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.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ben's African Adventures 19

Last time we left our hero and narrator stranded in he heat of the Guinea Savanah with no water and only a German for company. How did he survive and cope with the truck?
Well read on dear followers of this long adventure and you will soon find out.
The lorry which the tro tro driver had flagged down stopped for us and everyone suddenly descended upon it like vultures to a rotten carcass. The old women, children and even the woman who had hit the little girl and constantly had her horrible veiny, droopy tits hanging out all climbed the side and jumped over into the cargo hold of the lorry. The lorry was half full with people looking bemused at he sight of a white man leaping into the back and the cargo was mostly dirt. Yep, finely compacted heaps of dirt.
Soon we wee all on board apart the the tro tro driver who like a captain that goes down with his sinking ship stayed to bear it out in the desert. As we drove off I noticed that some poor bugger was still underneath the tro tro covered in grase and ol and all that held up the car from crushing him was a rickety old wooden stool.
I clambered up the side of the lorry and perch precariously on the ende holding on for dear life as the lorry driver put his foot down and hurtled along the dusty and very bumpy road passing the most incredible rural and traditinal mud and stick Sudaneses style houses and kralls. The women that I had been talking to on the tro tro were scared that I may fall down and injured myself. Nothng I could say would convince them that I was a big boy now and quite caparble of holding on on my own. But they would not be convinced so I clambered up even higher and dangled my legs over one of the central arches that the canvas can be stretched and dangled from behind my knees before twisting round grabbing a pole and landing gracefully on my feet. I thought this would put their minds at res bt it didnt and instead of getting a round of applause for m acrobatic efforts I was scowled at menacingly. 'You are the Danger Obroni' one old lady said to me. I rather liked that. I will put that on my CV!
We rattled along creating a giant dust cloud behind us and we engulfed an entire group of school children in he cloud as we raced past. I clambered back up the side again and the wind blew in my face. 'This is the way to travel' I thought to myself and the bigges smile could be seen my my cheeky dust covered face. We travelled through small quaint villages with enchanting names such as: Chamba, Toyangili, Dakpam, Taali and Kpalisogu. All of which sound truly African to the core.
We arrived covered in dust and looking like we had just emerged from a war zone in Bimbilla. The pan was to get some food and check into a hostel as the town after dark is plaunged into a police enforced curfew as two rival gangs try and push their candidate to the rank of Nana or Na as it is called in the Northern region. But they have been campaigning with guns mostly and severa people have died. But of course none of this can be proven as the police in Ghana are all corrcupt and demand money from cars they stop and confiscate your license and will only give it back after you hand them over 100,000 cedis which is just over six quid. Apart from the corruptness of the police they are also very incompetant. So my confidence in them isnt brimming over.
We soon drank pints and pints of water as I was suddenly aware of such a thirst in me. Then after some dirty street food we found a shabby hostel and bedded down in squalor for the night. I was aslppe as soon as my head hit the flea ridden dirty brown stained pillow.
The next day (Thursday 2nd February Day 116) I woke and was aware of such a sunburn caused from travelling inte lorry. The plan for this day was to head to the town of Nkwanta in the northern area of the Volta region. But as I have found out to my cost in Ghana nothing is that simple. First we had to catch a tro tro to Damaonko,. From there which is nothing but a transport hub in the middle of a dusty arid nothingness we would try and get to Nkwanta.We were advise to get to the station early. But the greedy drivers saw our white skin and the dollars signs in their eyes hits jackpot. Thats he horrible thing with bloody Ghanaians , money is all they think about. I refused point blank to pay the fee of 60,000 cedis for the journey which was too much for such a short distance. So instead we did the journey the hard way. We from Damonko went to the tro tro sation and loaded up and crammed into the rusty old datsun that needed three men to push it along to bump start it. But as soon as we had set off the fun began.
