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Ghana

Ghana to Ethiopia or Ethiopia to Ghana

Ghana to Ethiopia or Ethiopia to Ghana
Katmandu, Nepal Asia
January 31, 2007

I have had a difficult decision to make, I finally have found a good reason to travel from Ghana to Ethiopia or from West to East, and not from Ethiopia to Ghana.

I am making a land trip of about 4500 miles across the center of Africa. This trip could be dangerous, or as normal, it could just be hard on my butt. This is a lot of sitting on my butt time, I think maybe I averaged about 25 miles per hour the last time in West Africa; therefore I have about 180 hours of butt time. This is not bad, just about 7.5 days of travel.

Why travel from Ghana to Ethiopia?
If I start in Ghana or Togo, I can have two months of French practice before I enter the Congo.



I learned that the Congo uses the language of French as their business language. My travel French is about a 2 and I need to get it up to a 5 or 6 on a 10-point scale. Therefore, if I travel in Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon and miscellaneous countries before I enter the more dangerous Congo, I can hope to get my French language skills up to a 5 or 6 and it will be safer. I will need less dependence on my instincts and maybe talking with the Frenchies along the way to suss out the situation. The majority of the French Expats I met on the Trip from Cote d-Ivoire to Niger by land last time only spoke about a 1 or less in English, therefore I was not able to discuss anything with them. I did meet ONE German and ONE Swede who spoke English well enough to explain some of the ins and outs of Africa, however generally I was on my own. The Peace Corps person did have an idea about the country they were in, but had little cross Africa travel.

Just what every Mother wants to hear, her son wants to travel across the Congo by land or river. I only live or die once.

Ghana to Ethiopia or Ethiopia to Ghana





Getting a Ghana Visa in Delhi

Getting a Ghana Visa in Delhi
Delhi, India Asia
February 12, 2007

I am in Delhi, and ready go leave... soon.

I went to the Ghana Embassy to try to get a Visa in the two days I am in India. As it stands now I am not going to apply for a Ghana Visa in India for a few reasons. The requirements here in India are more complicated than the ones in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and I do not want to comply.

Extra:
1. I must book a hotel in Ghana, or get an invitation. The invitation is more or lees crap and I am not going to get a reservation in Ghana or use my credit card online to book rooms in Africa.

2. I need to present a ticket and an onward ticket.

3. Letter of why I am going to Ghana.

4. As normal for India, they will not be on time or say how long the visa will take, maybe they will give me the Visa... ? (I cannot risk giving my passport I need to fly with tomorrow night to the India culture, or the Ghana culture managed by the India culture.)

I do not wish to fake documents or lie, it is annoying as Embassies do not create realistic requirements that make common sense. I do understand if they are making exceptionally strong requirements for India people, but I am American, not Indian.

I do not understand why countries do not copy the successful countries for tourism like Thailand and make life easy.

I believe all these requirement say to me, either fly into Abidjan or Togo and forget Ghana. I will probably fly to Togo.

I am supposed to be able to get a 7 day on landing visa in Togo, then get a longer Visa inside the country. I need to double check.

When applying for a Visa, a person deals first with the culture of the country, then with the culture of the Embassy of the culture.

Getting a Ghana Visa in Delhi





Why to Get Ghana Visa in Delhi

Why to Get Ghana Visa in Delhi

I received an email from somebody in Ghana, it was interesting and as normal when they are being angry, anonymous... hehehe

THE LETTER:
Good morning,
I'm quite amazed at your response! what nationality are you?
And aside from your nationality, what would be your purpose of
visiting Ghana?
With your attitude, you need to stay in your own country, definitely
if you cannot follow or adhere to our backward and thieving offices,
laws etc......
Do you know the requirements Ghanaians need to leave this country and
go abroad, i mean the flipping British high commission wants us to
apply for visa's six months in advance, Americans allow people to cue
for hours like slaves, and in one or two instances people have
actually died in that line, waiting to go in for a visa and go to
useless foreign lands! And you want a visa in two days! Pratt's the
most appropriate word i can come up with, like wise are the Ghanaians
who give stupid foreign embassies and high commissions the right to
treat them like cattle! And your entire attitude about the way we are,
not everyone's a thief you know? And quite frankly if that's the way
you feel, i suggest you stay away!
Realistic requirements, come checkout what your flipping country
requires of Ghanaians before you sit and judge!
Why shouldn't you state your reason for visiting, or why do you think
you should be exempt from these requirements! These are worldwide
immigration requirements, who are you to say otherwise! Don't judge
someone else's till you know what yours is up to! and what are you in
such a hurry to come and do here anyway. . . this is how we usually
end up with drug dealers, pedophiles, etc because no one actually
checked they had the right ties here or documentation! Please do not
even head to Togo, all their head offices are in Ghana. . . . go home
you flipping HOBO!

The bloody cheek of it. . . . . laws and rules apply world wide, abide
or keep striding to your own dXXX land!
Thank you!
An angry Ghanaian national!

HMMM. ANSWER

To quote myself:
When applying for a Visa, a person deals first with the culture of the country, then with the culture of the Embassy of the culture.

I never got near a Ghana person, and it is really annoying to go to a USA Embassy and never find an American.

India culture is a pain in the butt and full of mazes or problem. I applied for a Ghana Visa with Ghana people while in Abidjan and it was easy, fast and wonderful. However, the one in India was too much.

This is the issue.
If they had the Visa on arrival like Thailand, then more money would come into Ghana, and the world would not think so primitive. I have been there, it is nice.

The corruption in Africa is the problem and the reason for the long lines to go to the USA, UK and Australia.

I was frustrated, I wanted a path between Bangkok to Mumbai to Ghana to exist, and India is stopping this path for BACKPACKERS. Now, I will need to go Bangkok, Dubai, Ghana, IF there is a Ghana Embassy in Dubai.

Ivory Coast is easy for the USA, but for all others a pain, but the Visa Entente is sort of ok. I will FLY INTO TOGO and skip Ghana. Ghana is nice compared to Nigeria... hehehe

You as a GHANA person should be angry with your government, it is the reason nobody can get a Visa to the USA or UK, or anywhere, then the people are also corrupt to boot.

I am trying to find an easy path to enter Africa. The Africans have made entry into Africa so difficult, every traveler goes either to Asia or South America, Central American anywhere but Africa. I do not blame them, Africa makes life difficult, the cost of Airlines is crazy, the Visa Applications are difficult

Tell me the truth, is there a big danger from modern countries...NO.. this is ridiculous, there is a problem with Ghana people being let out of the country. They never go home. However, Americans, UK, etc, do not go to Ghana and live illegally, they want to leave.

So, learn, if you want the money to come in, you have to make it easy for the money to come in...

Whether I go to a country or do not go to a country is not a big deal, I go to countries that makes life easy. I travel for fun, you are angry because you want to escape, this is not the same.

Funny angry because we loaded them up to go the USA as slave, now they are angry because we will not load them up and take them again.

Why do I want a visa in Delhi, so people can enter Africa easily, this door is too tough and closed. I am not looking at Togo and Ivory Coast as better entries to Africa.

Why to Get Ghana Visa in Delhi





A Day in Kpalime

A Day in Kpalime
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
March 19, 2007

Today was a good day, rather hot and I am tired, yet it is interesting to enter a new city or culture. Moving cities means new friends, not people, not interest and new problems and solutions.

There was a man Michael from Ghana that stopped and tried to sell pants to the girls who manage the Hotel. He spoke great English and listens to the Voice of America, and BBC, was very interested to know my thoughts on the Bama or Obama, not sure of his name, a black or half black man running for President. I seen him speak on TV and was impressed with this directness, and honest appeal or nature. Plus, he did not seem to want to make his running a black / white issue, more of I want to be President of the nation issue, which is what it should be. Michael is paying attention, and I think a little surprised when I said, I think it would be great to have a black President. The problem, I was asking Michael was is he black or half black, I think the black people of the USA are not too open, they need to see him as who he is and not care. I think, or Michael was saying his name is from Kenya, and his mother I think, hmm, I think his mother is White. Not important or I guess, then maybe I would have paid attention.

I notice he was black enough to be categorize, either white or black or non-white or something, I really could care less, yet I would like to have a Black President, more than I would like to have Hillary Clinton as a female President, Condolezza Rice would be good, but I am not sure how to spell her name… hehehe

Girls Black, anyone that represents the country, and not a party, a person, a minority, but the United as States, not Europe, the USA. This is their job, not to be something to any groups, but to be something to the whole group.

Michael wanted me to go and watch the Ghana / Togo soccer game tomorrow, I declined, I was explaining, if the people of Kpalime seem me watching a football game, I would never be able to walk around the city without talking about Soccer, since I know so little, this would be very inhibiting and difficult.

The border to Ghana is close, I am not sure, maybe this is an official border.

A Day in Kpalime





West Africa Logging

West Africa Logging
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 2, 2007

I came upon an article of interest on the BBC about loggers in Peru and their fight with small groups of indigenous people.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6513117.stm

I tend to believe BBC makes up a heartfelt topic, impossible to disprove and creates a way for the NGO to advertise for people to donate or send money to the for profit world of Non Governmental Organizations.

A Christian Catholic Priest stopped me in the streets yesterday, I say, I have no money and I do not give to people. I do not even need to listen, I know the story. I listen to check him, then brush him off, saying, go talk to the USA Peace Corps persons, they are naïve.

There is always an essence of truth, maybe 1 percent, and this is real. The truth is, here in Africa, I think they have already logged all the best trees and they are finished. Peru or the Amazon basin is more primitive than West Africa and the territory is much more difficult to log, therefore more expensive and take better equipment.

West Africa is more or less flat, the highest mountain or small hill in Togo is something like 1000 meters high, not even a foothill in Nepal, and in Peru, a baby.

West Africa was easy and the Germans, Dutch and seem to have taken all the good trees.

Peru is mountainous, and the Amazon is on the other side of the Andes and difficult to reach for the loggers.

The rain forest does grow back, but not big, somewhat smaller and brush like; I am hard pressed to believe the oxygen being made is not close or the same as the big trees.

I am worried about the world turning the planet into a rice paddy lake. The amount of water surface being created on the planet is crazy; they need to grow rice without being in water.

The burning of Africa is a problem, bigger than AID, or SIDA or whatever the NGO-ONG’s think is sellable to the naïve public. Africa is the poster child on the side of a Milk Box. A great way to raise cash from good people and do nothing.

28 percent of Ghana is farmed and 46 percent of Togo is farmed according to my Encarta Encyclopedia. I see about 95 percent of the land as being open or possible to be farmed. The loggers have cleared the land, then the West Africa people farm around the scrag, they are the worst farmers on the planet, but they do not need to do well; there is an overabundance of farmland, food is easy to grow.

Now, Togo talks about Environment, I want to see where they are re-planting the trees.

Stop. I have promised myself I will ignore the NGO-ONG of the planet, the worthless bunch of users.

My guess is Togo and Ghana farm about 15 percent of the available farmland. This is not to say, there is just an empty field, it is land that has been cleared of the big trees and brush and junk trees and plant are everywhere. It need finished and made read for large scale farming and if not, replanted to trees, but more just sits and the people use to hunt for firewood to cook.

West Africa Logging




Togo Ghana Border

Togo Ghana Border
Kametonou Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 14, 2007

Michael and I took off by Moto Taxi and for 1100 CFA we rode from Kpalime, to the village of Kametonou right on the border of Togo and Ghana. We are still in Togo, but if I go to the bridge across the border, I can see the Ghana checkpoint.

The name of the village is Kametonou, it is more or less a border village, on the river that serves as the line between Ghana and Togo, or maybe correctly the bridge over the river is the line between Ghana and Togo.

The border police, one nice and the other suspiciously looking sat and made the Michael and the two moto drivers answer many questions. Michael underestimates highly the risk involved in dealing the officials of his own country. They shook us down for I guess 200 CFA or about 30 US Cents to go through a chain to enter the village. The proper official looks at my passport, cannot recognize or find the visa stamp. He proceeds to ask me find it, I am happy to put the passport back in my hands, and it never leaves again. I show him the stamp, and he says, it has expired.

