Originally I thought I would have to work last week, and I also needed to move into my new place on Wednesday. However, the other 2 guys at the office, Bernard and Kombate, were busy with training and out of town, so we decided to join the JFs and go on a little holiday. We left Thursday afternoon for Kumasi on a “VIP” bus, which is the most expensive option. It’s only about $10 for a 5 hour journey, but they buses are much nicer than a greyhound, with tons of room, arm rests, TV, and air-conditioning. Unfortunately, the A/C is way too cold for me, and I’m not a huge fan of Ghanaian movies, which are very dramatic and involve a lot of yelling, which is hard to sleep through and impossible to listen to anything else. The roads were pretty bumpy, with lots of traffic, but we made it on schedule to Kumasi.
Once there, we took a tro to Kotei Junction, where Sean from VOTO (another EWB Venture) picked us up and brought us to get some food. We walked to the VOTO house, which is huge and a bit isolated, but not a far walk. We met some of the other staff, ate some food, watched the kittens be silly and played euchre, a great night!
In the morning we had a chance to check out one of the biggest markets in West Africa (this is just a glimpse). You can buy almost everything there, but what we saw most was used western clothes and tons of vegetables. The JFs headed off to get some local fabrics while Mike and I tried to figure out internet sticks for our stay. We had a sketchy, yet interesting encounter at the Vodaphone store, which involved a few security guards, a random office with no video cameras, and a kid with a bunch of old busted-up Nokia phones… but in the end I paid the regular price and got my working stick without showing my passport, interesting…
After the market we went back to the VOTO house and had lunch and relaxed for the afternoon. When the JFs got back we left for the lake. We took 2 tros to a taxi, and got him to drop them at the Green Ranch and us at our Rainbow Guesthouse nearby. It was so nice to be by the water, even though the dock was
a little VERY unsafe, and the goats made all sorts of strange noises at all hours of the day! That night we had dinner and there was a lot of rain so we stayed in and played scrabble. I bought a new book in Kumasi to read before going to bed.
Saturday morning I didn’t set an alarm, and I got to sleep in, it was AMAZING! We woke to the sounds of crazy goats, and got some egg and toast for breakfast. I lay in the sun by the lake reading my book all afternoon, it was relaxing. Some of the JFs tried the “boats” which are basically half a log, with two little pieces of plywood to put in each hand for paddling. The local kids came out at night to collect fish on these boats and I was very impressed by how fast they could go and how stable they seemed. We swam a bit (hope I don’t get any weird diseases) and then had a nice dinner at the other hotel. We had a few drinks and talked with the owner, Elodine, who’s from France. Then back to our hotel in the dark on the rough roads, I’m surprised I didn’t trip. Overall, a really chill day.
On Sunday we got up early to wait for our 9am cab. However, it turned out that our cab picked up some other guests, so when we called it was going to be a while. We chilled a bit, read our books, but I kind of wish I was still in bed. At 11am the cab finally showed up, and we decided to take the cab all the way to the bus station instead of taking 2 additional tros. We got on the mid-range bus and took another 5 hour journey back to Accra. It wasn’t raining as much, but there were still dramatic movies playing with lots of dying and screaming… I’m not sure I’ll get used to it.
On Sunday night we arrived at Circle and took a short cab to Eddy’s Pizza, which is a popular pizza chain. We met with Alexis (another ProF) and her new friend from her hostel who lives in Mole. He had never eaten pizza or seen an airplane so I think Accra was full of excitement for him. Then we went to a cool roof-top bar to check out the super moon, and had drinks with two other hostel friends. A great way to end the weekend!