The roof was alive with banging as people took their seats on it and we had only travelled 100 yaersd when out of a small straw hut a police man appeared and signalled the driver to pull over. The policeman then promptly arrested the driver for being 'overloaded'. Bloody hell all the vehicles on he roads in Ghana are overloaded. Lorries full to the brim with people in them had just passed through not ten minutes before us. This bloody jobsworth policeman obviously had a bee in his bonnet with the driver as he clamped him in wildwest iron handcuffs and marched him into the straw shack that doubled not only as a piece of shit but as a police station too. All the people got out of the tro tro and surronded the hut, the scene with ensued was on of panic, fighting , shouting and utter mayhem. People were demanding their money back from the now free driver. I crept forward and peeped over the straw wall to see what has afoot. The driver had bought his freedom with the money collected from the sales of the tro tro tickets. But he only had enough money to buy his freedom and not his license back. The policeman held his licence in his hand smacking it against his lips waiting for more money. The driver could not repay the passengers (well not all of them) and didnt have any money to buy back his licence. So if he tried to drive away the policeman would have arrested him again for driveing wiothout a license and then the driver would really be up shit creep without a paddle. The wors thing was that the greedy policeman knew this fact too and licked his fat lips in anticipation. I had managed to find he only taxt in the village and arrange to share it with 7 people. So 9 people crammed in to a car. The driver said he would take us to Nkwanta for 12,000 and beggers cannot be choosers so I agreed and told the nice ladies on the tro tro who I organiosed their seating arrangements earlier for them as they had babies to get in the car.
I then went up to the driver and asked for my money back so I could pay the taxt. The driver refused. So I had no option but to use the most powerful weapon at my disposal. My Voice! I shouted as loud as I could and when I want to m voice can become very loud. The driver who was much taller than me seemed to offer no resistance and almost srunk in his shoes as I shouted at him. He reluctantly handed over all the money to all of the taxis passengers. Then as some of the other passengers saw this and as he didnt have anymore money to hand over as we sped off a bloody great fight followed where the driver was flattened and th policemans hat was knocked off to my joy!
We arrived absolutely filthy in Nkwanta. I have never bee so dusty in all my life. I was overed from head to toe in brown dust. After we found a hostel to say the night we set about going to this mountainside village that we had hard about. Mount Dzebolo loomed over the town and apprantly but not in the guide book is a small primitive village called Shairi which is of spectacular beauty. But a pan in the arse to get to. Well it was a pain in the posterior to get there and the tro tro which would only take us so far had a puncture. We had to walk the rest of the way and then climb up the rocky slopes of Dzebolo. Futher and further up we went. I thought that the village must have vanished in a landsclide, but at that moment over the creat infront of me I saw the most amaizing sight.
Over the crest of the rock I suddenly saw the rooftops of the most delightful village that I have ever seen. I walked forward and suddenly the small children playing with wooden carved animals saw me and started to shout. Before I could even take in the amaizing gorge which the small mountainside village overlooked I was taken to see the chiefs. I dont think that a white person had been here for a long long time as all eyse were on me as I was led through the small winding alley ways between houses of all shapes and sizes clinking to the rock. How on earth could they hold on I thought. The buildings looked so fragile. Like you could shoulder barge your way through the walls at any one moment. I passed kids screaming at me, old men with no teeth looking in a melancholy way a me and women naked pounding what looked like fufu but certainly didnt smell like it with their saggy breats going everywhere and almost knocking themselves out.I was taken to a clearing among the houses that looked out over the ginats valley. What a fantasic view. The man who had led me there indicated for me to sit, so I perched on this amll wooden log. Not before too long these elderly men appeared all in long fine robes. They seated themselves on these logs covered with goat skins and they were obviously the elders of the village. A lot of commotion cfollowed and a small boy appeared and welcomed me in English. I am the translator he said. Then the elders spoke for five minutes to me. When they had finished the boy turned to me and said 'They say welcome to you'. Oh no I have got a translator who cannot translate. In the end it transpires that I was a bit naughty by going there as the normal proceedure was to offer the chiefs some schnapps. Instead I had to pay them a small nominal amount for the priviledge of seeing this beautiful village. I had to talk to the chiefs and grret them individuall and bow and shake their hands. I tried to be as dignified as I