Ghana Travel Stories, Page 20

Ghana Backpacker Network

Ghana Backpacker Network
Cape Coast Ghana
Monday, August 21, 2006

I am in the Sammo Guesthouse or Hotel or whatnot, it has a group of backpackers that want to talk….

95-100 percent of the Backpackers here are somehow volunteers, and then traveling a little after or before they volunteer. I have not met people just traveling in Ghana; they mostly seem to have an agenda then wrap it with some travel.

I have become cynical in the last few years of travel as the cell phone, email and chatting has almost ended conversation of intellectual value. The need for intimacy with other travels is almost over, they can be intimate with their friends at home, and do not need other travelers.

However, maybe here in Africa the internet and cell phones is so disrupted that the conversation returns. Last night some Dutch girl, complete with her diary with glued in object, collected ideas entered my world. She explained all she has seen, observed and has taken notes. This is refreshing and gives me lot of hope, maybe the world of South America 6 years ago now exist in Africa.

There is nothing I enjoy more, than listening to a person from a different country, a different culture, a different school, career, ideology tell me their new discoveries. I thought the cell phone had killed conversations completely, but not here in Africa.

Ghana Backpacker Network

Cape Coast Hope

Cape Coast Hope
Cape Coast Ghana
Sunday, August 20, 2006

I am traveling east towards Accra, Ghana, and then to Togo, yesterday I visited later in the day the Fort by something maybe called Cape Coast Castle. I am not happy with the Fort, not encouraged by the sight of it, more of a reminder of failure, not of hope.

The visit was marred by a man, or two men just in front of the canons, as we viewed down, the explanation of slaves, doors of no return, there is two men, one smoking a big fat marijuana cigarette below. The other man pulling his pants down in front of the canons, the whole groups of tourist, the guide, standing on crashing rocks, he drops his drawers, squats and relieves himself while all are watching.

After listening to the British did this, the British did that, and then sent them to America where the Americans did this, and then the slavers did that, I can only think, and he just did that.

I asked a Ghana girl, why, no reply, then walking down the beach, a good piece of ocean close to the beach. Another man is naked, sitting in the sand, pulling sand onto himself; I am surrounded by persons walking up to the beach to take a crap.

I asked the Ghana girl again,
- Why? -
She says,
- He is mad.-
I say,
- He is crazy. -
She says, not a concern, not a comment, not a wonder why I am curious, but she says,
- Yes, crazy. -

I have to get off the beach; I am in a land mine field of crazy.

I do feel hope, even though I see none. I cannot every stop believing that there is nobility in all persons, just needs to find a way out, and opportunity. I am not sure where, however, there is good strong fort, built to fight a war, to fight off the people that would take it away. It is large, many canons facing the ocean, it is first still in my mind a fort, then secondly a slave quarters, it can either be the place to protect the Cape or to keep everything inside, there is an irony to ever move in Africa, I see some happy faces. Then I see person grow older, learn an attitude, I hope they learn the best attitudes bring hope and the worst bring nothing but problems.

A wonderful piece of beach, near the Cape Coast Castle, time to make it a paradise and stop crapping all over it…

Cape Coast Hope

Andy Location in Ghana

Andy Location in Ghana
Cape Coast Ghana

I am today, August 19, 2006 in Cape Coast Ghana, I am traveling over land from Cote d'Ivoire towards Nigeria, then up towards Niger.

Map of Ghana

Map of Ghana, I came from the left and I am going to the right.
I am traveling by land from the West to the East, next countries are Togo, Benin, maybe Nigeria, up and to Niger.

Tokoradi to Shama to Cape Coast Map and fare by TroTro or Normal size van.

I hope to add the prices of transportation on all maps I post for the countries of West Africa. The big expense is not transportation, it is food. Then next it the price of room. The French countries or former colonies seem to be double the cost for room then the English former colonies.

Andy in Ghana
Andy Location in Ghana

Watch My Unders

Watch My Unders
Cape Coast Ghana
Sunday, August 20, 2006

Watch my unders,
Wash my unders.

I was warned, I am warned, I must be careful… There is danger in Ghana or Africa for me, and it is serious…. Hehehe

I was having a conversation with a girl from Ghana, she is studying in Accra to be a doctor, this is good. While in Tokoradi another girl commented or asked me if she could wash my clothing or if I wanted to have her wash my clothing, I have seen or felt this problem...

