“Am hot not because i’m in problem…Ghana sunlight dense.”

This week I did errands. Today it was four. I am happy to be home at last. The dogs greeted me with exuberance. Henry jumped into the air. Nala wiggled her butt and tried to jump on me. It is a wonderful thing to be welcomed home.

The capital of Ghana is Accra. It is quite a distance from where I lived. The ride down country included a ferry ride from Yeji which is on the shore of the Volta Lake. We used to buy water in bottles while we waited for the ferry. We’d hold the bottles up to the sun and buy the ones with the fewest floaties which is what we call the debris floating in the bottle. Sometimes we’d buy the fish which was cooked over the fire, barbecued I guess. I don’t know what kind of fish they were. Most times we never asked what we were eating on the road.

Accra was Nirvana. There were movie theaters, restaurants and shops. The movie theaters were all outside. If it rained, we just moved our chairs under the overhangs. The movies were old, but we didn’t care. Our favorite restaurant was Talal’s near Peace Corps. It was Lebanese. I first ate tabouleh and hummus there.

We stayed in Adabraca at the Peace Corps hostel, 50 pesewas a night (about 50¢) which included breakfast. It was always a reunion of sorts there. I’d see friends with whom I’d trained but hadn’t seen sometimes since swearing in. We went out to eat together and roamed around the city. I did some shopping for stuff to bring home. The supermarket had an escalator. Ghanaians used to go for the ride.

I remember walking at night in the city. It was quiet back then. Sometimes I’d see some men sitting on wooden chairs on the sidewalks. I could hear them quietly talking in Twi as I walked by.

I had a friend visit me in Ghana. We stayed in Accra a couple of days. We took a taxi to the hostel. I gave the driver 20 pesewas, the going rate for anywhere in the city. He said 30 pesewas. I said he was cheating me. We went back and forth a couple of times. My friend waned to know why. I told him the driver wanted 10 pesewas too many. My friend said just pay him, but I told him it was a matter of principal. I told the driver take 20 or nothing. He took the 20 and said, ” I hate you Peace Corps. You always know the right price.” My friend got it.

The ride up country took forever. We had to wait hours at Yeji for a VIP. Finally we took off, but when we got to the terminal in Tamale, 100 miles south of Bolga, they told us no busses until the next day. The Ghanaians were not happy. They complained vociferously. The company gave us a bus to Bolga. It was really late when we got there. The driver told us to come back in the morning for our bags. I didn’t want to leave my bag. I pretended to climb the ladder to the bus roof. The driver stopped me and said he’d get my luggage. Bolga had one taxi at night. We rode it to the school. The driver told me it was 60 pesewas. I told him no. It was 40. He said I had been out of town when the price went up. I laughed. He took the 40.

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4 Comments on ““Am hot not because i’m in problem…Ghana sunlight dense.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Last night we had a fast moving cold front come through with straight line winds of nearly 70 mph. A large tree in the small city park in my neighborhood was uprooted. We also received some torrential rain for a short while and some folks got hail.

    Today it was cooler and windy with a high temperature of 66°.

    In most countries in the third world haggling is considered a normal way to do business. I had an instructor who flew for an Indian airline. He was in New Delhi to concert his Canadian pilot License to an Indian Pilot License. He lined up for two days at the Indian Aviation Authority and when he got to the counter they found some problem with his application. Another pilot suggested that he should return to the building and go to the rear door. There he found two men sitting at desks. He was told to give either one his pilot credentials plus 500 rupees. The man took the money and his Canadian Pilot License inside and returned a few minutes later with his Indian Pilot License.

    My father had a friend who was a Mexican National from Acapulco. He would travel to Dallas to buy sporting goods during the time when Mexico had a very high tariffs on imported goods. He told me that we Americans were stupid. When I asked why, he replied. “You Americans elect a President for one four year term and he can run again for another four year term. In Mexico we elect a President for one six year term and he can’t run again”. When I asked why his system was better, he replied. “If our President can’t become a multimillionaire in one six year term, then we don’t want him”. 🙂

  2. katry Says:

    Hi Bob,
    It is 38°. We will have rain tomorrow and heavy winds. Your storm is headed our way.

    There was bargaining in the market, but the taxi rides were set fares. The driver in Accra was definitely trying to cheat me. White people were fair game.

    Your pilot wasn’t really bargaining. He was paying a bribe. Police in Ghana would stop cars and demand a dash, money. I knew a volunteer who got caught with drugs. He paid off the police officer. That happened the first time I went back to Ghana. The policeman stopped my driver and said he had made an illegal turn. He had not. The policeman said if the driver didn’t pay him the fine he would take the driver to jail. I said let’s go to jail. He said never mind as he didn’t want the police to know what he was doing.

    Trump managed to make millions in four years off the government and his followers. Just imagine what six years would have meant.

    • Bob Says:

      So far all know about is that Jarad Kirshner received billions of dollars of Saudi Royal Family money to invest in his new role as a hedge fund manager. The Trump organization made millions by overcharging the government to house secret service agents, who were required to guard the President, while Trump stayed at Trump properties.

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