could. As dignified as a man with his hair in bunches in a grubby once white vest with a hole in caused by a snag on a thorn bush, dusty, sunburn, sweaty and confused. The saying of 'When abroad you are an Anbassador to Britain' came back o me. The man who first said that would turn his nose up at me if he could see me now.I was led around by a man who spoke no English and waved his arms at things which were pretty. I was allowed to take as many photos as I like so I snapped away trying to capture the beauty of the place. Children folloed me everywhere I walked. The man leading me didnt like this and lobbed stones at them and shouted at them in his strange regional dialect.I was taken into the enchanting small tumbledow houses where old women waved at me and slobber went everwhere as they spoke to me. Men came up o me to shake my hand and they all just loved having their photos taken. Many of the people there had black eyeliner on which made thm look very elegant.I was treated like royalty as I walked around and the only reason I had to go was bacause the road out of there back to Nkwanta is so bumpy and hazardous hat tro tros will only travel on a section of it during the day. None of the cars in Ghana have working headlights. So I bade them farewell and it was as if the entire village had come to see and wave me off. Loads of kids stood on the rocky outcrops above the village. Men balanced on the roofs and waved.
I turned around once again and where 100 plus people had stood only a few momsnts ago now there only stood one old man. I recognised this man as the leader of the group of elders. He stood with his long beard and robes flowing in the breeze leaning heavily on a knobbly wooden walking stick. I dont know why but I gave him a farewell salut, and to my utter amaizement and joy he retuened the salut. He stood to atention and his frail figure suddenly became erect and prous and he gave me a solmn salut before he tuened leant on his stick and hobbled off to te village. I made my way down the mountain with one final wave following the noise which would lead me to the babbling brook and the fork in the path. A small kid ran up to me and hugged me as I left. I gave him my last chewing gum packet and his face beemed with delight.Back on the bumpy road it was a hazardous journey. No lights in the tro tro as we bumped along and the boat banged open and closed with the force of the bumps of the road. It wasnt a road a all. It was just slightly worn down rocks. As we drove away the mountain from tip to bottom was on fire. A large controlled fire was burning away. It looked in the darkness like a river of fire or lava flowing down the mountain. It was an amaizing sight and one that I shall never forget. If only it wasnt so dark I could have taken a photo of it. My goodness I have taken a lot of photos in Ghana.That night I slept wll in Nkwata. The morning would be a long day of travels.
Day 117 saw a bright and early rise and a tro tro ride that unlike all the others was uneventful. No arrests, no puctures, breakdowns nothing at all. Just a long bumpy drive down from the Norther Volta Region to the second largest town inthe volta Hohoe (Pronounced Hohoy). We got to Hoehoe and my now it was mid day and the sun was blaring down and I was yet again very sweaty. You dont get used to the heat at all. You still sweat buckets and buckets. This was made worse as my travels in the hot yet dry northern region bugger up you ability to re-ajjust back to the sweaty humidity of this area.
So there I was back in Hohoe a place I hadnt been to since last December when who should I suddenyl walk past? I walk past this person, I instantly regognised him and he me, for we both turned round and said 'mole national park'. It was none other than Captain Corageous. The very same Captain Corageous who was with the young Ghanaian lady back in Mole national park and the very same one with his flip down combo sunglasses and specs. He saw me and instantly latched on to me. This is a 50 plus somthing man for goodness sake. Anyway we got chetting and before I could say 'weirdo' we were having beers in a place called the Grand hotel which is anything but grand. As it transpires he is a German called Hans who is going to spend a year in Africa. He has long lost the girl he was travelling with and he told me that she spoke no English at all and therefore had been travelling alone. I immediately understood that he was very lonely and in need of someone to talk to. As many Ghanaians you cannot get a decent conversation out of, even if you beat them with a stick they still are awful at expressing themselves or communicating in English. My goodness did the captain speak. Oh I must add that he introduced himself as Captain Corageous. This is not just a name that I had given him. Henrik, good old Henny when he was here made up that nickname which is derived from a Rudyard Kipling novel. But when he introduced himself as captrain corageous and held out his hand for me to shake I rather liked the strange old German who is far from home and very lonely. Well we steeled down to watch the football. The African nations cup. The semis are tonight. It has been a great tournament to watch and I watched the poor Ghanaians lose to an awful shock defeat to an even poorer Zimbabwe team in the stifling heat on board the Yapei Queen on lake Volta.
