Ghana: The Rest of the Story

Imagine walking across a swaying bridge suspended over the African jungle with strange wild animals and countless trees below you.  Some may see this as terrifying; I saw it as an adventure!

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These narrow bridges are located in Kakum National Park in the Central Region of Ghana.  My group and I hiked up hills in all our sweaty glory, excited to get to the bridges.  Finally we made it, greeted by sights like this…IMG_7200

My only complaint is that I didn’t see any elephants.  All I could see was trees when I looked down, but it was still breathtaking.  Thankfully I’m not afraid of heights.  In fact, I love being up high and seeing things from a different perspective.  I felt like I was on top of the world!

Another place we visited in Ghana was a school located in the fishing village I mentioned in an earlier post.  This school helps children in the impoverished community obtain an education while getting access to necessary items (like clothes and toothbrushes) and health services (like dentists and doctors).  The school, known as B.A.S.I.C.S. for short, is called Brothers and Sisters in Christ Serving.

We got to spend time with the students at the school while they showed us things they had learned to make and a dance they had been taught.  My heart was full all day.  These children are incredible.

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This group of kids was playing Telephone with one of the volunteers.  The school relies heavily on volunteers and donations, so if you ever feel like making a contribution (which you can do through http://www.basicsinternational.org), I know for a fact that it’s going to an excellent place.

One of the questions I’ve gotten a lot about Ghana is, “What’s the food like?”  Here’s a picture of my meal on the first night I was there.

IMG_7019Rice is a HUGE part of Ghanaian meals.  Those things that look like hush puppies are yam balls, which one of the ladies we met up with told us tasted kind of like mashed potatoes, so I got overzealous and took two.  They did not taste like mashed potatoes at all, so I ate as much as I could manage to not seem rude.

I had so many kinds of rice at nearly every meal that I got tired of it.  By the end of the trip, my meals were looking like this…

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One of the places we stayed served us French fries.  Not exactly African cuisine, but I certainly didn’t complain.  While we were in Osu, the shopping district of Accra, most of us ate at a place called Papaye, which served “American” food.  I ate a beef burger there, and was a little wary of why I had to specify “beef.”  Not sure what else it would have been, but sometimes when eating at any restaurant, ignorance is bliss.  😉

Some other miscellaneous anecdotes…

I got an African name in the village of Efutu Mampon from the town chief.  Just call me Araba Baawa. 🙂

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People really do carry things on their heads like this…

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I once saw a guy carrying just a single, small water bottle on his head.  I guess he just needed his hands free!

The beaches, no matter how clean they are or aren’t, are all gorgeous.

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We ended the trip at the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at, Labadi Beach Hotel.  Our last day was nothing but free time, and I didn’t even leave the hotel.  I got a manicure, a pedicure, a massage, and I lounged by the pool.  Despite the worst sunburn of my life, it was paradise.

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Ghana was absolutely mind-blowing.  More than a year later, I’m still in awe that I got to go.  It was an unforgettable experience. If you ever get a chance to go, DO IT.  It’s not a typical touristy place, but that’s part of what makes it so genuinely beautiful.

I tried to include everything I could about this trip, but it would be impossible to put into words all the things I experienced.  I was surrounded by some of the best people I’ve ever known in a country so fantastic; if I left anything out, I’ve told you this, the most important point I wanted to make.  🙂

Medaase (thank you) for reading about my Ghanaian adventures!

-Ali

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