accra, by day–the other part of Africa never discussed

I had hoped to take a tour of Cape Coast on our travels to Ghana. President Barak and his wife recently shed tears here too. It was the major trading location of slaves in the 1800s, transported to Hispaniola. This would have been a fascinating World Heritage Site to explore, ripe with Ghanian history. Curiously, Jim’s and my first date was to see the movie, Amistad. I recall him saying he didn’t want to watch a movie that was too deep. Funny, I didn’t get that then. Still don’t;)

Just as useful in really seeing a major continent’s travel hub is seeing its shopping district. No, not the one just for tourists, but for the people in the community. Just like our experience on African airplanes yesterday, our day today affirms that we westerners have oft-repeated misapplied stereotypes to Africans. They are not all in poverty. Some of them are stinkin wealthy folks. I’d be presently living near those folks, the ones with the administrative, governmental money. They are the stereotypes that don’t commonly get talked about… There is a great divide between wealthy and poor here, but the wealthy do exist in significant number.

We stood at the edge of our 34 Joseph Bros Tito Guesthouse compound and summoned two taxis. Ten cedis each…approximately $3.50 per taxi.

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We studied the map with Jim before we left. He had already been introduced to the frustrated cab drivers…they want directions where you need to go, where you are staying–we have to manage a two million person populated city that we’ve never been.

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Following Jim, Zach and Hannah…

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So we headed to this place…ShopRite…aka a local grocery store.

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Entering the doors, I felt I was in a modern shopping center, equipped with air conditioning.

We first entered the Bata store and updated our shoe choices at a third of the expected price…our new shoes were worn out after three weeks in the terracotta dirt.

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Then we went upstairs to check out the grocer.

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No wonder no one is buying yoghurt in this urban center…the price is ginormous to even us. That’s about $15 for six lunch-sized yoghurts.

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The tasteless cookie of Africa, Digestives…almost as ubiquitous as cornetto in Italy. But the kids love them…

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Trying to find sage for the missionary family that is temporarily at the Guesthouse from Nalerigu. They’re also Samaritan’s Purse doctors with two little girls from the States who plan to prepare sausage for dinner. Gotta have sage.

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Feeling another hypoglycemic attack (malaria induced?), I headed to buy water and a frozen ice cream similar to Ben & Jerry’s Raspberry with chocolate. YUH UM. Looks like a Canadian toonie…actually is a Ghanian cedi coin…worth thirty three cents.

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There’s a reason there are so many taxis. You have to avoid walking over these cesspools of potholes dotting your ‘sidewalk’ in front of businesses.

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We’d be fine to do so if we weren’t also having to avoid these…Vehicles a foot away from our pedestrian selves. And traffic on Osu was considered light today.

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I made up a joke yesterday: Why don’t Africans have roller coasters? Because they have roads!

Oh, and why did the chicken cross the road? To get slaughtered by a motorcycle for dinner.

Okay, so I won’t start blogging my jokes…

Can you see the vehicles just to the right of Jim, a foot away? Holy smokes, dangerous.

We were looking for this…Frankie’s. When we’d asked around, we were told THIS restaurant was famous for its burgers, falafels and it was guaranteed to be open, even on this “Clean Your House–Cholera Prevention Day”.

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And it DID deliver…

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YUH-UM. Haven’t had cow for a month.

Some of us were going from famine to feast. “Make your own African famine” by five year old Zachary. Despite having neighbours dying of starvation, he was still having issue with cabbage slaw and casseroles at House Six. So he was hungry.

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November 1 047He’s a bear coming out of hibernation…

And has been “first world starving” since we got here…a term I happily accept from my children now. “I’m starving” was hard for me to hear, but  “first world starving” is kosher with me;)

And I’m a North American woman coming off my coffee addiction with my first cappuccino…kinda salty…

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But it did the trick. After my coffee, my “malaria” headache resolved. Haha, might have been a misdiagnosis.

The kids will miss regular soda consumption…

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Etched on the table was a quote from Joe E. Leni–“I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating and in fourteen days I lost two weeks”. I’m not aspiring to heavy eating, but I feel his pain. And maybe five pounds…from each of us.

“Mom, behind you is the Eiffel Tower!” Madelyn was right. There it is!

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We had to stop at the bank because we aren’t eager to readily use our credit cards.

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Can you see the sign? Next to the Pizza Inn and Chicken Inn signs…Wash your hands to protect from Ebola and Cholera. And bring six bottles of hand sanitizer for your three week stay in Africa. The KFC was just a hop skip and a jump ahead of these signs. There are many interesting signs: the Hilarious Services (advertising passport photos and laminating services), the El Elyon Hotel, the Two Legs Haircut, and Boyz2Men (I think it was an art gallery).

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The kids enjoyed a half hour on a bouncy castle nestled on the second floor of a shopping center, while we took our only view of the Gulf of Guinea.

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We checked one other grocer for the sage we couldn’t find, and discovered the incredible numbers of North American food offerings nestled on the corner near a traffic circle. M&Ms, skittles, chocolate of all sorts. No, we’ve been carbed up plenty, so we’re not hankering for more. At least Jim and I aren’t. The kids got a reasonable bag of “Halloween candy” last night, as they each chose a chocolate bar for me to keep. Turns out, Zach even dressed up in his “Super Secret Agent” pajamas.

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I didn’t see much to bring home from Ghana, but I did see a potential Christmas gift for Jim in the Koala grocer…a George Clooney Cologne;)

And that was all our Family of Six could tolerate for this day in Accra, till we headed back home for afternoon siesta.

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There won’t be an Accra by night post…we’ll stay out from the mosquitos, the traffic and the “safety” of Accra.


One thought on “accra, by day–the other part of Africa never discussed

  1. I am so glad you guys are able to enjoy some of Accra. Soon to Belgium.

    Enjoy the rest of your travels. So how long do you have in Belgium?


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