What is unders? Unders is underwear, somehow they have it shortened to unders with no remorse, thought, or care, it is how you say underwear, they are called unders. Maybe the Brits call them unders…

All this is not the story, the story is, I have been warned by an educated, wanna be doctor girl from Ghana, that studies in Accra, lives in Takwa, however says, Andy
- Wash your own unders…-
- Watch your unders...-

I must take care and count my unders, wash my unders, and be vigilant.

She warned me as to what can happens, she says maybe a person washes you clothes, you are not careful, they see your unders. Well, she take one of you unders and you do not notice, next thing she does is go to shrine and takes your unders. She offers you unders to the shrine, I lost it here, I am not sure, maybe she prays to the shrine, but the consequences are this.

After she offer my unders to the shrine, I will not be able to refuse her, I can never leave Africa, I will say yes to her. Maybe she wants me to stay, maybe she wants me to take here to USA, maybe she wants money.

I will not be able to refuse because what she is doing a spiritual thing, unless there is never a chance to take my unders. She must never have a chance to take my unders.

I asked her,
- Do you believe this? -
She says,
- Yes,-
She also says, English is choppy,
- Not only you unders, can cut your hair,-
- This is why some of the white people marry here and never go backs to their country, they will stay here until they die. -

Watch your unders,
Wash your own unders.

Photos of Africa

Photos of Africa
Cape Coast Africa
Saturday, August 19, 2006

Placing photos of Africa in my blog is difficult, I do this more when I feel or know I can do it the next day for sure. I do not know if I will have internet tomorrow, therefore hard to say to myself, do the work and put the photo into the blog.

Where are the photos…? ALL Photos I take are always in the newsletter, 100 percent of the photos end up in pages of my newsletters. Reading only the blog does not give you the 100 percent story, you must subscribe to the newsletter.

I am deliberating whether to put the links to the photos in the blog, seems sort of silly, however the RSS reader only people are ludicrously paranoid, they need to be control. I am thinking about how to make money, putting links in the blogs to pages of photos will make me more money maybe than trying to get subscribers to the newsletter.

This is a business decision, not a how to make life easy for readers decision. I believe the smart thing for my family, Mother and Father is to subscribe to my newsletter, it comes in their email box, there is no work on their part, they can read or not read. The RSS stuff is too complicated for my mother and father, plus I cannot read RSS feeds, they are almost worthless to a traveler, too much work for the amount or pleasure.

However, I subscribe to about anybodies newsletter if I want, I am not afraid of junk mail, seems like a natural part of life. I must always in my life separate the good from the bad. To exclude the bad is to for sure exclude too much good, I will read the needle in the haystack, I will not destroy the haystack, I will preserve it so I can find the needle.

The bottom line is this, if you want to see photos, subscribe to the newsletter, it is your best option by far. However, the blog has most opinions, and is daily.

Photos of Africa

Africa Micro-Financing

Africa Micro-Financing
Cape Coast Ghana
Saturday, August 19, 2006

Putting photos on the blog is work, typing about what I am thinking is fun.

Micro Financing is a new buzzword of the 80 percent normal planet, the normal under 10 dollars per day wages countries.

I am not sure how it works, but I guess the idea is to give very small loans to people starting businesses in countries that need more jobs to thrive.

Loan officers for the most are not too bright, they could not see a good business idea if it was offered by Warren Buffet. I think there are extremes amounts of money available in Africa, which could be loaned to Africans if it was a good idea.

This is essentially the problem with loaning money to people, 99 percent of the idea have zero creativity. Anywhere in the world, people are applying for business loans that is not a new type of business, just another person starting a laundry matt or another restaurant, not someone with a novel restaurant, just a twist of a the same idea. One does good and become a chain or franchise.

What is needed is Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates to come to Africa, roam around and think to themselves. IF I were living in Africa, what business would I start, if I wanted to invest in a business, what would this business be…? Entrepreneurial think tanks to make list of ideas for businesses that could thrive in Ghana or Africa, or South America or any place they complain and maybe need money; I am not really under the impression that these countries need money, the need the perception that they have a way to make money.

I see so many great money making ideas in places like Africa, the problem is I do not want to live in any of these countries.

Just yesterday I was in a store that sells illegal copies of movies, I purchased about 10 to watch, well 50 percent or 100 percent have a problem, and the quality of duplication is horrendously bad. I am only able to squeakily watch about 50 percent, the other 50 percent need to returned and replaced.