Well as magically as he appeared he suddenyl got up shook my hand with his emanciated little finger where he fell over while holding a glass bottle and dissappeared into the night. That was the end of Captain Corageous. The next day when I returned to the hostel the receptionist who normally was always asleep on the job told me my 'friend' had been looking for me. My friend I enquired, 'yes an old man'. Oh my, corageous had been looking for me, but alas I missed the strange German fellow.
Day 118 was more action packed and was a ture day of Adventure.
As I was still travelling with a German called called Barbera who was teaching me German words such as Schmutdzig which means filthy and Du Stinkst which translates as you smell. We decided to go to Liati Wote. I had previously been there back when I had done the Volta region last year but when we went there I only climebed Mount Adjufato which is Ghanas tallest peak at 885 meters high. There is also a lovely waterfall there called Tagbo falls which I didnt have time to visit last time so I was determined to do so this time. Tagbo falls is very very close to the Togolese border. Apparantly when I climbed the ardous trek up to Wli waterfalls last year we crossed unbeknowst to us into Togo. As the pathway up the rocky dense jungle slopes crosses over the international border. But the annoying thing is even if we could get into Togo in this area are no signs to pose next to in a picture to prove that you have been there, unlike I did when I crossed the northern border into Burkina Faso and played at talking very bad French with the locals.
Now to get to the small mountain village of Liati Wote is no small task I can assure you that. Everyone recogmends that you charter a taxi to do so. I thought sod that how do the locals get there. I found out and we managede to get to the small village for a fraction of the price by jumping in this absolute rustheap of a tro tro. How this thing stayed held together was a miracle. The joints were rusted to peices and the whole car screamed as if it was going to explode. Every now and again the exhaust would backfire where I would shout' ze Germans are coming'. This made the other passengers in the car look at me with sideways glances and made Barbera throw somthing she found on the floor that was not too nice at me.
We got to Liati wote and the first task was the climb the mountain. It really isnt that high but when you trudged up it like a crazy fool such as I am then you soon are breathing out of your ares. I wouldnt let myself have a drink until I reached the summit and wanted to see if I could get up to the top faster than the last time. Why do I do these things. But at the peak the beautiful views over the Togolese border were fantastic and I immediatley started to shout as loud as I could to create a loud echo that reverberated through the valley. The scenery was spectacular, something to rival the ruggedness of the lakes back home. Even though I had been there before this time it somehow felt more beautiful the second time round and I had a feeling that I didnt take it all in the first time. The butterflies fluttered around me of all the colours of the rainbow and the flies pestered me something cronic.
I took in the view and had a well earned drink at the sumit, before finding it much much easier on the way down the slope. I almost raced down the slope to the bottom and only slipped on the lose rocks once. It was a close shave as I had to clutch to the overhanging bracnces of a tree to stop me from falling to an awful demise at the bottom of the precipice.
