiets down. The woman selling drinks, snacks and Cd’s turns off her PA system and the music stops.

The leather trader picks up his wares from the clothes laid on the ground. The drum and bead trader packs his wares and pushes his wooden shelves against Vic Baboo’s back wall. The chatter between the tourists and shopkeepers ends.

A preteen girl wearing jeans and a t-shirt is carrying pure water sachets on her head. Her last cries of “Puuuurrrrree waaaataaah” echo down the almost empty street.

The boy pushing the white Fan Milk cart rings his bicycle bell looking for one more sale before he goes home to dinner.

It’s dark now and in my hotel room I am watching the evening news. On the street a couple are arguing in Twi. Even though I don’t understand the words, I understand the tone of people close to each other disagreeing. Later a big truck rattles down the short street outside my window and stops around the corner to make an evening delivery. On the main road, a couple of blocks away, a siren screeches past.

Music drifts from Vic Baboo’s restaurant. The door slams frequently with customers entering and leaving. Happy chatter rises up to my windows.

Just before I fall asleep three or four young men are speaking loudly -fighting or joking. I drift off to sleep thinking if they are fighting, it doesn’t sound serious.


28 July 2011 – Adjusting

When I get back to the US I will find it hard to:

– Use my left hand to give anything to people.

– Go to bed without shaking out my sheets.

– Put toilet paper in the toilet bowl.

– Eat with a fork and spoon.

– Stay warm.

– Wear closed toed shoes.

– Speak correct English, ooohhh!

– Walk by someone without greeting them.

– Make choices in a grocery store.

– Pay American prices for things.


1 Sept 2011 – Ghana Good-bye

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. – Dr. Seuss

What an amazing ride these past three  years have been. Here are some photo highlights cause I really can’t write about what I am feeling right now.

Battle Field

The first battlefield in the insect wars that raged in my bungalow at Sandema Senior High Technical School. I found a cockroach in my bathing bucket and tried to throw the cockroach outside. I failed and this is the results of my killing the cockroach inside.

Local houses in a small Bulsa village near Sandema, Upper East Region, Ghana


Cooking for Lenore

At Lenore’s house in Arowora, Brong-Ahafo Region, Ghana.

Palm Nut Soup Cookers

My first attempt to make Palm Nut soup brought lots of helpers out of the bushes.

My Nala who’s now living in Sandema with my neighbors the Adajagsa’s.

Students studying at Sandema Senior High Technical School.

The view from my bungalow at BASCO, Trotor, Eastern Region, Ghana.

The Christmas Pineapple Werner and I decorated at BASCO.

Dancing during Christmas break at BASCO. The kids used plastic gallons for drums and their dinner plates for symbols or bells.

BASCO’s dance troupe performing a dance from the Eastern Region in Ghana.

A fishing boat on the shore at Winneba, Central Region, Ghana

The view of Fort St. Jago from St. Georges Castle in Elmina, Central Region, Ghana.

A Mona monkey at the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in the Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana.

 Polishing hand made beads at the Cedi Bead Factory in the Eastern Region, Ghana.

A scene from the Volta River in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

I hope my traveling days in Ghana are not over and I will ride on of the MMT buses again!

Thank you everyone for following my Peace Corps Journey. Stay tuned to see what’s next for the Grandma who went to Ghana.



I have been busy the past few weeks getting ready to go and traveling so I didn’t have much time to blog. Over the next few days i’ll do some catch up posting so don’t mind the weird dates!


14 July 2011 – Turning the Tables

Today I proposed to a Ghanaian man!

Werner, my German friend, and I went to the bead market in Kofftown(Koforidua). We went our separate ways but found each other at the T.K. Beads tables. I love these tables because you can find melted glass beads, powdered glass beads, and painted glass beads in all colors of the rainbow. There must be 15 sq ft of tables filled with beads.

We chatted with the owner and purchased some beads. Then I asked if he knew where I could find the Ashanti brass beads. He took me to three tables across the aisle from his table. I found some nice individual pieces as well as three strings of brass beads. I went over to Werner, at the table next to mine. The owner of T.K. Beads came to check on us. Werner asked about old beads. They were at the table to the right of the Ashanti beads.

I thanked the T.K. Beads owner for his help even going as far as to take us to other trader’s tables. He waved his right arm, collecting all tables on his right and left in a arc and said “These are all my tables.:

Bead lust over came me and it blurted out “Will you marry me!”

Oh my his face was so shocked! Ghanaian men can sure dish it out but they can’t take it. He stuttered once or twice then composed himself, pointing to the woman behind the old beads table he said “But this is my wife!”

I looked at her and we both laughed. Then with a twinkle in her eye she said “Oh but in Ghana we can do it. He can have two wives here.”

I told her that her husband looked like a rich man with all these tables of beads and I needed a rich man. I hugged her and called her my sister wife. Then the negotiations began. I wanted to know who would do the cooking. The junior wife does the cooking and I didn’t want to be cook or junior wife. When she said I had to cook I said the marriage was off! I told her that pounding fufu was too hard for a white lady. The husband joined in and said I would get strong, then the wife said I could make the soups and she would pound fufu.

We haven’t set the date yet but you are all invited!

(Only kidding, Mom, Liz, Becca, Beth. I am coming back to the US for sure and with no husband in tow.)


30 August 2011 – Happy 50th Birthday Peace Corps Ghana



Ghana is the longest continously running Peace Corps program.

Congratulations Ghana staff, PCVs and RPCVs!

Now who better than the Fab Four to wish you a happy 50th!




August Sometime – Portia and Rofina

In August I traveled up north for my last visit with the Kampusi’s and my other friends up there. After my visit there Portia, Rofina and I traveled south to my site and then on to Cape Coast. Below is a slide show of photos I took of them on this trip. More about the trip to follow.

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27 August 2011 – BASCO Friends

Eric Mintah and Luise

Werner Beckmann 

 Luise, Johan Martin Kramer and a student practicing for the Christmas play.





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