Ben's Ghana Adventures

A collection of all the emails that I sent while I lived, worked and travelled around Ghana West Africa from October 10th 2005 to February 10th 2006. Sorry thers a lot but I had a bloody good time living the experiences! Check out to see all my African Photos.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ben's African Adventures 7

November 28th 2005
Hello again my eager email readers. Is it time for another of Ben's jackanory sessions I hear you try. Well settle down, dim the lights and turn the telly off as it is story time.

I am writing this particular entry on my travels from the capital city of Accra. I travelled the two hours today through the dust and heat to come to the only internet cafe that works. Also we needed to pop into the volunteer organisation hq to pick up somones parcel and change some dosh.
So here I am sitting in an air conditioned room. Something that I have not experienced for a long old time now. It feels rather odd. Its not a nice feeling coming back to the city after spending all the time in the country. The beggers are worse you can smell the polution, everything is far more expensive and the cars are more dangerously driven. But luckily I am going in an hour on the long bumpy road back to Swedru and then on to Kwanyako where I can see my little babies. My babies being the puppies who I am training to sing god save the queen and attack goats. The latter is working much better.

So without further waffling I will enlighten you all on what has been happening in my neck of the woods of late.
Well the main story is that our teachers verses students match went ahead despite the thunder and lightning storm that illuminated the palm street raging overhead. The pitch was waterlogged he goalmouth like a swamp but never the less we marched out and played a terrific game of football. The teachers wore the blue and white Kwastech kit and we made the kids wear the girls netball vests. The match started at a frantic pace with the kids trying to get the upper hand over the ageing and waist expanding unfit teachers side. I played on the left wing and was up and down like a bloody yo-yo. We went one nil down early on but managed to make things all level at one a piece with a long shot that the kids keeper fumbled and then wqas subsequently sunstituted for. Then a through ball was played to me and I was one on one with the goalkeeper. I sprinted with the ball as fast as my little legs would carry me then just as I was about to do a Henryesque dummy and then shoot I was hit from behind and went down like a sack of spuds. I smacked into the turf and rolled over to see a sheepish looking kids who had done a two footed challenge on me. There was no doubt about it as Kofi the deputy head who was refereeing pointed to the spot...Penalty. I wanted to take it, but when I went down I smacked my head so hard on the sodden ground that I was a bit dazed and could see two goals instead of one. So I signalled to little Edmund to take it and he duly responded by wrongfooting the subsitute keeper.
Now I thought all my kids loved me, they all get on with me in every lesson that I teach but when it came to a teachers verses staff football match I was abused and battered by them all. It doesnt help that many of them are much bigger than me (which is not hard anyway). At half time we led the game 2-1. The second half started as frantic as ever and then another through ball and I was through, just the keeper to beat and again....WHACK! Up in the air I went, this time not a defender but the keeper had ran out and as I went to turn and dropped my shoulder I lost sight of him and I think he lost sight of me and the result was two people lying on the sodden dusty pitch almost unconscious. The to make matters worse it was on the edge of the box so it was only a poxy free kick. Which Mr. Osei-Wilson drove high and wide anyway. Before long the kids rad us running around like headless chickens in defece and I went to play as a sweeper. They equalised and should have won the game with a long range effort that our match teacher keeper could do nothing about. But some miraculous off the ball incident had occurred and Kofi ruled it out. So it ended 2-2. Then we were mobbed, the entire school who were all watching stormed the pitch and carried us all at shoulder height. Dont drop me I thought to myself.
Tht night I was exhausted and was looking forward to dinner. Then I saw what they were cooking! Rat. A large african grass rat known locally as Grasscutter. I ate the thing anyway and it was rather tasy, But it turned my fufu green which I dont think was a good thing.