I say, no, it is for one year, I show him, and he does accept.

Michael has no passport, and no identification, says his has expired. His risk here is about 4000 CFA, my risk is a camera, computer, etc and about 1000 in cash, he does not have any risk, and I am risking giving this to the officials.

The are about 85 percent good people and 15 bad.



I am very strict and stern, I say, I do not want to talk with leaders of officials of a country unless I know I am going to talk, Michael is not aware and is under-estimating the corruptions that is possible.

I am coining terms.

Africa Almost - Meaning, the got it almost ok, but in reality, not good at all.

I am going to go into this as an example arises.

Togo Ghana Border





Visa to Ghana Embassy in Togo

Visa to Ghana Embassy in Togo
Lome Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 31, 2007
by Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I went to the Ghana Embassy at 8:00 am when it opened, received a Visa to Ghana the next at 10:00 am. It is relatively easy, 12,000 CFA or about 25 US dollars for 30 days.

It was fun; I paid 400 CFA for a Motorcycle Taxi from the Hotel to the Ghana, Embassy. I am finally deciding, the most I have paid in Lome for a moto in the city is 600 CFA and the normal is fee 200 CFA providing I never ask the price before I get on the moto.

I needed four photos and one man had problems because of having a smaller photo, I am not sure, I was lucky to have two sizes of photos, I am carrying a lot of photos, however now I need a bigger size also to carry.

I took along an Hotel address to stay in Ghana, or the address of at Hotel, I am not sure, I think they needed it, but hard to say, I am not clear. I know the last time I entered, they needed a Hotel name and Address.

This was painless and interesting, some man from Australia, not too well dressed, wearing sunglasses or hanging his sunglasses on the back of his neck filled out the application in Green Ink. The one man came out and hollered at him, I gave him my black pen and thought; you do seem like a Green Ink type of person. The young man argued with the official man and I also thought, this is a great way to wait for a Visa for weeks.


The Sunglasses man was a volunteer, and I think every other white person in the room was a volunteer; we had time to talk because the made us wait for unknown reasons from about 8:00 am to 9:20 am when a man appeared.

I will never forget his words,
- No Visas today, I am already too tired. -

When I make an application for a Visa, I always allow close to five days of play time, I have discovered anywhere on the planet the application for a visa is a lottery on how the rules are enforced. If you are willing to wait, they will figure out how to give you a Visa.

I have three months to enter Ghana, after that, the Visa expires.

I repeated the too tired already to another person later and he said,
- Oh, he is not too tired, he is waiting to hear, I need it today. -
Then the man did this little hand gesture, I think it is the universal way of saying how to give a tip to the man. He did a twist of his hand, then goes submarine under the table.

I do not know, the man did look tired, the day before was a Fete or Holiday, this was the first day after a long holiday weekend, and for sure the man looked like he was dragging. I did not expect to get a visa the same day, so for me it was irrelevant. I truly believe a person should never plan to get a Visa in less than five days or they will be in a world of trouble. I never expect an rules or guidelines of an embassy to be obeyed, followed or to be professional, I am talking about all embassies on the planet, including the USA.

The Togo, Embassy to Ghana was nothing like the Ghana Embassy in Delhi, it was obvious here they were issuing Visas on a regular basis, and they were going to issue Visas. The Delhi, India Embassy serving the India people had this long list of onerous requirements and who knows which ones they would or would not enforce.

There are more than I would ever expect India people coming to Africa to work or live, I do not understand, they seem to come to manage a business, and there is less competition for workers or it is easier for them to find a job here in a way. Not really logical and common sense, but true there is more work here for people from India than in India.

No Visas today, I am already too tired... a great line.

Fun and games in the Embassy of Ghana.

Visa to Ghana Embassy in Togo





Ghana GPRS Internet Too Expensive

Ghana GPRS Internet Too Expensive
Lome Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 31, 2007
by Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Ghana is Not Ok for Mobile Office.

--- Unless you are a NGO with the normal unlimited budget.
--- About one-half months wages for one hour of surfing for the average Ghana person.

I am trying to find countries acceptable for a person who wishes to work by using the internet. I call this my Mobile Office.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/mobileoffice

David from MobileAfrica.net has made a good page outlining the options to use GPRS internet in Ghana and all the other words. This is for people who want use a cell phone and connect to the internet with their laptops.
http://www.mobileafrica.net/a91.htm

I was confused, therefore got some clarification on prices, the minimal cost with the cheapest provider in Ghana is 1 US dollar per meg, this is about maybe a third to a seventh the price of Satellite, therefore Satellite is maybe still a better option for the NGO - ONG pay-too-much people. For a normal tourist writing emails on Yahoo Mail or Gmail.com the cost would be roughly 30 US per hour, or more if you looked at any photos. Yes, a person can do many high tech tricks, however you have to be a whiz kid to use this cheaply.

I am told about the expensive price:
- This is Africa -

I thought, what does that mean, why is Africa so expensive, the average West African person make between 1 and 2 US dollars per day, so expensive no normal person from Ghana can afford to buy this, who is crazy enough to pay this?

Which I am told it means,
- Abnormal things are normal in Africa. -

I call this,
- Almost Africa. -

As normal in Africa, they make something that is Almost OK, but is not OK, good ideas but then refuse to give you good service or good value.

My recommendation for Ghana is to do the Ghana Africa Gouge thing, then when a person has paid in 30 US on a pre-paid card, then all kilobyte transfer afterwards to be free and unlimited. This is how Nepal is doing it; I think the best method of pricing for GPRS pricing, easy and transparent.
http://www.spicenepal.com

Mobile Africa is great page about Africa, sort of a digest of all headlines of GPRS in Africa, the explained and written well, however needs to work on using Euros or Dollars as common currency to understand and be a global community site.

Almost Africa, the electricity just went off here in Lome in the Hotel, the owner is out running around, a Frenchie guy, nobody can turn it on until he returns. Almost Africa, is almost ok, abnormal is normal, the most expensive internet in the countries that can least afford to pay it.

Ghana GPRS Internet Too Expensive




Are There World Nomads

Are There World Nomads
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

My answer is no.

Some I would say are so disorganized they are resemble Nomads. They will enter a continent and just follow around anyone or any groups of people that says this is the way to go. They travel until they run out of money and they go home, not really ever leaving one continent or region of his planet. I call them cling ons, a person who follows or clings so they have a path.

Characteristics of a Nomad

1. No Fixed Home
2. No planned destinations
3. Search for food or in today world money.
4. Do not need a house, they carry their hotel on their backs, can more or less stop and sleep where they wish.
5. Live or advantage from the resources available at present location.
6. Does not have pre-knowledge of the destination, must arrange all the living, food, shelter on his or her own without prior preparation.
7. Weather, move in accordance with the weather or seasons.
8. The travel plans change daily.
9. They return to good resource areas.
10. They do not leave on rain days or travel in bad weather.

I would say the pivotal phrase, needed to hear, is probably no fixed home.

The money, get me the money, the money is the problem, how can a traveler be a Nomad unless they have never ending source of money. I suppose I am moving technically more from a Hobo to a Nomad.

I do know a few close to Nomadic world dwellers, or people who go from place to place and establish fixed home for times between six months and two years. I met one in Lome, he more or less travels from Teaching position to Teaching position around the planet.

The greatest travel challenge I could envision would be to grab my passport, leave all the money behind, walk out the door with only the clothes on my back, and try to travel around the planet using no prior friendships or relationships to find help.

I am sure the Nomad conditions above, haphazardly listed is lacking, however, again, I will say, I do not know any Nomadic world Travelers. There are probably a few Nomadic wonderers in some countries, however even in Mongolia with their Ger or the Tuaregs of Niger transform and utilize a tent for a fixed home.

I tend to think their be Hobo more, people who travel from place in search of work. I am 100 percent sure there tramps and bums are very easy to find.

Are There World Nomads





2007 August 17 Leave Togo Enter Ghana

2007 August 17 Leave Togo Enter Ghana
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, August 14, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Travel Marker

I left Lome, Togo around 8:30 am and arrived in Accra, around 3:30 pm, about four hour more than I anticipated. The 15 Passenger Normal size van called a Tro Tro cost 39-41,000 Ghana CEDI or about 5.50 US Dollars.

The money was very confusing, because there is a mixture of new and old, and easy to get confused. I changed only about 40 US as I am told I can change easily in Accra.

2007 August 17 Leave Togo Enter Ghana





Is Accra a Clean Delhi

Is Accra a Clean Delhi
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Doucement

I said Bonjour to the man in the toilet, and then adjusted my comment to Hello. I am in an Anglophone country, stop thinking in French Andy… It would be arrogant of me to say I have any idea where I am, if I woke up wrong today, I could have easily been in Delhi, India, however so far Ghana is cleaner and has worst traffic. (I went for a ride in Taxi, I hit a glitch coming into the city)

Do I know Accra, I do not know Accra, and I have been here for about 15 hours and slept the whole time. People continually ask, do you know, do you know, do you know this or that, I do not know Accra, and now the debate is… no the fight is

Doucement

Slowly, gently Andy, relax, do not turn tail and run for Cape Coast, Ghana.

1-2 nights in a city, and you know nothing. 5 days in a city with a few friends and you know nothing. 10 days alone, and you may begin to figure out the public transportation. On a no budget, pay any amount of money taxi fare brain trip, you can learn a city, but not know the culture.

Slowly, I am saying to myself, you came here to get Visas to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. I need to get myself to relax… Aagh, as I type the word relax a car alarm goes off outside my room. I am glad I am not a superstitious person or this ironic coincidence would have meaning.

I could be in Delhi, or maybe in some Black Ghetto in Chicago as the music starts in the car, I have to say Black because I think most are now Mexican.

I have test ran two hotels so far, and I have seen one white person walking on the streets, not in the Hotel. I so far am the whole Tourist in Ghana, not a good sign. I will go today to try to get a Liberia Visa, I hope, I need to keep up the strength, it may be a better idea to go find English books so I can hide.

Is Accra a Clean Delhi





West Africa Pump Toilet

West Africa Pump Toilet
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Who to blame it on, the French or the English, maybe the Dutch, I am sure hoping it is not the Germans, I keep using them as the example of strict in the world. I wish I could blame it on the Africans, however, as best I can figure few inventions or new gadgets come from West Africa, maybe down in South Africa.



The Pump Toilet

Thank you to an Accra Ghana Hotel for the opportunity to take a photo of a Pump Toilet. This is not a normal push and it flushes toilet, it is better if you give it about five pumps and it works better.

Intermittently in West Africa, I have had this type of flush system in the toilets of the countries of West Africa. I am not above taking off the top of a toilet to make the sucker work, I make them work. Which is a real benefit here in this shared toilet hotel in Accra, Ghana. I do not work to take photos of toilets, they just expose themselves too often and I am in the right place at the right time. This toilet is in a shared toilet, and there is NO top on the toilet, it took zero work, the lighting was good, the situation was there, so I took the photo.

I am a mechanical whiz kid, which is real benefit in a world where 95 percent of hotels do not have maintenance men. When I see a maintenance woman, I will use the politically correct expression.

What you need to know, is if one push doe not work, try pumping repeatedly and it will flush. Elaine a Togo Hotel cleaning girl showed me how to pump by pulling a wire in Lome, I wanted to give her bran a nudge and say,
- Toilets should not need instructors after age five -

West Africa Pump Toilet





Ghana I am OK Give me a Book

Ghana I am OK Give me a Book
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I can feel myself recharging, I am gaining strength again, not because of Ghana, but because my happiness formula has more fuel. I could have moved to any new city, however leaving the country of Togo gave me the travel rush I needed, I have my fix.

Give me an English book to read and I will be good to go, when I need a fix, I can walk outside to the new streets of Accra and feel the sensations, smells, and noises of fresh chaos, waiting to be experienced. I can then return to my room and hide in the English book.

