“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”

So far today is another lovely day. When I got the papers this morning, I could smell the scent of the flowers from my front garden. I had to stop to look and to smell. The air was summer. This afternoon the storm is coming with rain, heavy winds and even the possibility of hail. Right now with sunlight, small breezes and the singing of birds the rain seems improbable.

My microwave just died after a long and useful life. I will replace it today if I can find one I like. The dead one was small. It fit on an old child’s desk in my kitchen. My African cookbooks were on top, and kitchen towels were in the space beneath the top where school books used to be stored. I figure I’ll need my neighbor’s help hauling the old out and the new in. My back doesn’t do heavy.

The flight to Ghana is booked. We’re leaving on September 20th and returning on October 7th. The only glitch is a long layover in New York, five hours, before we leave. We’re hoping that may change by September. If not, we’ll be lounge lizards.

Traveling with my friends will be the best part of this trip. They are funny, amiable and sarcastic, one of my favorite traits. They will be driving from New Hampshire to meet me in Boston. We have a few places already on our to visit list including the new lodge at Mole National Park (http://zainalodge.com). It is expensive, but we figured we deserved it.

We have decided to fly from Accra to Tamale. The land trip is long and tedious, and we’ve done it enough times that we don’t need to do it again. I flew that route a few times when I lived in Ghana. It was a luxury on my monthly pittance. After the lodge, we’ll rent a car and driver to go to Bolga where we hope to stay in a former student’s new house. She is hurrying to finish so we can stay there. All we need is windows and a bathroom that flushes. I hate aiming at a hole. AC would also be nice.

I always knew I’d go back to Ghana. Over the years I said it many times when people asked me. I don’t know what took me so long to get there. Now I’m going to make my third trip in five years. The first time back I remember getting so excited as the flight neared landing. When I got outside the airport so many memories rushed back at me. The air smelled of wood fires and trees and thick bushes. I could hear Twi being spoken and Ga, the local language. The Ghanaians were hustling to make money carrying bags. That too was so familiar. They use to rush us at bus depots and train stations. I felt the heat and the humidity. I started to sweat. Yup, that was Ghana.


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17 Comments on ““It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.””

  1. Birgit Says:

    Sounds great, I hope your Ghana tour goes well and I already look forward to read new Ghana stories 🙂

    PS: This time I failed to see a connection between post and picture. Is it the title quote? I think I need a short extra lesson in American TV history.

    • katry Says:

      Thanks on the trip-it is months away, and I’m already excited.

      The picture is a tricky connection. That is a picture of Beaver’s mother from the show in the late 50’s called Leave It To Beaver. Her name in the show was June Cleaver!

  2. Hedley Says:

    Zaina = Crocodiles

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I’m looking forward to the river cruise and looking for those eyes just above the water!

      • Hedley Says:

        River cruise ? I forbid you to go anywhere near a river…those buggers jump and eat people and stuff.

        Who will be watching Gracie ?

      • katry Says:

        My Dear Hedley,
        I’ll go in the late afternoon after lunch!

        The same woman who stayed here the last trip to Ghana, the three weeks trip, is staying here again. She is the mother of one half of the couple who have cleaned for me for years. Her name is Lu, and she is great. She spoils the dog even more. She travels back and forth from Brazil every year. I was so hoping she’d stay here. I let her use my car as she doesn’t have one. I like she’ll be here 24-7.

  3. Richard Says:

    Storms, scents, and singings, eh? That’s not a bad way to do a day.

    I use a microwave for so few things … but I’d notice right away if it weren’t there anymore. Heating frozen TV meals or water for coffee are the primary uses, but it does them well. The property mgmt folks put in large GE ones, much larger than the one I owned. It’s functional, and included in the rental amount, so …

    Couldn’t but help notice some of the placenames in your post – like Mole and Tamale. Culinarily and interestingly, they seem to accidentally go together. It’ll be a plus if you can stay with your former student. Having done what you describe (e.g., the hole adventure), I can agree – and holes don’t flush.

    Just for the grins ’n chuckles, let’s take a li’l trip via the Wayback Machine and check out some rare video footage of one Mr Al Wilson as he performs what seems to have become an anthem of sorts to describe things varied et sundry: ‘The Snake.’ Check out the pimpalicious – yet subtly and righteously stylin’ – wardrobeness Mr Wilson displays with sincerity et aplomb. The presenter’s hair is just SO ’80s-ish. And now, to begin …

    • katry Says:

      Heating coffee is my main use and so I’ll miss it tomorrow morning as I won’t get another one until later in the day. This one owes me nothing.

      That’s true-I never noticed the connection before. Mole is pronounced just like the Mexican dish, but Tamale is not which is probably why the didn’t see the connection.

      Grace is in the midst of building that house. I don’t know how far she has gotten, but I know she wants it ready for our visit. Ghanaians build in pieces as they won’t build any part unless they have the money for that part. I’m just hoping the bathroom is in a built part!

      That outfit defies description. It’s the hat which makes the whole outfit.

      • Richard Says:

        That pic you posted of Beaver’s mom brought back all my hormonal teenage memories ‘cos I thought Barbara Billingsley was a hottie (even tho’ that term wasn’t in vogue then) … like JIM!may Cahtah, I had ‘lust in my hawt’ …

      • katry Says:

        I’m a bit amazed that Beaver’s mother raised your hormone level. She wore shirt dresses and pearls.

      • Richard Says:

        Kat, the shirt dress and pearls just added to the ‘hotness’ factor …

      • katry Says:

        That would never have occurred to me,

      • Hedley Says:

        Richard – Point well taken but Mrs Beaver was no Hayley Mills

        Right time for me to go “In Search of the Castaways”

  4. olof1 Says:

    Sounds like great travel plans! and I think flying is much better for Your back that anything else.

    I’m in a contsant battle with anything technological here in my home and it seems I lose every time. My microwave however works just fine but then again I almost never use it 🙂

    A hot and sunny day here but from now on it will be cooler and cooler. I don’t mind as long as I work but I do hope it will be warm again by the time I get my vacation.

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      I agree about my back. We are going first class so the 11+ hours in the air won’t kill my back.

      My microwave was pretty old, and it wasn’t all that expensive. It has lasted fine longer than I expected.

      It is chilly and dark right now. The sun was gone by the early afternoon. The weather said rain, but I’m not so sure. I don’t really care one way or the other.

      Enjoy your evening!

  5. Coleen Says:

    There is nothing better than knowing you have a schedule to hit the road!

    Don’t worry about anything…if there is a kink in the plans, you will deal with it. You, after all, are a seasoned international traveler!

    Can you tell I am very happy for you and your friends? 🙂

    Waving from a somewhat steamy New Jersey…


    • katry Says:


      I do like a schedule, but I also lean toward spontaneity. If I see something interesting, I stop. In Ghana that doesn’t generally happen, but who knows!

      It’s true I have traveled a bit, and the last three times it was by myself. That big step was Morocco as that wasn’t a country to which I was familiar, but I did just fine on my own.

      Waving back from a less steamy Cape Cod!!


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