This weekend has been one spent in and around the Agona area. On Saturday we went with Seth (our local Syto rep(student youth and travel organisation)) and Nynke he Dutch girl and loaded a van up with cement and wood and poles and all sorts of stuff that you need to build a classroom in an arid climate. So slave labour we were for the day. Andy and I were covered in filth and sweating profusely after we had loaded the van up driven to Achianse, unloaded it and then did the whole thing again. So after all that hard work it was time for a beer. That evening we foud a bar that stays open later than 9pm and we set up camp there drinking gin and tonics for 30pence each. Wow I thouht I was in paradise, except for the bloody mosquitos. When we got back to Kwanyaku I had a cronic case of the beer munchies and low and behold in the street was Rebecca, Sister Beatrix'x mother grilling goat intestine kebabs. So I endulged and treated myself to two. They actually despite sounding unappetising tate lovely and I highly recommend them to you all.
Mrs. Nana has now turned up as she was living in Stockwell in London and with her she has bought so much crap that she sent by shipping mail. Tons of the stuff, its all cheap English tat that not even a blind person would buy. She also bopight wth her a very fat child called Elicia who is some member of the families daughter but as usual no one explains o us whos exactly as we are just the obronis. All the kids in the village were brought back a oy each by Mrs. Nana. But when I looked at the toys they were all from MacDonalds happy meals so that explains why the child is so obese. Obese and likes to prance around the house naked and screaming!!!!!!
Mrs. Nana is another huge woman, her arms look like elephnts legs and her clothes are so big I am sure she has just stollen a beer tent and wrapped herself up in it.
Our host family are just odd. There is no other way to describe them, They are strange and there is some serious incestious inbreeding going on somewhere. They all have different names and dont use them, whats going on!
This weekend was the last weekend of the Dutch lass building a school so on the sun day we went to the local 4 star hotel (an hour away) and paid just over one pound to use the pool all day. The result is that I am even redder now than I was before. But a load of us all sat round relaxing all day. W even smuggled in cartons of the cheap local wine and canned food so we didnt have to spend any money there. It felt odd being by a poo after so much dust and bucket showers in the middle of nowhere, where power cuts happen all to often and if you are hungry they will go out anf hunt down something for you. Or more likely give you more and mre plaintain!
I had to go to another funeral party but I managed to avoid going to the actual funeral iteslf. I went on my own as it was someone in the house who I played football with and he took me there sat me down and buggered off. I was on my own in a strange place surrounded by drunks and staring eyes at a funeral where they blear out the music at a 1000 decibels that it almost deafens you. So what could I do to liven the situation up I hear you cry! The answer is that I got all of them doing the okey koey and singing with me and I danced arround making a prat of myself and making all the locals join in and laugh til they were sick. I'm serious one man did! I also at that funeral saw a woman who was so fat that they had made a special cart for her so she could go outside. Food dripped off her chin and I felt quite disgusted by the sight of her.
Once I had escaped and ran for freedom over the border to saneland I finished writing my English exam and counted the money that I had changed up. I took out a ton and the pile of notes was a foot high. The currency out here is almost worthless, how do they survive?
So after a cool weekend and a relaxing time at the pool it is now back to teaching tomorrow before we go off on an uber excursion to the volta region to hike up a mountian and swim in pure fresh waters.

Oh I woke up yesterday and sods law I have a cold. In Africa, the heat out here is tremendous but to catch a cold is ridiculous. It may be a rare type of African disease that I have been sunjected to. I may have head shrinkers illness. Help, I am shrinking! Or maybe I just have the common cold which is more than likely. I probably caught it off that rat that I ate.
Its odd at the moment as they are playig christmas tunes already on the radio and tinsel is in the local bar. A plastic father christmas was in the locl church the other day and I saw a tro tro with a mini xmas tree on the dash board. It November for goodness sake!
When we went for a swim the Germans tunrened up and as soon as I saw them I saw then make a move, but I was lightning quick and jumped a fence to claim a sunlounger and make them huff at me. Ha ha I beat then at their own game!
So here I am now ready to go back to the middle of nowhere and back to my dusty teaching existance. I wonder if they make me drink apetishi or wait and power tonight. Local spirits that can knock your socks off. I rather like it, but poor Andy cannot abide the stuff.

So I must be off now. I need to catch a tro tro and sit for ages on a plank. Maybe I will catch a lift on the back of a lorry again, who knows.
So for now my lovlies I must bid you goodnight, because tomorrow is another day and more adventures.
Take care and sleep well.
x x x x


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