I can see that here in Ghana, making 100 percent good videos copies is and easy business to thrive in and grow, it is huge money. I think a person would have to open their own shops for distribution, because there is no quality control, I am sure when I return a movie the dingalings just put back on the shelf to try to sell again. There is ZERO moral responsibility to give a good product, the only goal is to sell the product and not have me beat them to death if they do not replace the defective.

This is where the money is located, in my culturally learned in the USA idea of caring about giving something of value in exchange for money. This small principle evades 80 percent of the planet. I was wondering to myself the other day, I have purchased a good pair of toenail clippers. The ones I have presently are great, they actually work. I need to test these devices before I purchase. However, the kicker is, why would a metal working company or factory tool up to make fingernail clippers that do not cut or work? It is a lot of work to make junk, the whole premise of their business is to sell something that looks ok, but does not work, I would consider this corrupt and they need to spend time in jail, they are evil people. No intention of selling a good product, only intention it to make the money.

Business on 90 percent of the planet is how can I sell you the minimums, and make the maximums. How little can I give and get away with it?

Letting a loser borrow money for their own ideas is crazy, they need to take some good minds, creative minds and find ideas outside the box they are living inside of and start business on the planet that are needed. Every country has good persons who have good ideas, how to find the one in a 500 is the problem in any culture.

Africa Micro-Financing

African Slave Fort Tour

African Slave Fort Tour
Cape Coast Ghana
Saturday, August 19, 2006

It is possible to think of Ghana as a great place to take a slave fort tour, the whole coast line is one fort after another, and there is history here, not clearly marked, nonetheless, there is history.

I do not think these fort would be accurately access if only thought of as slave forts. They are more than slave forts, as best I can see the business of slave trading went from the years 1444 to about 1888, about 400 years of exportation of black people to be slaves in other countries. The biggest type of forced immigration I can think of, now they are begging to go to America… hehehe, not a good joke, but still is correct, the people of West Africa are a little obsessive on the idea of leaving their countries, a little desperate and too easy on the idea, to quick to think it is a good idea to leave.

I am interesting in the Slave Trade Business, I am not sure I really care so much to see how bad it was. In the fort in Shama, the man or manager of the fort portrayed the harsh conditions as if they were torturing the slaves.

As a business owner, the owner of cattle, or goats as they have many here, they would not torture a goat or the cattle. It is what is raised or owned for profit, you do not try to kill you profits. Now, I have traveled the planet enough to know that caring about other people is almost none existent. The actual, I care about anyone other than myself is not normal on the planet. Therefore, it is easy to believe an ever-ignorant trader of flesh would probably not care whether their property lived or died. They would only care if the lost money. According to the availability of new bodies is how much they would care, if they could find replacements than no problem, let some die, do not worry, maybe figure out who is strong enough for the boat ride, and who needs culled.

I was chastised or told I was wrong last year in Niamey, when I suggest to the girl oh-too-lazy working for Oxfam that the chiefs of villages rounded up black people and brought then to the ships. She said, I did lot of research and this is not true. I personally know persons, she never read a book in her life, and this type of research is difficult, almost impossible in Niamey, Niger.

However, I am still wondering what percentages, how much did the local black leaders help. 50/50 10 percent help, and 90 percent fight.

I am thinking, I would guess, I could walk out of the room and buy a baby very easily. A mouth to feed, uninterrupted too many babies here, makes babies a cheap commodity if it was a commodity.

Cultural experience says or I would believe that there was a 90 percent cooperation and a 10 percent fighting off the slave traders. I think the leaders of Africa were probably collaborating in this time period to help the slave traders, not really fighting.

I am sitting here reading my Encarta Encyclopedia articles about Slavery or Slave Trading. According to the Encyclopedia hidden behind some politically correct ways of saying it, it explains that Africa would collect, and then take to the coast, where the Europeans would gather and take to market in other places.

This is a quote, trying to explain that Africa suffered from lack of business income when it ended; the leaders of Africa were out of business.