Normally in there is some Travelers or Tourist to sit around with and exchange stories, this helps to relieve the chaos stress. This is why West Africa needs designated rest homes, places specifically catering to people looking for other travelers.

I walk into hotels, looking for groups, small clusters of travelers, the
- Traveler get-together -
When I see these groups, I know I have a travelers home, when I see nothing, I am weak, I know there is no travelers information to be found, the next best option in Africa is a Expat sitting on the corner of the bar. He will know the city, not much on traveling down the road.

PS I am on day three in Accra, no English books yet, think I have to go to Accra Central with Taxi.

Ghana I am OK Give me a Book





Accra Ghana has Great Internet Cafes

Accra Ghana has Great Internet Cafes
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

The internet speeds were fast, I was able to use Skype.com, the FTP worked, there was Air Conditioning in the Café, all was great.

I must write emails Online.

I had only one strange problem, the SMTP or the sending using and email client appeared blocked. Either Yahoo or the local internet provider is blocking it, I am not sure, it may be possible to go to another café and have access. Dial up internet access often has this block, however not normal on has this, I am not sure I have ever seen on high speed access. Togo did not seem to have this SMTP block.

Nigeria appears to be the King of Scam, I am sure Ghana is not far behind, so maybe all the ISP are slowing down spam and scam the easy way, just block the country. Writing emails online is a slow and tiresome, however I can easily understand the world wanting to slow down the spam and scams of Anglophone West Africa.

I was able to put up another video, so this made me happy. Hard to get enthused about making videos when you need to wait five weeks to publish.

Accra Ghana has Great Internet Cafes





Sound Levels of Accra Ghana

Sound Levels of Accra Ghana
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Lying in bed in a Hotel in Accra, Ghana.

1:51 AM
There is music in the distance coming from a bar or a car stereo.
54-56 Decibels and when a car goes by, up to 64.

10:00 PM
My Radio Shack Digital Sound Meter was not reading sufficient sound level to read.
0- 50 Decibels, my guess is about 45.

2:00 PM
I turned on the overhead fan, the person below me had the same type of fan on, and the floors are made of wood.
75-77 Decibels

2:28 AM
The music in the distance has stopped.
0- 50 Decibels, my guess is about 40

A man yesterday in the Internet Café used a cell phone as a music player and the whole Internet Café also listened to his music.

The World Loves music, sports, religions, TV and many other sound making activities.

Decibels Typical sound
0 --- Threshold of hearing
10 --- Rustle of leaves in gentle breeze
10 --- Quiet whisper
20 --- Average whisper
20-50 --- Quiet conversation
40-45 --- Hotel; theater (between performances)
50-65 --- Loud conversation
65-70 --- Traffic on busy street
65-90 --- Train
75-80 --- Factory (light/medium work)
90 --- Heavy traffic
90-100 --- Thunder
110-140 --- Jet aircraft at takeoff
130 --- Threshold of pain
140-190 --- Space rocket at takeoff

I think yesterday was my first experience with the Cell Phone being used as a Music Player. I was not amused, and prevision of the future.

This Radio Shack Sound Meter is great, a wonderful device and a way to say to myself, yes, this is annoyingly loud and know I am not being over-sensitive.

Sound Levels of Accra Ghana





Ludo Togo Board Game

Ludo Togo Board Game
Lome, Togo West Africa
August 5, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com



Photo of the Board used to play the board game of Ludo in Togo.



Video of Two Togo Girls playing a board game neighborhood of Kodjoviakope on street of Rue Delta.

The Togo girls take turns whereby one person shakes two dice in a cup and bounce slams onto the board and moves board pieces

Yes, the Togo Girl was mocking me in English, her Christian name is Selonge, Mina name is Akpeenie.

Lome Togo is the Capital of Country.

Ludo Togo Board Game





West Africa Jump Gates

West Africa Jump Gates
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Friday, August 17, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I have two possible go by land travel path that lead to Jump Gates. Hmm, I know what I mean, but nobody else does, hard to ignore people reading unless you are just very self-centered, I try, but just hard to turn empathy off.



I am in Accra and the heavy black arrows represent the two possible paths towards I hope Jump Gates. I am in Accra, Ghana probably the best Jump Gate for travel in and out of West Africa.

I more or less try to travel between Air Jump Gates by land and when I play the Travel Golf wrong, I have to dollar-my-way out, throw them down until I can leave.

I am searching for the air ticket for less than 400 US one-way to London, England or Frankfurt, Germany, or 750 US to Southeast Asia. To fly into Paris, France is cheaper, yet when I land I get hike up by the French cost of living, so not much good. England and German are expensive; however, they have a realistically priced Hostel system if I am stuck.

The best way it to just Jump Jump, I can Jump Jump to London, Frankfurt or Casablanca. However, I am in Accra, Ghana and best to buy the ticket here unless I already am sure there is a ticket from any of the onward tickets is priced right.

I want to transit in Europe, I do not want to stay in Europe.

I want Accra to USA or Southeast Asia for around 750. Europe to USA or Southeast Asia for around 400, to go to Asia, it almost demands I go to Germany. I am traveling towards winter, so not good options.

West Africa Jump Gates





Ghana Farm Tractor

Ghana Farm Tractor
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Friday, August 17, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I saw about one Farm Tractor per month in Togo, I saw one along the road from Lome to Accra the other day here in Ghana. I saw many Car sales lots and one tractor there also.



I now have seen what I think is my third Farm Tractor in Ghana.

I think this is some type of Antique junk farm tractor; it seems to be in very bad condition and maybe part of the “Scramble for Africa.”

Cecil Rhodes around 1890 proposed that the best use of West Africa was for Farming, and over 100 years later it is still waiting to be used for cash crops, my guess is they use about 15 percent of tillable land.

There is probably enough under used farmland in West Africa to feed all of Africa and most of Europe. Therefore, what does the world do to feed Africa; they send Food, when somehow it would make more sense to send Tractors. I suppose the world leaders know, the African leaders would probably just put them back on a boat and sell them to Asia, so what is the point.

There is an idea, set up a tractor loaning volunteer agency, go and loan tractors to villages to take them from hoe farmers to producing enough money they can buy two cell phones and a motorcycle.

Ghana Farm Tractor





Accra Ghana for Airports and Visas

Accra Ghana for Airports and Visas
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Accra appears to be an almost ideal location to base the acquisition of Visas for West Africa. The airport is one of the cheapest entry and exit gates in West Africa and on average can be about 300-400 USA dollars cheaper than either Ivory Coast or Togo.

I have been having a few looks at this page to discover how to get Visas for all the countries to the West and North of Ghana; it looks like I can get almost all of them in Accra, Ghana.
http://www.embassypages.com/

I am probably going to apply for the Burkina Faso Visa on Monday and hold off on the Liberia and Sierra Leone. I am thinking it is better to take an upper road loop to Burkina Faso, Mali and on to Senegal, and then come along the coast back to Accra. I think some overland truck campers come this route and I can learn from someone who spent a year researching the trip before leaving.

Getting a Visa can be easy or difficult, Liberia wants three days, and Sierra Leone wants about 7 days, this is 10 days of living in Accra, Ghana. A person has to decide, do I want to invest 10 days into Accra, so far my answer is no, if this were Cape Coast, Ghana I would say yes.

I tried to ask the Sierra Leone Embassy how soon I needed to enter; I could not get by the reception person to find out the answer.

For example, I got the Ghana Visa in two days in Lome, Togo, I then had three months of leeway time before I needed to enter Ghana or the Visa would expire. This leeway time makes getting Visa too soon a problem, I got cheated by Niger and had to pay 40 US for a Visa because they refused to honor a valid Visa Entente because they wanted to ignore how the leeway and use of the Visa worked. The Visa attained in Cote d’Ivoire was good, but the time to cross Ghana before made confusion that helped Niger cheat me. Even the smallest confusion in interpretation and the crossing of a border can erupt into a pay questionable and more or less bribes to get it to work fees.

I need to get a Visa to a country less than one month before I enter if possible and not more than two months if possible to optimize my chance of not having problems.

The Hotel situation in Accra is close to bleak at the under 10-dollar price range, I am paying 80-100,000 for a great private room, with a shared toilet in the double road belt area.

I took a Taxi to the Crystal Hostel, it cost 15 US for a room, and 10 for a dorm bed, then the cost of a taxi back and forth to the embassies would be double the cost and double the time as it is out through a ton of traffic area.

The central beltway or the YWCA area would be the ideal location to get Visas. Anyway, I do it, two people make more sense for rooms in Accra, and I am tempted to think the George something hotel would be the best all around for a couple.

The best reason to be in Accra so far as of today is for the internet, it is Skype.com fast, I can connect my computer and make telephone calls cheap to about anywhere at some cafes. I was all excited because the Crystal Hostel has WIFI, and when I got there is was not on, and not being used, one computer and he said I had to pay if I did more than casually checked my email. The area is more typical Ghana though and would be more cultural than the central beltway, however to me strictly taxi.

I was hoping to find some Hong Kong style, Expat hangouts in Accra, however I have only seen NGO people and it looks like World Vision was building a new building. I am not sure, it seemed like the Crystal was out in NGO central, so maybe the reason for being popular.

I looked at my map; the Airport, Embassies, and Internet are my three reasons to be in Accra, Ghana. I am trying to suss out the city, however somewhere between the airport and the Embassy area would be ideal place to find a Hotel. I would expect to find an Internet café, as they do seem to be most places.

The big bus situation is semi-nuts, it appears I need to take a taxi to find out the cost and times, etc, and if I did that, by the time paid for that and did all the taxi mess, it would be just better to take off and hope to snag either a Tro Tro 15 passenger van and get to Cape Coast quicker in total travel time.

All in all Accra is a modern city; out towards the Airport I saw a mall and some large grocery stores, some huge housing additions. This all looks very modern; all the neighborhoods around the Embassies seem nice, shaded and pleasant.

I would say the Hotel I am in presently, however the Ghana people on the internet threaten me.
Senegal may have all the same Embassies, and I think more Western Countries do not need a Visa to enter. I think there are some surfers over in that area also to lend to beach life if it exist in Africa.

Accra Ghana for Airports and Visas




Finding English Books in Accra Ghana

Finding English Books in Accra Ghana
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Four nights spent in Accra, and I have not found one English book to read, today I get militant, I pay taxis.
I found a couple of Christian bookstore; however, I have not found one normal bookstore. I found some how to get rich, how to better yourself, do it yourself fix yourself used books kiosk stand next to a Catholic Bookstore.

The consensus is Accra Central is where to buy books, it is humorous as somehow they tell me to go to Accra, and then finally they say Accra Central, as I a say, I am in Accra. I am not sure what Accra Central means, I think I need to go straight towards the water. I have looked in all the hotels and not found any book exchanges, even the ones with NGO written on them in the guidebooks.

Isolation is a real problem. I found Red Storm Rising, by Tom Clancy on a PDF in my computer, started to read, the electricity was off so much, I almost gave up on reading books on the computer. I need to read the books on computer when good electricity, not when I run out of books.

Finding English Books in Accra Ghana





World Development Timeline

World Development Timeline
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Monday, August 20, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

It would be easier to understand cultures if there were colored identifiers on a continuum of different issues of a culture, because various aspects of a culture develop at different speeds.
Example: Telephone, Roads, Water,

I think Accra has some water and sewer problems, I was told about two months ago by people coming from Ghana to Togo that there were water shortages. I was reading in my Encyclopedia Encarta about water and it said about the USA.

1950s
- Rapid growth of industry, increased population, and rising per-capita demand created a national water shortage in the U.S. in the 1950s. -

There are timelines of development of cultures. I many what we think as underdeveloped countries the cell phone business is more developed than in the USA.

Accra, Ghana is a big two million people and Lome, Togo is about 750,000, therefore Accra is close to two or three times larger than Lome, Togo.

