Weekend in Accra

 Posted by Pat O'Malley at 8:01 am  Uncategorized
Oct 052015

Sometimes chance is amazing! When I arrived in the Accra airport I first had to show my Yellow Fever certificate, and then proceed into the immigration line.  It had been a long trip, so I know I was a bit hazy, and was trying to make sure that I did whatever I was supposed to do. There was a woman in front of me around my age, so I asked her about luggage, and she said you would get it after immigration.  She then asked me if this was my first trip to Ghana.  I told her, yes, and explained what I was planning on doing. She was born in Ghana, but had spent 30 years in the US. She was a little amazed at what I was doing, and asked me many questions.  She said that she would make sure that I got my luggage and that someone was there to pick me up before she left the airport.  When we got outside the gate area, the person from GVN was there with a sign with my name on it, so I told her (Dorothy) I would be fine.  But she got a business card from her husband who was picking her up, and told me to make sure that I called her, and let her know how I was doing. 

I had probably been here for around 10 days, when I thought I would call her, and let her know that I was surviving just fine. It turns out that she and her husband run a Bread and Breakfast in Accra, and she told me that they would be honored if I would come and visit them, and that they would have me as a guest, at no cost.  I told her I would think about it.  It was a very generous offer, but she had only met me for maybe 20 minutes.  I also wasn’t sure how I would get to Accra since I wasn’t comfortable taking a totro. But I told her I would think about it.  I called her a couple weeks later, and said if the offer was still open, that I would like to come visit the first weekend in October, and this was fine for her.  I was able to get a taxi to take me there and back, for about $30 each way (it’s about an hour and a half to 2 hour drive).

So Friday afternoon we left for Accra, and I was at the Bed and Breakfast by 3 pm.  I told Dorothy that compared to where I was living, this was the Taj Mahal! My room had its own bathroom, with running water and a shower.  There was also air conditioning and a working TV.  Plus she has laundry service, and had told me to bring my laundry, so not only was it done by a machine instead of a bucket, but I didn’t even have to do it.  Dinner was at 4, chicken with a red sauce, and many different vegetables, and fruit. After dinner we dove into the city to pick up some pictures that Seth had ordered from a shop and walked around a little. But it does start to get dark around 6 pm, so we headed back.

We went back into the city on Saturday and did some shopping. Accra is a very big city, and I’m sure I saw only a small section. There are people selling things on all the sidewalks. But then again, there are people selling things on all the streets, and try to sell you things while you sit at a traffic light or in traffic. I was paying more attention to this today. There are the regular things like plantain chips, water, drinks, bread, candy, other food items; but then there are random things that people will be selling, like a plastic first aid kit, or dog leashes or exit signs. It is interesting. Anyway, the city, like all of Ghana, has a lot of garbage around, which I’m sure they are used to, but for me, and I’m sure other tourist, it is bothersome.

We went to an “Arts and Crafts” area, where local people make and sell things. However, the custom is for them to tell you a high price and then you argue with them until you get to an agreed price. Well I don’t even like to negotiate with a car dealer! And here, they will follow you and offer lower prices and ask you what price you will pay. Dorothy didn’t seem thrilled with this either, so we didn’t buy much. I’m sure I could have gotten good deals, but at this point in life, I don’t need anything, and it wasn’t worth the hassle. So we headed out and stopped at a resort that had tables outside that looked over the ocean. We had water and fried plantains, and sat and watched the waves. It was as nice as any ocean vacation resort. What I realized was how relaxed I felt there, which I don’t think I have felt since being in Ghana.

Anyway, we went back and made fish and vegetables for dinner, a tasty healthy meal.  After dinner we played a board game, sort of like Parcheesi. 

On Sunday morning we went to Church, they are Methodist, and both were Methodist pastors. But the service they attended was in English, very similar to services in the US, and I don’t think we were even there a full hour.  We didn’t do much the rest of the day, and my ride arrived to take me back at 2 pm.

I had a very nice time, and Dorothy and Seth are amazingly nice people, I can’t get over how fortunate I was that Dorothy was in that immigration line at the airport!


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