- The ending of the slave trade and slavery in Africa had wide-ranging effects on the African continent. Many societies that for centuries had participated in an economy based on slave labor and the trading of slaves had difficulty finding new ways to organize labor and gain wealth. Meanwhile, colonial governments in Africa that outwardly disapproved of slavery still needed inexpensive laborers for agriculture, industry, and other work projects. As a result, African leaders and former slave owners, as well as colonial officials, often developed methods of coercing Africans to work without pay or for minimal compensation. Moreover, the outlawing of slavery did not erase the pain and stigma of having been a slave. Many descendants of slaves were affected by this stigma for generations after slavery was abolished.-

I think the myth-making world has this idea that groups of people care what happens to people. The individual person wants to give groups, governments or business a conscious, Individual in my mind maybe have a conscious, some cultures more than others do. However, to cast a net over any people, race, ethnic or any group and say, they have a good conscious is naïve. Yes, with cultural change, a country does learn and enforce not essential ideas like
- Do not throw trash. -
- Slavery is bad. -
- Do not run over people with your car. -

I do not believe anyone in 80 percent of the planet would get in any real trouble if they ran over me with their car. In the small group of the Western World maybe 1/6 of the planet yes, but the 5/6s of the planet that is normal running over a person is an inconvenience, a sad happening, however not important enough to care about. If it was, they would drive careful, not the case.

Cars kill more people than any social problem on earth, which is my belief, nothing compares to the immediate threat of being killed in a car accident. It is your highest probability of dying in another country or even your own, AIDS is just a problem, cars are killers.

For me to study the history of this coast of Africa, I need to empathize with how the person felt. What was motivating a ship owner, why stop at the Cape here, why continue on, or go back, what they gathered to take back and earn money. Did they just pillage the local area to gather supplies, or did they survive by business. I often think piracy is the form of business before maybe 1880 was piracy or privateering and this nice idea of business happening was malarkey. A good pirate survived, a merchant had problems, they would to me, need to be good at both.

NGOs now are the new Pirates of the world; they are robbing the coffers of good people and pretending they are in the business of helping people. They try to keep cultures dependent upon the hope of a handout. They give just enough money and aid to stop the people from learning to help themselves, there is always the promise,
- We will give you money and aid-

The locals seem to be waiting for Godot, they wait, they wait, and hope their ship comes in; they all want to win the lottery. In a land or plenty, waiting for the lottery to come in is silly, when just the smallest amount or work is beneficial.

African Slave Fort Tour

Cape Coast Hotel

Cape Coast Hotel
Cape Coast Ghana
Saturday, August 19, 2006

I am in the Sammo Guesthouse or Hotel here in Cape Coast; I have some higher room that has a funky balcony with a view of construction and normal culture mess of Ghana. It is like looking down and having a child holler. Abroni or white man daily.

The Sammo Hotels is perfect for 81,000 Cedis or about 8 Dollars U.S., the price is right, the manager seem amicable, the restaurant on top has ok food with two girls that are totally clueless, but the food is still ok, even cooked by girls out to lunch. There are more than five travelers or maybe I should say person volunteering in Ghana but on a vacation of sorts.

The internet is not close; it is about a 20-minute walk from the room, however, close enough unless I found a popular hotel closer. I like to have a few Abroni or White people around; it makes me know I am in a safe harbor and less isolated. It is first time I have had white people around in any numbers for the last 25 days or so, I am not isolated from a possible conversation with people that speak English as a higher than 10 year old level and speed. The English of Ghana is ok, not exceptional, and the pronunciation of words is always on the missing the sounds level. Better than most countries, but the official language of Ghana may be English, however the language spoken is Fanci or Fanti, not English.

There is a restaurant on the roof, not know until by accident I learned, probably says in the guidebooks but who wants to read guidebooks.
I heard confirmation of a fear yesterday, as I was chatting away at the manager of the Hotel as he showed me a room. He remarks that there is some new management or whatever. I had just said sarcastically,
- The fan looks like it has not been cleaned for a couple of weeks. -
He said,
- No longer. -

I was think, no Sh T, the thing has not been cleaned for years, it had hair growing on it, the dust was so deep. He had it cleaned quickly, efficiently and hopefully enough.

The fear that was confirmed is I have been focusing on Hotels and not on managers. A hotel is not the important thing to be aware of, it the manager or owner of the hotel that is important. If I collect on my site the hotels of the planet, I need to somehow discover when the managers and owners change to warn people of maybe a better or even dangerous situations as things change. It is like a travel agency, a good travel agent is great, it does not matter the name of the agency, the person is what is of value, not the company.

The room is great, I have no idea why Africa never give me a top sheet, a person needs to carry a sheet, sleeping bag liner, or some light cover. It is needed, it is not hot, the cool winds coming off the ocean her like the word cape would say, could be too cold. Turn on the fan and you need a light something to block the breeze of the fan, no fan and you start to need air.

Hot water has left the building, I am very glad I cook my own.

Cape Coast Hotel