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.

-vc

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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!

-vc

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.

-vc

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.

-vc

p.s.

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!

-vc

25 August 2011 – Worth a thousand words

The window in the male slaves dungeon at Cape Coast Castle, Ghana, West Africa.

 

View from one of the Governer’s 4-6 bedroom windows at the castle.

-vc

2 July 2011 – Adome Bridge

 

The first time I saw Adome Bridge I was on a Peace Corps bus traveling to Ho from Accra. We turned a corner and the bridge came into view. I was stunned by the silver suspension bridge against the dark green and azure blue background of the sky and forest. After my boat ride on the Volta I tried to capture the bridge in all it’s glory.

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I googled the Adome bridge and discovered it was first used in 1957. We share the same birth year!

 

-vc

2 July 2011 – Boat Ride

 

I wanted a boat ride on the Volta River. It seemed like a 4th of July weekend kind of thing to do. The Dodi Princess left out of Akosombo but I had mixed reviews on the experience. The trip was 6 hours long and the boat would stop on an island for 1 hour. A BBQ lunch was provided. This sounded like a perfect way to spend a day. Then I read my guide book and it said that the music was obnoxiously loud. Then a PCV and a German volunteer said the same thing. Well I could stay on campus and hear obnoxiously loud music for free! I didn’t need to pay 30 cedis for it.

 

My second plan was to hire a local canoe. The taxi driver tried to talk me into the Dodi Princess and so did a receptionist at the Adomi Hotel when I went to ask if they had a boat. So I decided to go to Aylos Bay Resort. Have breakfast and ask them if they had any boat rides on the Volta.

 

I struck gold.

 

The breakfast was good and the environment lovely. It was so lovely that after my boat ride I stayed, wrote and had a coke. And they had a canoe and someone to paddle it for me all for 10 GHC.

 

Check out a few pics from that trip.

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-vc

2 July 2011 – Resorts

In Atimpoku I saw three resorts and there maybe more. I visited Aylos Bay because I heard you could eat on a shaded platform on the water.

 

 

 

My first course, pineapple. I had a good breakfast. I think the presentation made it taste better.

 

The view from my breakfast table.

-vc

-vc

2 July 2011 – Hawkers

People selling things off their head have been a continual joy to me from the day we arrived in Ghana. I love it that I can buy frozen yogurt, boiled eggs, water sachets, bowfruit, minerals, toilet paper and even a flash light out of the window of my tro tro. When traveling through Kumasi to the Sub office I always buy plantain chips a one specific intersection and spring rolls at the next one.

 

Atimpoku, being a major crossroads, has plenty of hawkers. Their wares are a little bit different because of the river. You can buy a kebab of oysters or snails and onions. You can buy a sleeve of prawns. And my favorite Bolo.

 

 

Bolo is a white corn cake cooked in a leaf the size of two hands. The batter is put on one half of the leaf then the leaf is folded over. Many leaves are put in a pot to steam. Oh the bolo is so sweet.

 

-vc

2 July 2011 – Crossroads

 

 

Atimpoku is a major crossroads between Accra and Ho, the capitol of the Volta Region. These signs are typical of  signs you find all over Ghana. They are usually hand painted. I don’t think three are any size or height regulations except maybe in Accra.

It’s everywhere you go!

-vc

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