Once back at the bottom and away from those pesky little black flies that swarm around your face, we set off along the forest pathway to find Tagbo falls. The woman in the village who sold lovely sweet sun warmed and quite alcoholic palm wine wrote down the directions for me. Things like go straight at the stream, thgose sort of blase directions. I didnt want to pay for a guide, as in Ghana they always make you or persuade you to take a guide. Then of course you have to pay the guide fee and they demand a tip. I dont really like having guides, but some places you need them. Such as Wli waterfalls. Because to get to thew upper falls you have to be a bloody bush tracker to follow the route. Anyway I am going off on one. We folowed the stream uphill through the buttefly infested woods. Soon we were deep into the forest and all I could hear was the squark of tropical birds and the hum of insects. Spiders the size of my fist crawled on the trees and lizrads that move their heads in a funky way scuttled around our feet. Suddenyl a small child broke through the undergrwoth and shouted ' I know him' at me. I looked at him and then the penney dropped and I realised who it was. It was the small child one of the two who back in December led us up the mountain. I was surprised he regognised me. What was he doing in the bushes with a massive cutlass anyway I thought. He ran up to me and hugged me and then was gone back into the dense undergrowth. We followed the stream and in the distance I could hear the din of water falling from a height. I rounded a corner pushing a piant leaf from my face and there she was. Tagbo falls, the natural beauty of a fantastic water fall surrounded by caves stood before me. There was not a soul there either. So off came my clothes and in my pants I jumped into the near freezing waters. Little fishes swam around me as I plunged under cooling my sunburnt, sweaty and dusty body. I stood under the actual falls and let the water give my back a nutural massage. I shouted into a cave and had to duck for cover as a few huge bats came flying out in a panic. It was like the scene from the new batman movie but not as macho (batman wasnt in his pants)! I plunged in again and againinto the cooling waters and when I picked up some stones they shone silver which is endemic to that area.
Eventually we left the waterfalls as we had to try and find some sort of transportation to get back to Hoehoe. As we walekd the path and re-traced our steps we passed a large group of npoisy Septics* who were beaking the lovely natural noises of the fores. They get everywhere and spoil the peace. I am glad that we had the pool and the falls to ourselves. I canot imagine anything more awful that trekking throught a jungle to reach a fantastic pool and having a bunch of loud billy bobs there disturbing the peace.
Eventually after waiting for ages in a palm roofed shack drinking palm wine from a lady who tried to teach me Ewe and whose kids ran up to me and grabs my arms and then looked at their hands to see if they were turning white a tro tro arrived. I bid goodbye to Liati Wote and we bumped back to Hoehoe to spend the evening drinking bottled foreign export Guinness in some shack with a man who kept calling me 'rasta' and trying to touch my knee. Thats a strange thing that is. Ghanaisn men will hold hands with each other in the street as they walk which is a sign of friendship, but no man will hold a womans hand as it is considered rude and naughty or 'Ungezogen' as the Germans say. I was sitting in the tro tro and a man next to me stroked my thights and said I had nice leg hair. OK then! Thats not the first time it has happneded. Ghanaian mens legs are not as hairy as the womens legs here. It is not uncommon to see a Ghanaian woman with a low cut dress on and a hairy chest and chin. Their legs are like the bloody black forest. I find it quite disgusting. But many female volunteers have told me that their host brothers who eneviatbel turn out to be perverts like to stroke their legs too.!!
After our adventures up a mountain the next day (Day 119) we decided to go to a small town called Kpando. Kpando is pronounced with a silent K. So you would say Pando. There are lots of towns and villages with silent letters in front of them. There is not much to do in Kpando itself apart from argue with tro tro drivers. But we decided to go to a small village outside the town called Fesi where there is a pottery of some reputation. To find this thing was a bloody mission and when we did find it it was closed as everyone was in church as it was a sunday. But some small child had seen two white people walking in the direction of the pottery place. The kids had told some old woman or something and then the old woman had told the women who run the pottery. Soon three women in traditional dresses came running from the church to where we were. Soon the place was opened and we were shown around. I ended up buying some small items. But if I had the weight allowance and the bag space I would have bought some of the very scary pottery faces and the giant pottery penises tat they had on display. They had the best pottery mini teapot I have ever seen, but alas it was far too fragile to take home. I did buy a small traditional drinking bowl for the equivilent of about 30 pence.
