I’m Ghana wash that man right out of my hair.

Posted September 29, 2016 by katry
Categories: Uncategorized

This morning I was up at 5:30. My friendly rooster was right outside my window. He and I greeted the dawn together though I refrained from crowing. Last night I think it was a bird which made all the noise. I remember thinking I’ll never get to sleep, and that was my last thought before the day and the heat had me falling asleep despite the noise

I am at the restaurant, but no one is here yet so no coffee. As bad as the coffee is, I still  can’t start my day without it. I was even earlier than the sweeper. She bends over and sweeps the grounds every morning with a handful of stiff, dried reeds. She sweeps then collects all the leaves lying on the dirt around the hotel compound.

The breeze is cooler this morning, but it will be hotter than yesterday’s 95. We went to see the house Grace, my former student, is having built. That meant a short walk through the uneven grass. It was no ladylike perspiring. I was a sweaty mess. Getting to the taxi was no relief. It was a wreck with the windshield looking like crackle glass, no handles on doors, torn seats and no gas cap. At least the ride was cheap.

Today is market day. The town is filled with women carrying goods on their heads to their stalls. They are wearing a combination of modern, their tops, and traditional clothing, their wraps. The market is divided in sections. You can find everything, all sorts of food, fruits and vegetables, eggs which may or may have been fertilized, live chickens, pots and pans, bruni wawu, translated as dead white man’s clothes because why else would they give up such wonderful clothes, men who sole sandals with tire treads, seamstresses and Bolga crafts. It will be hot today, but I can never miss market day. I’ll go to the bank first of course.

We’re Ghana get right back where we started from..

Posted September 27, 2016 by katry
Categories: Uncategorized

The mornings in Bolga are my favorite part of the day. This morning a rooster followed by two further away roosters woke me up. I could hear the women sweeping the dirt around the hotel compound. The aroma of charcoal fires sweetened the morning air. The breeze is ever so slight. It is time for my cup of coffee.

On Sunday morning iwasawakened bya knock on my door. There were 7 elephants roaming behind our lodges. They were stopping to defoliate the trees and bushes. It was suchasight as I hadn’t imagined.

We had two safaris on Saturday. The first was the game safari. Again we saw elephants but also baboons, some with babies, monkeys, two kinds, a bunch of warthogs kneeling so they could get the grass and Kob deer. None of this ever gets less than wonderful. During the safari we stopped for a light breakfast, coffee and egg sandwiches. The rug, mat, was strewn over the hood. A large basket held our breakfast. It was an amazing breakfast, rather a light breakfast as we had our regular one back at the lodge. The afternoon safari was through towns. We stopped at the Larabanga Mosque, built in 1421. We also took a dugout ride down the Mole River. Our last stop was at a village where they make Shea butter, and we were shown the process. Dinner, back at the lodge, was Indian food, remarkable Indian food as the chef is Indian. Just before dinner was the most unbelievable thunder storm. The lodge shook. The lightning was zig zag from the sky to the ground. It was across the sky in rows. The rain was torrential. It was awesome.

We left at noon on Sunday for Bolga. It took 5 1/2 hours. We kept running into small rain showers but no big storms. When we finally got to Bolga, we went to the Sira Inn foot the evening. It is owned by a relative of Grace’s so we felt a bit obligated. The place was awful. We had been at Zania Lodge, heaven, and now we were at one of the rings of hell. On Tuesday morning we hired a driver for the day,and we and our suitcases moved to Comme Si Comme Sa where I had stayed in 2011. They have a new building, and it is round like a traditional compound. My ceiling is rounded and covered in wood. The room is enormous. There is hot water and AC.

Yesterday we went to the bank, the PO and the market which, though a market day, was empty as it was raining. We went to SWOPA, a women’s craft cooperative where I got to shop a bit. After that it as to the hotel and rested. Last night former students and a teacher came to the hotel and joined us for dinner. We had jollof rice and Guinea fowl for dinner. It was a wonderful Ghanaian meal.

Today we are going to the weaving village and to Bongo a wonderful village looking like my Bolga in the old days. Now for breakfast and then more touring.

I’m Ghana love you like nobody loves you come rain or come shine.

Posted September 24, 2016 by katry
Categories: Uncategorized

The trip so far has been amazing starting with the hour and a half wait in New York. It seems that one of the deportees who had boarded the plane before the rest of us had gotten combative, and security had to be called to remove him from the plane. The remaining deportees were then guarded by security.

I am finding that this trip is a bit different than the last two in 2011 and 2012. Ghana is far more familiar. I know it so well now. It is not that being here is commonplace, but it is that I recognize far more as day to day life in Ghana. I see the women carrying boxes, enamel bowls or fruit for sale on their heads. They stand at red lights or tolls selling their wares. I just shake my head, and they move on. The scurrying goats on the roadside are part of the ride. My sweaty hair is as usual for the humidity and heat. Last I night I did relish the kelewele before dinner and gave thanks to the chef. Tonight he is making Indian food.