I would say Accra is experiencing many of the growing pains of the Water supply the USA experienced in the 50s, a more or less snapshot of problems of the 50s in the USA. I am not sure how the sewer systems compares, the storm sewers are being used as waste disposal, however the construction seems good or better than most countries.

The USA solved most of their water problems and I am sure Accra and the world will solve them also, I am not worried about whether they can solve water problems. It is he saying there is no problem, when there is a problem that is a problem, or when there is, constant harping of there is a problem, when there is not problem. Normally the water in West Africa seems safer to me than most of the world because there are few people. Accra does make me nervous, a big city in Africa and I start drinking the bag water.

There is probably this somewhere, they are just hiding it...

World Development Timeline





The Shower Step

The Shower Step
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Monday, August 20, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

This is a photos of a very nice common shower and toilet in Accra, Ghana in a Hotel.



I have learned my walking lessons too many times. This is a very nice ceramic tile, and there is a step down from the shower to the floor level. I have slipped many times on tile, inside a hotel, or outside in the streets. When I see this type of tile associated with water I become afraid. When I see a step, I become more wary, I am not sure of an solution, except to be super careful when choosing rooms or when you spot the potential danger.

Generally hotels built to be a hotel are a lot safer than homes or buildings converted to hotels. A room that has added the shower by raising the floor to allow for water and drain pipes also creates a danger.

The larger the hotel, the more likely it was built as a hotel, the more like a home, and the more they make these work around situations. The Hilton is safer than a bed and breakfast or mom and pop hotel.

The Shower Step





Got a Burkina Faso Visa in Accra Ghana

Got a Burkina Faso Visa in Accra Ghana
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I applied for the Visa in the morning and received the Visa by 2:00 the same day. It cost 100 US for a five year multiple entry Visa to Burkina, Faso. I needed three passport size photos and my passport, they asked for nothing else, very easy to get. The person wanted USA dollars and wanted a hundred dollar bill that had a date or 2000 or newer, he seem to not even think about Euros or Ghana money, just wanting US dollars, he told me the price in Dollars. I have noticed when something gets around 20 US; they say Dollars and stop on the Ghana money. I force the hotels and especially the taxis to say Ghana or USA, as taxis sometimes scam on the money issue.

The cost of a taxi from the any of the core hotel would be between 15,000 and 20,000; however, it is an easy walk from the double road, belt area or probably from Busy Internet Café area.

I wore long pants, and normal Reebok Gym shoes, not a good idea to be too casual when entering an Embassy. I had a black pen and my reading glasses.

The Lemon Lodge right next door has room for 98,000 including tax with shared showers and toilet. The place is bright and clean, however not a modern building, and I guess a person could walk to the Busy Internet or some other Internet Café in the neighborhood. I checked it out as a possible Hotel for the future. Ghana only gave me 30 days of travel time, and a wise traveler to Ghana would probably stay one or two night in Accra and leave if possible. 30 days is not a great deal of time. The Sammo Hotel in Cape Coast is the center for Traveler information in Ghana.

As I understand, Accra is the best place to get a Nigeria Visa even though they say you cannot get a Nigeria Visa outside your own country. Then if you are turned down here, you could try again in Togo.

I think what may be of interest is Accra Central or the market area, other than that, Accra is a city. The museum here would be very easy and convenient to visit.

As a rule of thumb, 20,000 Ghana cedi money will get you a taxi anywhere inside the ring road area on one-way taxi fare.

Got a Burkina Faso Visa in Accra Ghana





Depression Caused by Vitamins

Depression Caused by Vitamins
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I remember to take my Vitamins about 50 percent of the time; it is confusing when I travel from city to city. However, when I am stationary, I put them on a table and try to eat some in the morning, if I take later, they keep me awake.

I suppose I should obey the instruction if there are any; however, I normally take two multi-vitamins and two of some B complex Vitamins.



I took two of these Vitamins and two of the B-Complex. I then walked somewhere, upon returning to the room I fell asleep. The whole day was miserable; I slept and continued to fall asleep. I did the same thing in Lome, Togo and in was worried. There was some bad things happening in the day, and I know that depressed people sleep as one way to hide from reality. However, this is not my way of hiding, so to me was worrisome.

I am very happy to isolate this problem as feeling sleepy and depressed make travel difficult. On the day, I came from Lome, Togo to Accra, Ghana by 15 passenger van, or Tro Tro I slept in the Van. I had a truly miserable day and was very angry with the Tro Tro people; it was not a good day. On hindsight, I can see I was under the influence of these Vitamins and not alert and happy.

I have stopped taking them and will obey the instructions on any multi-vitamins purchase. The truth is, there are not any instructions, I will take just one per day, and I purchased these in the street from a girl who carries medicine on top of her head.

There are always rumors of fake medicines being sold, if I was to purchase antibiotics I would go to the pharmacy and hope.

It is possible the combination of the B-Complex and this Vitamin caused a problem for me personally. I was somewhat thinking this was just a monthly low or a periodic form of depressed state people have, however I now have it isolated to the pills.

The solution is to buy a big 200-500 plus bottle of Vitamins at Walmart and carry; this does however take up a lot of room.

For those off-topic people, I am only in the USA about 20 days per year, and it is not possible for me to prepare the same as 99 percent of you that are on Volunteer Vacations. I must buy provisions as I go, and in the countries available, I am not on vacation, I am a traveler.

Depression Caused by Vitamins





Tourist or Embassy or Volunteer Bubbles

Tourist or Embassy or Volunteer Bubbles
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Tourist Bubble, Embassy Bubble or Volunteer Bubble.



In West Africa, a different perspective would allow a long-term traveler to choose the travel flavor they wish to eat. The taste in my mouth of a country is determined by my choice of Hotels, and then by the way the people of the cities treat me. On the one bus in Accra, the man asked,
- Where is your team? -

He meant, what Volunteer or NGO project was I associated with, and where is their base.

There is one Tourist city in Ghana, and it is half a Volunteer City, that is Cape Coast. Accra has the flavor of an Embassy city or half a Volunteer city. The information that I read comes downstream from the mindset of Volunteers or Embassy people, I can feel them set the pace for what Hotels and Restaurants are haunted by the Tourist.

More or less, to escape a stereotypical treatment by the locals, see what some would say is the real Ghana, a person must leave the guidebook listed cities and pick X on the map to see the Country, otherwise there is this tourist channel or tourist track we are put in, I believe the average Volunteer is not aware how prevalent the stereotype is enforced by the locals as they are normally caught up in the newby experience of travel. It takes about two years to slack this off a persons back.

However, it you empathize with an Embassy worker, or a Volunteer Organization, or even a Tourist, which are very rare in West Africa, you can taste how the people in Hotels will greet you.

Note, most Missionary and Volunteer organizations are normally centered on the Tourist Attractions. If you go to Cusco, Peru, you will find many Volunteer organizations close to Machu Picchu and not the epicenter of needs, if there is a need.

Tourist or Embassy or Volunteer Bubbles





Boring Reality of Travel

Boring Reality of Travel
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I left my room early this morning to work in the internet café for a few hours, upon returning it started to rain. It slows, I start to walk around the block, I am caught in the rain, and I need to return to my room. I left a long umbrella in Lome, and have not purchased a small packable size yet, an umbrella is my standard gear, it is abnormal for me not to have an umbrella with me, and I do not wish to walk around with my poncho on, just too uncomfortable.

I am slowly reading the book Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy and the day is slowly passing. The boring reality of travel is I worry more about how to find something to do, then to having too much to do. Long-term travel is like being retired and watching shuffleboard, you want to say it is interesting, however some days you have to admit, you are just passing time.

I am very happy; I now have 13 books in English to read, to keep the shuffleboard travel blues away.

Boring Reality of Travel





West African Tsetse Fly Farming Mystery

West African Tsetse Fly Farming Mystery
Nkawkaw, Ghana West Africa
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

My mind is continually miffed by the question,
- Why doesn’t West Africa use oxen to plow? -

There appears to be or was the Tsetse Fly that was deadly to livestock. As best I can discern, this Tsetse Fly caused problems for Horses, Cows, Oxen, and other larger animals.

Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin all seem to have very few animals, while Niger to the north just below the Sahara Desert does have more Animals. The size of farm plots of one crop is larger appears much larger in Niger, than in Ghana. The gas or diesel tractor is rare in Ghana, however there seems to be more bulldozer and backhoes than tractors.

I believe the farming of West Africa is still being done primitively compared to the rest of the planet. Countries rich in land and natural resources, however not clearly capable of using them efficiently.

West African Tsetse Fly Farming Mystery





Nkawkaw Ghana

Nkawkaw Ghana
Nkawkaw, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I am in Nun Koe Koh or Nkawkaw, Ghana, on top of a hill, in the center of the city, looking up at other higher hills. As best I calculate the higher set are between 1000 and 2000 meters, however I am not sure. I am in the Hotel de Ship for 98,000 Cedi, with a shared shower.



Nkawkaw, Ghana is about 150 Kilometers North of Accra and a bus will take about 3-5 hours according to the traffic. I think a person should add one hour whenever entering or leaving Accra, as the traffic presently just seems to come to a stop.

I left at 7:00 from the Eclipse Hotel and arrived at the Hotel de Ship at 11:45, I was making progress about 29 Kilometers per hour.



To the Northeast of the city are some of the highest peaks of the Kwahu Plateau. Lake Volta is on the others side of these hills, and is a very large man made lake or reservoir formed by the creating of the Akosombo Dam.

This obstacle or set of mountains could be a natural cultural separation, I have discovered the next city northwest of here, and Kumasi was the traditional Capital of the Ashanti Kingdom. I asked a girl what language they speak in Nkawkaw and she says Tree, and says in Accra they speak Tree and Ga, I have yet to find the correct spelling of the Tree language.

Language is a cleaner separation of cultures than maps, in my opinion when a language changes the cultures will change. The people of Nkawkaw do not speak much English, the official language of Ghana however, in reality not the first language of use. I kept walking up and down the street looking for educated sorts to ask where an internet café was located. I have gone to my search for internet café, then search for hotel method for hotels search. I have successfully found an internet café, market, and hotel all in one area, and being the Hotel de Ship is on top of the hill and pink, it is an easy landmark Hotel and easy to find in the very hectic market center of Nkawkaw.

I can climb the steep hill to the hotel and look down into a valley of rooftops. Unfortunately, Ghana has adapted the steel roofs, as has most of the world; therefore, it is covered by rusted steel. The water here in Nkawkaw is much cleaner and the air fresher a pleasant and needed change from the city of Accra, Ghana.

Nkawkaw Ghana





Escapades in Nkawkaw Ghana

Escapades in Nkawkaw Ghana
Nkawkaw, Ghana West Africa
Friday, August 24, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Escapades in Ghana.



I walk out the room, I am going to the common toilet in the Hotel de Ship here in Nkawkaw, Ghana. The handle pulls of and the square rod that extends through the mechanism goes flying somewhere, I never did find it.

Toothbrush in hand, Macgyver in brain.

I am in a light blue, extra large towel, the same towel I walked around in my boxing argument in Badou, Togo.

Toothbrush, towel, not a happy man, there is no way to enter my room.

The African girl comes and wants to help, she tries to grab the handle and help. I say,
- You have NO idea what you are doing! -

She leaves... where I do not know.

I jamb the toothbrush into the square hole, pull on the door at the top with my little finger, wiggle it, work around and it finally opens.

15 minutes later the women returns.

25 minutes later a man comes to fix, however has no tools or handles or anything with him.

I had 25 minutes to pack and was on the way out of the room when the arrived. I would hate to not have a Macgyver mind. Mechanics is not on the high level here. I keep saying, dump the cleaning lady, what a hotel needs always is a maintenance man, maybe a women, they are both going to return with no tools, so maybe more work can be performed by a woman.