With pottery carefully wrapped up in Italian newspapers (where did they get them from) we set off to a small suburd of pando some 4 kms away called Tokdor. Tokdor is the port area of pando and has a famour Ghanaian market. But alas we got there and the place was deserted except for a crazy pregnant woman who immediately latched onto us and some rastafarian who saw my hair and homed in on me. Once I had shrugged off the unwanted attentions of those two we explored the coast line. The harbot area is not the sea but the mighty Volta river. The water and the banks are the communal toilet and bath for the whole village by the looks of it. It was bloody disgusting and I wouldnt dip one toe in that filthy murk. There were people washing, fishing boats painted in all colours and great hulks of once seaworthy vessels lying in the mud rotting and rusting away into nothingness. The place was a photographers dream. Kpando is also the home of a very strange place called the Blue of Ur's meditation centre. This uber religious place is rather bizarre and I thought worth a look. Basicallt some nutter had a dream where the Virgin Mary came to him and told him to make a shrine to her and her son some chap with a beard. He made a shrine on the rocks outside the town and these giant roskc have lots of large religious monuments on them and stautues. One large rocks supposedly had a star come heaven land on it and ever since that moment the rock had turned bleu. Bollocks it was bloody painted you could see the brush strokes. Some small man with the thinest legs I have ever seen took us round and explained that this was a place for all no matter what religion or denomenation to come and meditate and pray. When he wasnt looking we did a runner and walekd back to town. Too much religion in your face for my liking. There also is high up on the hill outside Kpando andother goant shrine called the 'Our Lady or Lourdes' shrine. There is some massive monolith high up and lit up like a christmas tree for all to see. It looks lilke someone has misplaced a lighthouse and the rotaing bulb has got stuck.
That was day 119 and I type this from a place called Ho, the regional capital of the Volta region and the former capital of German Togoland. A country that existed up until 1918 when the combined British West African Frontier fporces booted the jerries out of the continent.
This morning (Day 120 Monday 6th February) I left Barbera to go to Wli. I had already been there and now I am on my way back down to reach Accra before going back to see the host family in Kwanyaku before I fly home. I need to get a photo of Nana Ampin Darko the chief as all the time I stayed there he was near naked and not a pleasant sight to be photographed.
So I am on my own and travelled from Hoehoe down to Ho through jungle glades and winding roads that resembled a scene from the Italian job. When I arrived at Ho I spent ages looking for an internet cafe. The bloody thing worked for 30 minutes before it thoiught to itself 'what I am doing?, This is Africa I cannot surely work'. Then it promptly buggered off and left me fuming at the loss my my half written email.

So here I am and I am spending one night in Ho. But where to spend it. I consulted the bible that is the Bradt guide to Ghana and it said that the cheepest place to stay is none other than the......
'Young man, theres no need to be down, I said, Young man, get your feet off the ground etc'. Yes I am staying at the YMCA. The lady in the reception looked at me very strangely when I rocked up soaking wet from the sudden tropical downpour that we had and did the dance for her. 'What are you doing' she said. Then I tried to explain the YMCA actions to her but she looked at me blankly. So I went up to the most shabby flea ridden, disgusting room. No cell is more of an appropiate room singing 'You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal, you canhang out woith all the boys'. Then I stopped singing when an old man smiled at me onthe outside steps.
I can now say that I have stayed at a YMCA and not any. A YMCA in a place called Ho. I expalined to a Ghanaian that I met today what a hoe was and he looked at me as if I was Mr. Filthy and had just shat on his carpet!
Ho has not a lot to offer so I spent my time there talking to a girl with a skinhead from America. t after she had bored me about her tales of high school and showed me pictures of her blody dog I escaped and drank some street coffee with a man who insisted on calling me Colonel. 'Hi colnel' he said to me, 'I want to take you as a friend'. I said Ok then and we sat drinking coffee. He fell silent for a while and I observed all the people sleeping in shop doorways and the local nutters shouting at trees in Ewe, when suddenyl the man who called me colonel turned to me and siad 'will you find me a white wife'. They all ask me that. It is as if I am going to say 'yes I cam. Oh hang on heres is one I keep for emergencies such as this in my back pocket'. Thomas my host brpother is notorius for that and I couldne allow hism to look at my mini photo album that I had with me as I once caught him about to cut out the section of a photo with a girl I know in it.
