Date: Early 2007
Context: Thekenyanexplorer went to Ghana with a team from uni on a 3 week trip to Ghana. Her team was focusing on some development work in energy and water. This is an email that was sent to her friends and family after the trip. The full story will be in a few separate consecutive blog entries.
RETURN OF THE GRASSCUTTER
As I walk back to Pastor George's I pass a grasscutter on the middle of the road that has been slaughtered and is having its organs taken out one by one. As a meat eater it is very ironic of me to be saddened by this, but I was. It was enough of an experience to make me want to become a vegetarian. The man gutting it, dug his fingers dip inside its abdominal cavity and pulled out his bloody hands which he then took to the dog's nose. Pastor George said they do that to let the dogs be able to track them by looking for the scent of their blood. I am happy I am not a grasscutter.
Today we woke up at 2:30am to drive out to Bui National Park. Each of us and our translators were going. We were 15 in total with the driver. We hopped onto the back of a pickup and began our three hour journey there. The ride there was unbelievably cold, and uncomfortable. The back of a pickup is only fun in warm weather and when you have leg space. We got to the park around 6am. Our first stop was the beautiful lake to see the hippos. It was exciting. Afterwards we got off the pickup and started walking around. This was when I lost respect for the park. No park worthy of being called a park can have people walking around. I instantly knew that the most dangerous animal they could possibly have in the park was a gazelle or some other herbivore. Kenya still beats Ghana in this arena. We have real wildlife. Can you imagine the only animal we saw was a grasscuttter. How annoying. The ride back home was hot and tortorous. It was now unbelievably hot. I cut myself on a jutting metal piece, and only began to bleed much later when we got home and drank lots of water. It was like being in the Sahara.
BACK TO ACCRA
Our host’s son in law picked us up, and drove us to Kumasi. In Kumasi I realized that there are more cabs than people. Cabbing is the normal mode of transportation. Shared taxis are more common than trotros/matatus. We hoped into a bus to take us to Accra. The first hour in the bus we had the luck of having a street preacher with us. He got up, and preached and preached and preached. Then he passed around a collection box, but he wasn't obnoxious about it. He didn't harass anyone or anything. He was a nice street preacher after all. After five and a half hours of riding in the bus, I really began to hate Ghanaian courtesy of dropping everyone off at their various locations. The bus would stop every 3 minutes or so.
A NAME SO SWEET
It was Friday night, and we had gotten back to Accra. We were staying again at the pink hostel, but this time it felt like the Ritz Carlton to us. Big bed, lights, shower, soap, toilet paper. We were now living large. Our Saturday plan was to go shopping for kente cloth and crafts, but our plans were cut short.
THE DEATH OF A CHIEF
The Ga paramount chief had died six months earlier, and in Ga fashion he would be buried today. Everything in Accra was closed in respect for the Ga chief. The whole city wore mourning colors of black and red. None of the shops we planned on visiting would be open. We chose to go to the one open place- the ocean. Standing there at the gulf of guinea I felt so alive. So fulfilled. Accra is simply beautiful. It is like having Mombasa as our capital city.