Escapades in Nkawkaw Ghana





Skipped Kumasi Now Mampong Ghana

Skipped Kumasi Now Mampong Ghana
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Friday, August 24, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I am not sure, hard to say, it is a toss up, however, Kumasi beats Accra for snarls of traffic. Accra, Ghana is really quite organized, on the inside of Ring Road, and towards the Embassy Cluster. The first time I entered Ghana, I came from Ivory Coast across, and more or less hit about the same snarl of traffic and took a pass on Accra, and went on towards Lome, Togo.

This time I entered Accra, however saw nothing that felt good in Kumasi and kept my bags packed, and went on down the road to Mampong, Ghana. It took about 20 minutes of haranguing with the taxis before one understood English well enough to help me, I was actually saved by a young girl walking by, she helped them to read the map and stay civil. I had to take a 2 Ghana Cedi taxi from one stop to the Mampong Tro Tro stop, then paid about 1 Cedi to get to Mampong.

I was 21 Kilometers outside of Kumasi, an I marked it as the village of Kona before I felt we shook off the metropolitan area of Kumasi, the city just never wanted to end.
Mampong is great, got a great room for 80,000 cedi, roughly 8 US and I am happy with fan, toilet, shower and quiet, I do not see a Church or hear a Church, I am crossing my fingers on the religious noise makers. I stopped at a Hotel smiled about in the Roughguides Guidebook and the radio in the kitchen was too loud, and the place was starting to run done the hill.



Skipped Kumasi Now Mampong Ghana





The Universal Language

The Universal Language
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

The universal language is hand signs, a photo can record one word, and a video is sentence. I use my hands, eyes, face and body to communicate.

“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”

- Bill Gates
Business @ the Speed of Thought

I made my first webpage about 12-14 years ago. I have been wading through gobbledygook ever since try to find the proper words to explain the world.

“To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given”

- Jesus Christ
The Christian Bible

I read the New Testament of the Christian Bible and still am in wonder of the profound use of parables.

I am somewhat giddy today. I agree with Bill Gates that the internet will become the town square of the world. I agree with Jesus, I do not want all people to understand what I say. Traveling around the planet has taught me a new language, I use my hands, eyes, face and body to communicate, it is amazing how well the world understands me when I close my mouth.

I really do not like the word giddy, however, I just cannot find a more accurate macho word to use, that explains my mood today. I have been working on my dream Hotel site with Andrew, Boy Genius from India now for a few years called HoboHideOut.com. Yesterday, I submitted a Hotel to my own site, I added the Auberge Mandela in Kpalime, Togo to the site and had fun putting up photos of the Hotel. I also became aware, the photos will tell more than the captions.

http://www.hobohideout.com/togo/kpalime/auberge-mandela

Which come first the Chicken or the Egg?
Which come first on an Internet page, the Words of the Photos?

An internet page with no words is invisible to the search engines, however the Chicken does need the Egg, and the Words need the Photos, however only the photo can speak 7000 languages.



There are 7000 plus languages on the planet, in the Global Village, and maybe only the Coca Cola symbol an abstract drawing to a Chinese person is understood by most, after that ambiguity rules the planet.



This Coca Cola Video is a one sentence of the Universal language. If you are not seeing a small TV screen, click on this link.
HoboTraveler.com Videos

This disambiguation of language is a photo, and to explain clearly I need an un-edited video. I can see clearly now, I understand.

The Universal Language





Mampong Ghana Bullfrogs Sounds

Mampong Ghana Bullfrogs Sounds
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
August 25, 2007, 2:47 AM
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Bullfrogs sounds in my Hotel Room.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/blogphotos01/ghana-mampang-frogs-video-city-hotel-aug-2007.WMA

Taia and Marc two Americans who came to Togo to Volunteer gave me a gift of a digital sound recorder. The device plugs into the USB port of my computer and I can download the sounds to folder or make a .WMA file.

Aristotle classified five senses as hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch, and Data from the TV show Star Trek the Next Generation taught me I am a sentient being. I am conscious of myself, I am capable of feeling and perception, what Data dreamed of, to be human. (Dreamed, intellectualized he needed.)

A sentient being has emotions, can hope to explain what they are emotionally feeling, not what they intellectually interpret they should think and feel.

Alex Garland in the book The Beach discussed the smells of travel.

Took about six million until 384-322 BC, Aristotle gave record or documented that he was a sentient being. Then more than 2000 years later we begin to create machines to remember.

Thomas Edison in 1869 patented the first voice recording device.

2007 is today, this year, 138 years later we are making some small progress on answering the question,
- Andy, what was Ghana like? -

I can say, look and listen, I hope to one day say smell, taste, or touch.

Empathy, this is my world, I try to feel what you feel. Somehow, I wish I could walk back into my cave and come out about 300 years from now.

Vicarious explanations of life, to push the button in a brain to turn on the imagination, so we can empathize what it was like.

Sometimes I do not want to explain what I feel, there world is full of dictators, saying, you do not have the right to feel what you felt, I know I am primitive, I accept that man is in constant denial. Stop this, stop that and we should stop many things, but alone in my room, I will think and feel what I feel full of all my prejudices, misinterpretations and thoughts that someone said I did not have.

Then when someone asked, what was Ghana like, with these new toys I am able to try to answer the primitive superstitious question,
- I do not believe you, prove it? -

I am fully aware, I can travel into the bush, come back home, and try to explain what I saw, and the same argument as millions of years ago will be repeated. I saw two lions, and another person will deny, and say they saw three.

Truth is, I would like to see one free Lion in Africa, and I would be happy, I sometimes get closer to primitive man, not sure it is a good idea to prove it, better to deny.

The sounds of Bullfrogs in my room in Mampong, Ghana on August 24, of the year 2007.

I am sure there is already more information recorded on the planet than a million men could learn in a million lifetimes, however, I needed something to do, I was curious, so I walk out the door and looked around. I like Data want to be human.

Mampong Ghana Bullfrogs Sounds





The Path in Ghana

The Path in Ghana
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Monday, August 27, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

“Your people went to the waterfalls”

- Naomi
15 year old daughter working at Video City Hotel.

I told her,
- My people did not tell me. -

I then said, in a flurry of silly comments,
- Why did you not tell me? -

I like Naomi, I have appointed her my Guide to Mampong with many problems, and the largest being I fear for her reputation if I walk around in the village with her.

I have been decompressing from Accra and Togo, I am not positive why I needed this…

I have been reading this too-many-extra-words-book, The Tailor of Panama, by John le Carre, this is maybe the reason. I have been on a book reading vacation as I now have 13 books and a few PDF storage on the computer. I have been economizing my books, and not I am on a splurge, I am no longer afraid to read a book, I know I have backup. Silly thoughts to have, however, I have seriously stopped reading because when I finished the last book, I would have no hope, now that I have hope, I have started to read again.

Ok, I have been taking this siesta under a nice fan, a book, a great room, a shower, a mirror, two windows, electricity and generator backup. I have been cleaning my clothes, I am on some sabbatical from Ghana, inside of Ghana. 8 US dollars a day and it is quiet, except for the one bullfrog night, and that seemed to be a fluke, two hours of bull.

I spent four days in Accra try to decide whether to go East to Ivory Coast or North to Burkina Faso, and now have been enjoying too much the relaxation of country life in Mampong, Ghana.

30 days, I am feeling the Visa pressure, amazingly small amount of time to travel in Ghana, the path is not clear, nothing makes sense, I am afraid I will find a made by Ghana rule and it will slap me side the head.

Ok, I woke up at 3:00 am, and said to myself, slow down Andy, take the time to go and see this Waterfalls somewhere in Mampong,

Ghana has many great Forts, many great things to do, and by the time I figure out how to do them, I say to myself,
- I cannot be bothered. -

I am borrowing a great British way to explain what I really mean. West Africa sits around waiting for someone to come, more or less the book Waiting for Godot, personified, a book everyone should avoid reading.

I think to myself, reading about what my people did, and think, I know what my people did, the went to the bar, there is no obvious bar in Mampong, so they went back to Kumasi or Cape Coast and got drunk. I sometime think, a Pub guide to West Africa is what is really needed, there is some always searching for a Pub and Restaurant mentality here, I am sure the Brits need to find their Locals and the American cannot figure out what to do after 9:00 PM and go searching for nightlife, and all that Ghana offers is daylife.

If the Western World cannot find a clear Pub Path, they go home, and for sure they have trouble volunteering where there is a need, IF there really is a need, I am not sure why.

I asked Naomi,
- What time do you go to bed? -
She says,
- 8:00, I watch that show Cape Coast Motel. -

There is this common TV in the Video City Hotel, and this slappy show called the Cape Coast Hotel came on the night before, after some MTN Cell Phone sponsored singing talk show, I parted ways and the Hotel Management group stayed to watch, in typical the manage runs the TV style, not important here, there is two stations.

I asked Naomi where the big restaurant was, she points this way, a sweeping hand wave, performed in West African style. I get tempted to grab there finger and pull it to the direction, because truthfully they have covered 360 degrees.

It was 7:00 PM, I was toasting Tea Bread, a not ready for prime time type of bread over the charcoals left from Naomi cooking Fish for Barcou or some La Pate wanna be, corn flour mixed with water. The fish sauce dip.

I toasted the bread, put some groundnut paste on the bread and had,
- Toast with Peanut Butter. -
Or
- Groundnut Paste on Toasted Tea Bread. -

I started to say,
- Naomi, lets go to the restaurant to eat? -
Oops,
I think to myself,
- Andy, remember she is 15. -

Joe, her older brother, manager of the Hotel, speaks perfect English after 6 years in England is my backup guide. A good guy, likes to watch Football or Soccer as does most of Ghana. The staff joins in and watches Football. I do not like to distract a Ghana person when they are busy with sports.

I sussed out from my 15 year old guide, it cost her 5000 Cedi or about 50 cents US to take a taxi to the Waterfalls. I suppose for me this will means 10,000 or 20,000 as we add on the White Man tax.

I have decided to go to the Waterfalls, I will get the best directions possible from Naomi at 7:00 before she goes to School.

The easy way to do this is to pay 10 US dollars and get a taxi to take me round-trip, however I would not be able to avoid having a cling-on self appointed guide, an ask too many questions person who never stops wanting me to take them to the USA . I will go and read my book before I take this option.

What is easy to do in Ghana is the wrong path to take, the easy path is annoying, the difficult path is fulfilling.

Naomi told me that a person can travel round trip to Kumasi in two hours. I could live here in Paradise, take a one hour bus trip to Kumasi Khaos, be a tourist and return to a pleasant place to live.

The Path in Ghana





Barfroat Ashanti Ghana Food

Barfroat Ashanti Ghana Food
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Monday, August 27, 2007

Deep Fried Food



I took a walk in search of a food called Achoma, and found the sister food called Barfroat. Yesterday, Sunday, there was a line of people waiting for Dora the woman to finish cooking the first batch. I decided to sit down and wait in the shade while they finished the cooking. I like them well done, so wanted to be last in line.

I decided, this looks like a good video, so I started a small clip, it was funny, I did not notice until I was filming, however there are a couple of girls that were fully aware as I was photographing their dip shower area. The camera was not able to catch them, however as I was filming the would occasionally pop their heads above the side and see what I was up too.

Notice at the end of the Video, a girl in a black dress, who has now on two days tried to repeatedly to teach me Ashanti words. Her name is Dorcas and the sister of the women cooking the Barfroat.

Barfroat is more or less an extra large Donut Hole, without them making the donut. I do not know presently the type of flour used.



If you received this in your email box, you probably need to click on this link to go and see the video. HoboTraveler.com Videos

After this part of various videos was done, I proceeded to eat one of the Barfroat; a man came up and spoke some English. He invited me into the home where I met his wife, and realized that Dorcas and Dora were his daughters. His name was Joseph; I took a video of the inside of the compound area, and the family welcoming to their house.

It was great day, then after that Joseph, took me across the road and I made a video of them making Fufu. To explain each of these situations I need to collect some words and a couple of extra videos so the stories are complete. I guess there is a need to return to see the future stories or videos.

One video would be of the inside of a compound home and the other explaining how they make Fufu, in Ghana.