We arrived in Accra on Wednesday and were met at Kotoka Airport. Accra is huge now, and we didn’t drive by any place familiar on our way to the Triple Crown Lodge where I stayed before. It is on a dirt road so the noise of Accra is elsewhere. We went shopping at Global Mamas, a fair trade shop. I bought just because gifts for my friends (just because I went somewhere gifts) and some Christmas presents. We had Lebanese food for dinner. On Thursday we also did some shopping then had Turkish food for a late lunch/early dinner. Friday we got to the airport for our flight to Tamale.

We boarded the bus to the plane, sat for a while then went back to the hanger, got off the bus then back on and then we went back to the plane, and we finally boarded. It seems there was weather in Tamale. The landing is by sight, not instruments, we had to wait until it was all clear. That will change as international flights will soon land there. They are building a long runway to accommodate the large planes. The driver f on Zania Lodge was there so off we went. It was rained which continued for almost the entire nearly three hour trip (no Minnow though).

The lodge is extraordinary. It is built of many natural wood pieces and is decorated with Ghanaian handicrafts. The rooms are in chalets which look like safari tents. The walls are covered in cloth as is the ceiling. The shower is huge but hot water is at a premium. There is a cold chest of drinks. Local soaps and local lotions ar stored in small calabashes. We are currently the only guests. The back of the lodge overlooks a watering hole but no animals there yet as water is plentiful. W e went on our first safari yesterday and saw monkeys, Kob deer and, get ready for this, three bull elephants. Lunch and dinner were beyond delicious. The chef is Indian. I told him how much I like Indian food so it will be dinner tonight.

This morning we left for another safari at 6:30. We saw water and Kob deer, monkeys, a warthog and three more elephants. The driver turned the car so the back end was facing the elephants in case they charget and we needed a quick getaway. We stopped for a light repast packed be the chef. We had coffee, French press real, with real milk and also an egg, tomato and lettuce sandwich to tide us over until breakfast. The safari was for three hours. We got back to the lodge to find the elephants were there, four of them. Guides kept move by us back when the elephants moved.

We watched for a long time. It was amazing standing there watching those amazing animals eat. We finally went inside for breakfast. We told the chef no lunch though he insisted on making salads. Nope!

 I took a nap after which seemed like a whole day, but it was only after 11. At 3 we are taking a tour of the area as it has a famous mosque among other sites.

Before dinner we sit at the bar and enjoy a couple of drinks. I am very much looking forward to the ride and to dinner.

This place is amazing. The builders and owners include a former Peace Corps volunteer who was posted near mmany yea s after us. Here is just so

 lovely and so quiet. The staff is attentive and fills needs we didn’t know we had. Everything is inclusive. It is a treat we are giving ourselves.

Tomorrow we head to Bolga, and I’ll try to write again.

Fly Away: Lenny Kravitz

Posted September 19, 2016 by katry
Categories: Video

Fly Away From Here: Aerosmith

Posted September 19, 2016 by katry
Categories: Video

Posted September 19, 2016 by katry
Categories: photo

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“You either get the point of Africa or you don’t. What draws me back year after year is that it’s like seeing the world with the lid off.”

Posted September 19, 2016 by katry
Categories: Musings

Tags: , , , , ,

It has begun, the big day before the biggest day. My laundry is already being washed as is the quilt from my bed. My list for today has only three to do’s: change bed, pack and take Gracie and Maddie to the vets for nail clipping. That last one sounds strange, I know, but Maddie is tap dancing when she walks and Gracie is sliding on the tile floor.

I’m going to sleep on the couch tonight as the bed will be clean for my house/petsitter. My friend is picking me up at 6:40 tomorrow to drive me to the bus.

I always think how amazing it is to be home one day only to be far away on the next. Everything is different: the culture, the food, the climate and the language. Though English is the national language it has taken on a distinctly Ghanaian vocabulary, and you have to listen well at first to understand the sound of Ghanaian English. My ears are tuned.

It rained earlier, a pouring rain, but strangely, in the middle of the storm, the sun popped out for a few minutes then it disappeared and it started raining again. It has since stopped raining. I now can go get my papers without getting soaked.

I went to Stop and Shop yesterday and was completely lost. I was wishing I had flares. The store has totally changed since last I was there. I stood at the end of every aisle reading the signs hoping to find what I wanted. It took help, but I finally found everything I wanted.

My flight to New York leaves Logan at 11. My flight to Ghana (Delta 420) leaves Kennedy at 5:37. I arrive in Ghana at 8 AM. My flight home (Delta 220) leaves Accra at 9:45 on October 7. The flight from Kennedy to Logan arrives at 8:57.

While I’m in Ghana, I hope to write so you’ll know what’s going on and whether or not the sacred croc ate me instead of the chicken (just kidding-no croc this trip). We’re hoping to stay in a hotel with wifi. If not, I’ll go to the internet cafe. I promise to stay in touch.