I do not mean to sound like I am always slating and rubishing Ghana and Ghanaians when I write about the annoying things they do and their compleate lack of intelligence and common sence. Thats quite harsh actually, some are i ntelligent. But other will never learn. I love it out here and do not mean to come accross as horrible to this enchanting and amaizing country. Just sometimes things really annoy me and get up my nose. Like for example people hassling you. You cannot walk ten yards down the street without some Ghanaian 'pssssting' at you or some comment being flung your way. That fact vreally gets on my tits. But te rest I just ignore and carry on regardless.
All this travelling has ment that I have missed daer olf Peter Kofi Adu Essah's funeral. Or Kofi as I called him. The poor sould died before christmas and his funeral was on the 3rd. I will miss the bombastic old bugger and his strange ways. Who else would threaten to cane other teahcer from another school when our football team lost. For all his foibles he had a great way about him and he made my time here teaching in Ghana. I just wish I could have been there. But I am sure that he wouldnet really mind and he would approve of the bottle of waist and power that I bought for the teachers when I left , which caused a riot whe they drank the bloody thing, it ended up being hidden in Edminds desk where the eventually hunted it out and it was soon consumed. He was a proper alky himself and I think would like that parting gesture of mine. Rest in Peace Kofi.

Someone asked me today what I miss about England. It is strange as I was talking to someone abut this not that long ago. Even though I have only been in Africa for 4 months I cannot remember what my old/real life feels like. I have forgotten about many things that I would take for granted at home. Things like mobiles phones and choice. For there is not a ot of choice ehere in Africa,. Such as foods you have the choice of deep fatty foodstuffs or even deeper fatty foodstuffs with added sugar. hat odd to think that when I get home I will have the choice to choose different things, all sorts of things. From food to music. The only thing I can really honestly say that I miss is damn good old fashioned face melting rock and my beloved XFM. The music out here apart from the traditional drumming and the northern calabash guiater is blody aful and no matter how many times they play it, it will never grow on me.
I have leanr a ot about myself in my time here. I have been told a lot too. Many Ghanians just openly tell you something about yourself. Such as you dance like a boxer. I have also learnt that apparantly I look too mean. I frown a lot I have been told. This for Africa is bad as it means I am not approachacble (doesnt bloody stop them though). So apart from frowming a lot, I think I have become more relaxed, except when I have to argue to get antthing done. Also I think that I have now a stranger more sureal take on things and when strange things happen back I home I wont se the surrealness of them as everything is surreal here. Like waking up to a baboon masterbating outside the window and when you draw back the curtains and the big hair red bottomed beats sees you he doesnt stop, he just does it more ferociously. Now thats surreal. Especially as we started to clap him and cheer him on.

Tuesday 7th February 2006
I have now left the Volta region and after a long and very sweaty tro tro ride. On which I was ordered out of the bus by a customs and immigration ofricial who demanded to see my passport. Well my passport is safely locked up in Accra. When I explained that to him, well he didnt like it. But after a long discussion I was allowed back on the tro tro with out having to pay a bribe and off we went.
I type this from the incredible humidity of the capital Accra. The horrible stench filled my nostrils of rotting foods, faeces and sweat as I walked the 4 miles from New Tema Tro Tro station to the main area where I am now. En route I noticed that the old lady who lives in a cardboard box is no more. Where has she gone?

The plan now is to go back to Kwanyaku and see the bizarre host family who will no doubt try and marry me off or something. Then I wil return to Accra for one night and then fly home on the 9th via Amsterdam. Landing in good old London on the 10th at 8ish in the morning. Friday when I land, this calls for a piss up.

So til I next write about the last three days of my grand African Adventure I bid thee farewell.

Sleep tight my lovers
x x x

* Septic Tank = Cockney rhyming slang for Yank

p.s. Check out for some pictures of the African Adventure which I have undertaken.


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