Barfroat Ashanti Ghana Food





Mampong to Elura Ghana

Mampong to Elura Ghana
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Mampong was great; the room in the Video City has been one of the most relaxing rooms along the path. I was able to wash all my clothes and dry them under the center or the room ceiling fan, and Naomi washed five pairs of pants free. The room had a great mirror; I actually shaved twice while I was here. There is a continual problem of mirrors in West Africa.

I will travel today to Ejura, Ghana; it looks to be too easy of trip, as at the bottom of the hill from the Hotel is a large Tro Tro, Taxi stop that is full of vehicles. I heard last night from Joe, there are all night large buses that leave from Mampong for Accra, a person could get on the bus at night and arrive in the morning, a very good option from Mampong to Accra.

EJURA FORK IN ROAD - JUNCTION

I was not going to stop at Ejura, however, as I read my guidebook, and older edition of Rough Guides West Africa and I coordinated the map with the written text, I notices an option. Ejura is the fork in the road. I could go left on the travel towards the Monkey Sanctuary and Bui and Mole National Parks, or I can go right and go towards Lake Volta and Tamale.

The normal route appears to be from Kumasi to all of these locations, however not a bad route if a person wanted to travel up the West side of the country to Burkina Faso. More or less when I would get above the Ashanti state, I would be making a cultural change. In reality, this is sometimes like changing countries, I do not think this time it will be so, however is possible there is more of a Savanna Culture about 200 kilometers North of Mampong.

I have seen to many monkeys, not any desire for me, I have read again about Hippos in the North of Ghana and will try again to see Hippos. I will probably go right at the Ejura fork in the road, and travel north towards the lake, from this point on until Tamale, about 300 Kilometers I will have to hope there are Hotels, therefore, I need to leave very early in the morning. If no Hotel in Ejura, I continue to the next larger type village.

Mampong to Elura Ghana





Yeji Ghana

Yeji Ghana
Yeji, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I traveled from the Video City hotel in Mampong, living a life of luxury for 8 US dollars to a camping in the Alliance Hotel here in Yeji, Ghana. It two steps better than camping, however, it appears I needed to carry in water to the Hotel. The water in the Hotel is so bad looking, I am not going to take a dip shower. I would like to stay two nights in the city, however, it is hot and sticky, no shower. If I actually did not shower for two days, I would than still have an unknown amount of boat and bus trip ahead on the road to Tamale.

I am not into proving I can rough it, I am more into proving I can find cheap and good, making my life great in the middle of nonsense.

The English is on the bottom of the scale, there is no way to learn the local language fast enough to communicate and the people are not interested. I have many options, however, I do not know which city has the better hotel. Does Yeji have a better Hotel and I just have not found it, or does Makongo on the other side of this lake have better rooms.



I want to stay in this area of Ghana, however it would be nice to have a room with an acceptable shower. I know I could have stayed in Atebubu in the Kwapon Hotel for 90,000 cedi easy, and Prang had some hope. The road is great, so easy to travel from Mampong to Yegi, almost too easy.

I am now in Tamale. The Best hotel in Yeji is probably the Volta Hotel. Both Hotel are chopping the people on water. If a person wishes to stay in this village, they need to go and buy buckets of water if the hotel does not provide. The Alliance did not for me, so a person can go about another 100 meters from the water and turn left and the is a free pump for people. The locals would probably carry a few buckets of water for you. Three buckets of water is more than ample for two people on a daily basis.

NOTE: On hindsight, Yeji deserved 2-5 days, the village to the left of the harbor area are unique and Yeji is the only place to see this. The Volta hotel is better, however you must demand they carry good clear water from up the hill to the hotel for shower.

Yeji Ghana





Akosombo to Yeji to Tamale Ghana

Akosombo to Yeji to Tamale Ghana
Tamale Ghana West Africa
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

The last 24 hours, a roller coaster thrill ride through Ghana. I went to Yeji to get closer to the edge of the planet, then while I am in the Hotel about 12 after Volunteer Backpacker arrive. In the last 5 months, I have not seen this many backpacker in one location… TRAVELING

A ferry arrived that started at the Akosombo Dam in the south and ended at the village of Yeji 30-36 hours later. I heard it was comfortable and possible to maybe get an AC cabin. A good way to transport, not sure a good way to see the country. 12 people arrived in Yeji while I was there and we all went to Tamale together. I think every day around 7-8 one to three boats leaves for Makongo.

Anyway, I say it, I have to respect this bunch, they are the first group of people traveling in West Africa where a person could remove the word Volunteer and say they are backpackers. I was trying to get a shower and it looks as though none of the groups tried, they just made camp styled their way from the Dam to Tamale.

The maybe sad part, is they saw very little of Ghana, and mostly just survived the difficult transportation. It would take good prior knowledge of the city to enjoy the play properly. If I had known now, what I presently know, I would still be there. Yeji feels like a border town, as there are massive numbers of bicycles, showers, motorbikes and every type of wholesale West African type, we-buy-this product possible to purchase in the very large market. There are so many products the government will probably soon opens this huge concrete market structure just to get their hands in the pockets of the venders.



I took a great road for Kumasi to Yeji, and then the road from Makongo on Lake Volta to Tamale was a wide dirt road. Makongo seem to have zero hotels, so I needed to travel to Tamale.

The road labeled one pig road was great, the road labeled four goats was ok, and actually quite and easy trip considering the road was the red gravel. It looked ready to pave in the next couple of years, as it was very wide. The taxi hit one pig on the road, and our large 20 passenger Tro Tro killed four goats, as he did not slow down twice properly to allow the goats to move. The pig was just a stupid pig that ran at the last moment in front of the taxi.

So, where am I now, I am with three British Girls and one Dutch girl in a Whorehouse in the middle of Tamale.

Akosombo to Yeji to Tamale Ghana





Tamale Ghana Boom Boom Hotel

Tamale Ghana Boom Boom Hotel
Tamale, Ghana West Africa
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Surrounded by two to three cool Mosques, I am presently in a Whorehouse with four White Girls. The Mosque are new, therefore they have not installed the electric loud speaker systems and I went for a walk last night before sunset and smaller boys were singing the call to prayer without a loudspeaker which is quite wonderful. The loudspeaker transforms a wonderful thing into an annoyance.

Ok, we did not know it was a Whorehouse until about 8:00 pm where one very active girl proved she was good and pulled maybe five men into her room in the course of two hours. I went and checked up on her and she said,
- I am Ashanti girl whorsering to money. -

I unfortunately repeated the word she used in Ghana English
- Whoresering -

Whore - Ser - Ring

I repeated three times before I realized she was really saying the word Whore, and maybe I still have a 10 percent chance she said something else. Whores normally do not call themselves Whores.

Tamale so far is a Hotel disaster zone, hard to say what happened here, I will go look for a proper Hotel today again. 100 percent for sure, the Al-Hassan Hotel is the most convenient, quick, easiest transit hotel, however full of Ghana boys hanging around. I walked there first

Then a young man took me to this Whore House Hotel somewhat following the four white girls, which is more or less in the perfect location in Tamale, however what can I say, it is a Whore House.

All day long, it seemed to be just an empty centrally located Guesthouse and after 8:00 pm, the girls started standing in front of the place. The four white girls sat around talking, the three girls were Medical students, so more proper British girls than normal, although all with a beer ready to go. Well, as we sat there started to be a string of stomach showing, sloppy too fat girls with hanging body parts, not normal dressed Ghana girls waltzing back and forth by our table. Any way you do it this hotel has more respect for our rights than most, and tried their best to make us welcome. The men kept sending unwanted beer to the girls. I was laughing as they girls were in denial for the longest time and getting a little angry as I described accurately the women that were passing and the more or less made excuses for he way they were dressed.

I would say in British English,
- Look a fat, Ghana Slapper -

I guess, I got away as usual with some cheeky comments. The girls finally had to admit it was a whorehouse as it was too obvious.

Tamale, hard to get any bearing on this city, I would say it so far is about a one on a scale of one to ten for reasons to be here. I passed on the two stupid internet cafes I found so far. I will go look this morning for some acceptable internet café, and then try to find a hotel close. It is just an anal city, the hotels are too far outside the central city and only if you had a car would this city make any sense.

What happened when the bus arrived was this, all 12 backpacker reading a variety of guidebooks. The Germans had something in German; the Brits had this Bradt Guidebook to Ghana, as they wanted a just Ghana Guidebook and not the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide to West Africa. I have to ask, was this Whore House in the Bradt?

So we stop, everyone reads the book and takes off, I am still sitting trying to find one acceptable choice in my Rough Guide to West Africa. The city is more or less a four-lane road with a market on it, all the core of value business is by the market. I do not believe anyone hang here in Tamale for more than two nights, everyone as soon as you enter is offering you transportation to go to the Mole National Park and get the hell out of Dodge quick.

I was seriously considering doing this; however, I had this business reason to use the internet, so I need to use the internet to communicate. IF I had any idea where there was acceptable internet in any of the next cities, I would be leaving today also, I am tempted so far on Yendi, as it is the central village for some northern ethnic group and seem far enough away maybe from the Tamale NGO group to say the neighborhood is improving.

From Tamale to Kumasi is some of the best Farm Land I have seen in West Africa, flat, water, and rich. The land from Yeji to Mampong I was happy to see was full of tractors, and might be called the Bread Basket of Ghana. There was so much food in this area I wanted to stop in Atebubu just to eat.

Tamale is more or less a fork in the road that got too big as best I can tell so far, no reason here, unless you were hauling food products to sell at market. This is like Chiapas Mexico, tons of food to eat, and probably very little money in pocket as they are not organized farmers.

There appears to be a huge water problem in this part of Ghana, they appear to have all the water tanks and are not filling them properly. It is like the Government officials own the purified of filtered water supply here and refuses to put their business out of business by giving the people proper water. I am not sure, I think the water table is less than 100 feet down; the HUGE lake Volta is a flat distance away.

Ok, I left an interesting cultural village of Yeji and a good representation of how about 30 percent of the population of Ghana probably lives as they surround the Lake Volta, then came to this Whore House in Tamale. I have only found Hotels that a NGO would like, and nothing a Backpacker would like. I will try again today, a Slovenia man said about the one hotel,
- Nothing special. -

This interesting man and his girlfriend from Slovenia, took the boat, then the four hour bus trip to Tamale, then still got on another bus because they had already been to Tamale and went maybe another 3 hours to Bolgatanga below the Burkina Faso border.

When a person after two days of boat trip, no shower, off a dusty road refuses to stay one night in a city, this is not a good comment. I do not think they showered in two or three days, it makes Bolgatanga sound like a good place, and Tamale to say,
- Nothing interesting. -

I think the travelers sometimes are caught up in some need for a restaurant and lose the plot. Yeji was a great community to see real Ghana, or a more typical Ghana cultural experience, the Ferry arrived at 8-10 at night and they left again in the morning at 8:00, not stopping even for an hour to see what took a lot of work on their part, not mine to arrive at. The surrounding small settlements of Yeji complete with topless women and adobe huts, grass roof, and very clean compared to the dock area of Yeji were fantastically culturally interesting. I went to see something I have seen dozens of time, and all the people on the Ferry were shuttle out to Tamale, a nothing place.

Sometime the world is in such a hurry to not see a country, it is as if they are afraid to really observe and experience the true lives of people.

200 Kilometers to Wa and maybe Hippos and I do not know how to find an Internet Café that is not too cheeky to use. I go in 30 minutes to scout out Hotel; I will need my best traveler’s skills, and maybe pay five to ten dollars in taxis to find a hotel for 8 dollars.

I paid 9 dollars, the Hotels are bleak, the whorehouse hotel is better than moving, and so I am going to the next city. My advice would to either go to the Atta Essibi Hotel as the Bus stops just outside the city or you can tell them to stop, and walk there easy. Then leave the next day, or go to the Al Hassan and then leave the next day, all the other hotels need cars. The Atta Essibi needs a car also, but the one Ghana Taxi is easier and there is no clear reason to stay in Tamale, just a stop point to go to Mole National Park.

Any way you do it the Al Hassan is the most convenient, centrally located and does have some good rooms at the correct value price for Ghana. I suppose if for some reason I transit in Tamale again, I will go to the Al Hassan, as I know I did not stop to see Tamale.

What is different here, Tamale would be a good city to live in, have a family and a car, however just a four lane highway for a person with a backpack. The city sprawls for about 10 kilometers and just to the North of Tamale is very pleasant with a car. The hotels are for NGOs and the boom boom drinking alcohol Hotels, when the client does not want the religion people to see them, they have to be on the outside of the city and more Motels than Hotels.

Tamale Ghana Boom Boom Hotel





Bolgatanga Ghana

Bolgatanga Ghana
Bolgatanga, Ghana West Africa
Friday, August 31, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I am in Bolga, I have only heard one person say the complete name, I am not sure the locals would recognize the word. I need to say Bohl-gaa or something like that.

I am in a round city and not a long straw tube city. A round city, with a market in the center makes life enjoyable for a person without a car. Tamale was a tube city on a four-lane highway, about a fun as living in the interstate. However, for a person with car Tamale would be easy and Bolga would be difficult.

Tour guide approached me, this is great. There are people who want to sell me Ghana, and not sell me a Hotel. I do not really care about Restaurants and Hotels, in the end; I care about something-Ghana to look at, a tourist destination. Ghana is a full of Forts, and along the coast is easy and interesting, however inland is confusing because there are no backpackers finding the strangely little places of interest to then tell me or give me “The Map.”

Yeji was a Five-Star Ethnic or Tribal Traveler Destination, I think this rival the area in Iquitos, Peru called Belen for same set up. A person could go live in a moderately acceptable hotel and go walk around in the bottom of the development scale villages on the banks of Lake Volta.

Well, Bolga is supposed to have a Market, I think it is possible this is my new Mampong, in a cluttered sort of way. Mampong, Ghana was peaceful and I would say is a great Base to see Yeji. I now see Bolga as the base to go and see whatever is here. I am hoping to go to Wa and see Hippos, it looks to be about 6 hours of a rough van trip away, and I am going to STC Big Bus travel and see if I can make a large hop to save the Tro Tro fights. To leave Bolga by Tro Tro could be Chop City; this is more or less West African for eat you. The Taxi driver range her from 5 Dollars or 1 dollar, for the same trip. When the go for 5 they are trying to chop you in semi local gossip. Bolga is full of choppers and is a landmine city of chopping mentality, but that is 100 percent common in good tourist cities. You have opportunist and are targets, this is what was wonderful in a way with Mampong or Yeji, no tourist, so now choppers.

NOTE - I just walked around for the last two hours trying to find the market, there seems to be a completely empty new market, that is just sitting empty. The city is under construction and appears to be about three to four years from completion. This makes walking through the polluted water ditches an interesting hazard and one messy construction site being done in African time.

I have yet to find any open air vegetable and food stalls, like Atebubu, sort too small of convenience store food shops with a relief by being able to eat chicken fried rice for one dollar.

Bolgatanga Ghana





Sprinting West Africa to Find Bases

Sprinting West Africa to Find Bases
Bolgatanga, Ghana West Africa
Andy of HoboTraveler.com
Friday, August 31, 2007

Normally in the Americas, Asia and Europe there are backpacker Base Cities. In these cities, the backpackers sit around and can tell you where the next small base city is located. More or less the conversation goes something like this,
- We went to Cape Coast, stayed in the Sammo Hotel and end up staying a week. -

In Ghana, I would say presently Cape Coast, Mampong and Bolga are base cities. I go rough it for a couple of days going to a bad place to get a shower, hang out, and then know I am ending at a base. The problem here is the guidebooks are for NGOs, and do not think like backpacker. Being I do not have a 4-wheel drive, I need to find my bases.

I am thinking I may sprint travel Burkina Faso to find the base cities. Then returning later to enjoy the country. It is probably possible to be in Senegal in less than 10 days, according to how long it took to get Visas.

I am going to write my friend Stellan the bike rider and see if he can tell me some of the base cities. The Slovenia man I met could tell me a lot about Burkina, as he was a true backpacker. I need to map out all the smaller base cities or stocking up cities where I can recharge my batteries or the pleasant city and hotel to hang my hat.

What makes me think this were my last few trips. I Accra and was very lucky to find Nkawkaw, then I was going on a short trip to Kumasi and found Kumasi to be annoying to a level that I just got on the bus and went to Mampang. Again, I instinctively was lucky.

However, I have stopped now at every larger type city between Bolga and Mampong.

North to South

Bolga -Do not say Bolgabanga
Walewale
Savelugu
Tamale
Yeji - Lake Volta Hotel
Prang
Atebubu
Eljura
Mampong - Video City Hotel
Kumasi
Nkawkaw - Hotel de Ship

I would like to go back to Yeji on Lake Volta and say for three days, I now know I should have prepared in Mampong, and went and stayed in Yeji at a Hotel, and demand they carry clean water to my room.

On hindsight, I sprinted most of Ghana by accident and had no choice, any way I do it I sprint travel these countries by default.

I am sad, how can I return to Yeji easily? I left one of the best cities on my Ghana trip because I did not know I needed to stay. I sprinted through and on hindsight, I am sad. I am lucky compared to the boat trip people; they came in at night, left in the morning and saw nothing.

Why Yeji?

There is maybe High, Middle and Low development of cities. Then within any given city, you have the same Rich, Middle and Poor. The people living long the banks of Lake Volta are for the most part self-sustaining farmers and traders. The people in Tamale are doing something different for employment.

To go visit rather typical village in Ghana is difficult, there is no place to sleep. People drive in with 4 wheel drives, however not the way to understand people. In Yeji, the outskirts settlements are primitive, however just a walk away from a moderately ok camping hotel, you camp in a room. To walk around and not be the tourist attraction is what is needed. If I take a bus to one of the smallest village here, I will become the tourist attraction, as the village will come out to walk around me and look at me. While in Yeji, there was enough White people that stay for 2 hours of walk time. Therefore, Yeji is a great way to stop and see one of them small speck type villages on he maps and still stay in a Hotel.

Moreover, because Yeji is normal, the NGO are not there because it is not comfortable, while Bolga is full of NGOs. There are no Western style hotels for the NGOs in Yeji, only the backpacker level.

Ghana gave me a 30-day visa, what I can do; I do not have the legal Visa time to explore properly. Togo gave me one year, and Burkina Faso gave me five years. I guess I should just go and speak French in Burkina Faso and forget Ghana until next trip and stage a good trip to Yeji, Ghana on Lake Volta.

This 30 day Ghana Visa forces me to leave, and the world has many countries, there is not a need to visit or return to any.

I have by default sprinted up the middle of Ghana, I do not have time to sprint down the side and then back up to Burkina Faso. I did not know I should have stayed 2-5 days in Yeji, and I could have taken day trips from Mampong into Kumasi. Nkawkaw was great, and I should have stayed another three days. I should have stayed 1 days in Accra. Ghana is a lot more primitive in many ways than Togo, the swamp, water, Lake Volta creates a too rich in food to develop situation, I guess the “Resource Curse,” in action.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_curse

Sprinting West Africa to Find Bases




Mash Tourism Sign in Yeji Ghana

Mash Tourism Sign in Yeji Ghana
Bolgatanga or Bolga, Ghana West Africa
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

This is a sign located on a “circulaire” at the bottom of the hill, the last circle road exchange before you go to the Lake Volta to enter a boat to travel to Makongo or other villages and cities by boat.

This is like the circle at the Mound in Angola, Indiana.



I call this a M.A.S.H. sign; I robbed this from the show M.A.S.H television show from the USA, one of my staple reruns. It shows the distance to various locations and point I hope to towards the city.

Tamale 155 Km
Dakar 2000 Km
Accra 507 Km
Beposo 55 Km
Capetown 5118 Km
Bangkok 10999 Km
Mekka 4618 Km

Yeji is close to the edge of bottom of cultural development. Hmm, I really do not like that way of explaining. Maybe more correct would to say Yeji is close to the bottom of the Consumer Cultures, they use and consume less of the products made from natural resources, and live more self sustainable existences.

The Lake Volta people live simple self-sustainable life, a permaculture whereby they work maybe the least, and have the least consumer luxury products. They use what they need, not what they want.

Therefore, this sign located near locations of the representation of the being of culture is great. It is a demonstration they are aware they are not alone; this is a sign that is the opposite of being insulated, in and area of the planet that is very insulated, not aware of the outside world.

Now, often an African person may know more about Europe, the USA, or other Western countries than they would know about the next country over, or even their own. They watch TV, the discovery channel, listen to BBC radio, hear statistics about the Western World, and never hear that Ghana has about 23 Million people, and they do not see maps of Ghana on TV, they seem maps of the USA or Europe, and less of Ghana.

Tourist Information

I like these signs a lot; I thank Ghana for thinking about me, helping me to remember where I came from and allowing me to know more or less, how far I am from home. This sign does not have any USA cities, nonetheless it a step in the right direction on tourism. It is similar to a restaurant selling Pizza; this almost is a universal sign,
- We have Western Style food. -

I sometimes need a piece of Pizza.

I enjoy when a restaurant says, we have a tourist menu, which also means the prices are five times higher at gouge the profits levels. I more or less avoid Pizza signs, and learn to eat the local foods.



This is a boat that carries people across the lake, about 10 Kilometers from Yeji to Mekongo and you could also go to many villages along the lake. Note, going to tribal type villages and living with the locals can be very dangerous in isolated tribal areas. The superstitions of the villages can go amok if someone says or believes you came to do something. In some areas of the world, they believe the foreigners or couples are coming to steal their children. I am not sure that applies here, they often try to give me their children to take to the USA. Superstitious and mystical behavior or saying the religion told me to do this is the danger.

This is why Yeji is one of the great exchange points of the planet, the point where consumer cultures can meet with self-sustaining cultures safely. The surrounding or on the banks of the Lake Volta are close, and day trips by walking or small boat would allow a person to get close to the edge or to the beginning of cultures. The point where we all started, our roots, who we are at core.

Mash Tourism Sign in Yeji Ghana





Rain Washing Away Bolga

Rain Washing Away Bolga
Bolgatanga or Bolga, Ghana West Africa
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I just rambled on about the edge of culture at Yeji, Ghana and I am here in Bolgatanga, Ghana where un-natural or against the contra-ecosystem, development has created some sewer and water chaos.

This development is what people want money for and it creates often an annoyingly ugly situation for years and maybe decades. It requires time and money to maintain modern concentrated development of inner cities. There is no choice, when people want to cluster, and live in highly concentrated, pack to the gills cities, the country and cities must build sewer systems and a big time lag.

It is now raining very hard in Bolga, it has rain all night and slowly the higher points around this village are absorbing the water like a sponge. Tomorrow as the storm sewers are not adequate yet, and the run-off water finds a downhill path, it will create many rills, then channels as gravity of the land sponge allows the water to find its way to the sea. The city of Bolga seems to be on top of a location of many rills and channels.

Definition of Rill or Rills

Rill
1. stream: a little stream or brook
2. groove in soil: a small channel cut in soil

The sequence is something like this:

Rill
Channel
Tributaries
Streams
Convergence of Tributaries is a River

I found the large market in Bolga, just about 50 meters to the east of the large Lorry or Tro Tro Station. This mean, the large 15 passenger Vans and a few full-size buses. Mostly the 15 passenger vans and not the Taxis station. It was not on my map of the city, and the locals do not seem to understand the English word Market, I had to say Bananas, and they do not sell many Bananas there if any, I should have said Tomatoes, this would have lead me to the Market. I know this now in hindsight, tomatoes would lead me there, maybe groundnuts, a peanut to Americans.

In the market are rills, and actively flowing rills. It had not rained for about 24 hours when I arrived, and it was dry, the majority of puddles had evaporated. However, the rills continued to be fed from somewhere. It was a very curious experience for me; I was enthralled by the small rills, like a three-inch wide river or creek running through the market. Normally a rill starts and ends quickly.

There are sand bags in the market, trying to control the flow of the rills as they become channels and sometimes too large for the path. I am curious; the concrete or asphalt surfaces have expanded and created non-sponge areas of flat surface that seeks a low spot.

The market is good fun, as there are many bicycles and a few motorcycles, they use these paths and splash their way through some of the rills. There are very few bikes in Ghana and suddenly in this city of Bolga, there are hundreds. A person has to take care to not be hit by a bike or motorcycle, I was eating Fried Rice and Chicken the other night and a Vendor with a tub on her head was hit by a motorcycle, splashing the older lady into the street, fortunately, she did not appear hurt badly.

Water in Africa is fun, when it rains, what is a small channel can become a flooded roaring river, washing trash, plastic bags, and anything close into the channels and away to the nearest lake. A city becomes cleaner from manmade trash, however muddy and wet.

Rills form natural paths in dense vegetation and walking in the rill is easier than making a new path with a machete. Bolga is a construction zone as they somehow try to build up, sideways and try to manage the water, sewer, and byproducts of humans. Bolga is presently losing the battle; they have built way too many building structures and paved too many roads without adequate supplies of storm, sewage and water management or retention ponds.

Humorous to watch in a place where every sign says they ware working on development, and the NGOs just miss the point, start with the basics, provide infrastructure. The Chinese are good, they are doing a great job of giving Africa what they need, not what they want.

I could leave Bolga and overpopulated cluster of people full of chaotic development and go enter a small village, and the village would be very organized and manageable. While the bigger so-called developed is chaos. I would say the self-sustaining villages, what I have stopped calling subsistence farming may be the best use of land and resources.

Cities need large employers, where the mass of people can earn enough to live adequately. I am not sure the flock of development geese is flying in the correct direction.

Rain Washing Away Bolga





Explain My World Videos

Explain My World Videos
Bolgatanga or Bolga, Ghana West Africa
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I have to admit, Michael Moore has accomplished something few men on the planet has every done. CNN, BBC, and other news media make feeble attempts, however somehow a High School graduate, almost no formal education, worked in a factory in Flint, Michigan.

A stereotypical fat American, the epitome of an Ugly American Stereotype. (How to use Ugly American? … )

Fat
No education
Badly dressed
Only talks about the USA
Thinks the USA is the center of the planet
Loud
Interrupts people

Now as he has become the hero and Knight of Europe, the voice from the wilderness, the spokes person of Europe and its view of the USA, he has accomplished what few men on the planet have yet to accomplish.

Michael Moore has equivocated a word and changed the natural language understanding of the word documentary.
Before Michael, I would just easily have said, I am making Mini-Documentaries of specific cultural subjects. Many would understand quickly, however, now, what can I call them?

I wish to be very truthful, not try to represent my person interpretation of something as being perfect fact.

They call me foreigner, I am trying to find a word that does not in any way or form associate me with Michael Moore, and I try to walk away from this ugly stereotype every day, and have to accept that the stereotype of the Fat American is based in truth. The list above exist, it is not an incorrect representation of a large percentage of the USA.

I am a person from the USA, they call me foreigner, and here they call me Abroni or White Man.

I need an easy to say way to explain these videos, I will eventually land on the proper for-me, acceptable by me, way of labeling these videos. I refuse to call them Mini-Documentaries as I refuse to be associated with this Ugly American Michael Moore.

I think Explain-My-World Videos is easy to say, succinct and no attempt to glamorize my work. Allow justice to prevail, a good work, is a good work, history will tell.

I look for the respect and good words of Ethnology Professors, Photographers and writers of the caliber of James Michener, or Paul Theroux.

A person explains their world, how the world explains, labels and understand afterwards is no longer in control of the person, this duty has been pass down.

I have many Explain My Word Videos at various stages of production; I have a quite extensive one on Fufu and presently lack the aspect of making the sauce for the Fufu to be eaten, and maybe some video clips of how they eat.

Making these videos requires diligence as one small missing clip and the story lines is broken. I apologize for intermixing these clips out of blog sequence; this is a quagmire of internet problems in West Africa.

Explain My World Videos





Atebubu Ghana Market Video

Atebubu Ghana Market Video
360 View of Ghana, Market
Bolgatanga, Ghana West Africa
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I left Mampong, Ghana about one hour north of Kumasi and various type of transportation north to Yeji on Lake Volta. I travel another hour north and stopped in Atebubu and found a couple of Hotels, however decided to transit out of the city.



Before leaving the city, our group station wagon taxi went to the market and loaded up with a few bags of beans for one of the passengers to haul to Yeji.

While waiting for them to overload the car, I decided to take what I call a 360, I just stand and slowly revolve in a circle and the video explains. I am going to somewhat refrain from explanations as the photos explain and words can be misinterpreted.

The small four-wheel carts with car size tires are used to haul goods short distances, or inside the city. Often a person will purchase supplies and pay small money for these carts to haul the goods to their home, analogous to a shopping cart in a supermarket, with a twist.



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Atebubu Ghana Market Video





Running the Gauntlet in Bolga

Running the Gauntlet in Bolga
Bolgatanga, Ghana or Bolga Ghana West Africa
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

A person walks into a small village anywhere on the planet. There will be a few days of testing, checking, quizzing and sadly overbearing demands.

I hope I have finished the run, I hope I have found the majority of bullies and jerks in this small city. I now know four of them, and am thinking of taking a photo of one special person to publish on the internet as a warning to readers. Africa has my bullies.

There is no police, there are no strong personalities or elders who protest you, normally the women of a village are the stabilizing social police force in West Africa, the police, elders and heads are the abusers.

Yesterday, a few of the girls started to say hello, and a few of the more passive men began to have conversations with me, it was nice to have something other than being ignored. I suppose the idea is, we make money from him, and he leaves, why talk, I have been here for three days, they are starting to talk.

As a person walks around any village or city in the planet, they subconsciously learn how to avoid the negative and find the positive areas. I consciously search for the more interesting neighborhoods of the city, hoping to find a hotel that has the best neighborhood. The African guidebook writers are annoying, they subconsciously have highlighted the hotels where they can drive a car to, enter the compound, park, and the whole neighborhood is isolated, not actually in the city, but on the outskirts and away from easy to buy food, water, or people. I normally tag these in my mind as resort hotels. They want you to enter and make it very difficult to see anything, self-contained, has everything you need, and they will gouge-the-price sell it to you.

People traveling as couples, people with cars, about 99.5 percent of the travelers do not realize often they are isolated.

Running the Gauntlet alone as a man in Africa is a Macho experience. I had a sad realization the yesterday as I was pre-meditated being Macho or maybe you could say Alpha Male. I thought,

- I am becoming, as I was when I worked concrete in the USA. -

Macho or Alpha Male behavior is horrible thing; if a person learns to excel in this behavior, they become extremely dominating, assertive, and difficult. I for sure am a difficult person, and I know I am dominating. I remember Taia and Mark in Togo laughing and teasing me when I said,
- I am a dominating person. -
They joined in with a laugh and a push,
- Not you, Andy? -

Sarcastic and agreeing, however, nothing I did not already know, I need special types of friends to have good friends, or as they say in Africa, I Chop them, meaning to eat.

Africa is easy for me, however I know, I must leave and travel to softer countries like Thailand or Guatemala where there is not a 24 hour a day need to counter the social norms by also being Macho.

I sometimes think Religion is needed or they would kill each other, and when Religion becomes second fiddle, than a dictator or leader does go and kill each other. Religion modulates the masses and continually reminds a culture with no police to be civil. I sometime say or tell them what God wants them to do, so they back off, not a good thing, making a person feel guilty is dangerous and for sure a last resort to slow them down, and the time to leave.

Bolga is just a little too big, and has been damaged by the NGOs, or Volunteers, everyday four to seven children say give me money. I have girls stop to flirt and talk, then ask for money, they say, I am hungry. A girl with a cell phone in hand, asking for money for food, a looking for a fool to say yes to the question.

In any city, a person naturally, subconsciously learns how to live peacefully and productively in the city. The longer I am in a city, the more I learn the best places to eat, the internet cafes, the neighborhoods that are fun to walk through because of pleasant surroundings and people. Ideally, I am in a hotel that is surrounded by a nice neighborhood. This is NOT a hotel where I cannot see a house, to be surrounded by homes for me is best, to not be able to see many homes is the worst, and truthfully the most dangerous.

I have successfully run the gauntlets of Jerks in Bolga, I am ready to meet some of the nice people who wait to see if I leave or stay. I see about 1-2 white people per day here in Bolga, I have not talked with any of them, this presently is not a city with a lot of tourist. Strangely, the most I have seen is in Yeji, on Lake Volta, as the Ferry drops off a slew of them every day.

Tourism is seasonal, it is always possible that any city has a time of the year when many tourist visit. This is the best time to visit for the average person, and the time when most easy to enjoy a country. To come alone, run the gauntlet, and learn to deal with the locals on their terms is an Adventure. I call something Adventure Tourism, when a person has the possibility of being killed, even though normally remote. Bungie jumping is not really an adventure, however white water rafting and climbing tall mountains can be.

I know when I do not see other travelers; I am probably being an Adventure Traveler in Africa. I do not like to talk about this, I do not like to explain, I like to infer, allude, and not be clear. I do not believe it is possible for a person to travel into a truly dangerous situation for weeks. If they are not capable, they will leave, if they are capable of traveling safely then, they will continue on the path. Fear will create an excuse to leave, and the will remove themselves from danger.

I am glad I purchased the 12 or 13 books to read in Accra, it give me a mental diversion and creates a balance… I am laughing, I am reading another Tom Clancy book, and just finished a book by Nelson DeMille. I guess they are Macho books…

The sun is rising; it is 6:34 A.M. I will go for a walk, the best, and least macho time of the day is just after the sunrises, as the day awakes, the drunks are sleeping, the too lazy men are being too lazy, and all the women come out to sweep the sand.

Here in Bolga many children and adults walk to the storm gutter and brush their teeth, urinate, and wash their faces. The gauntlet is down, the sun is rising, and I need to leave.

Running the Gauntlet in Bolga





Sanitized Version of Africa

Sanitized Version of Africa
Bolgatanga, Ghana West Africa
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

What the world wants is a sanitized descriptions and explanations of Africa, as reality is a disturbing inconvenience to acknowledge.

I sometimes am tempted to say to the Volunteer Tourist,
“You want the sanitized version, or reality?”

Sanitized Version of Africa





African Damaged Goods

African Damaged Goods
Bolgatanga, Ghana West Africa
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com



This woman sits in the streets, the rains come, the world passes her by, she stops being a person, she becomes an object, she is African Damaged Goods.

This women is difficult for me, there is a small dysfunctional hook in my brain that needs to save women. I know this exist, I am fortunate; I know where the path leads.



She sits, mumbled, jumbled, wrapped in cloth, eating rice with her fingers, scraping the gourd bowl. She is nuts, crazy, over the edge, I am happy someone gave her food, I wanted to give her money, she does not ask, I do not force a person to be a beggar, they have to make the choice, I am worried. The worst of the worst, do not ask for money, they are over the edge, they need approached.

Orphans, and street children, small urchins I have not found in Africa, they grow up to be big urchins, not my worry, I do not think about children. However, I do worry about the certifiable crazies walking around naked, confused, mumbling, talking to the Gods, the stars, and I pray not to me, too dirty to touch, to much to endure.

Orphans have no parents, they will survive, this person has no mind, she has stopped being a person, she is now, African Damaged Goods. Hell, I do not know what she needs, I cannot save her. I saw her the first morning after a huge rain, lying at this junction in the road. What does it feel to be in the street, wet, raining, and not have sense to climb into a hole, or maybe she is afraid, only the street will allow her to sit, there is no safe place for her.



What does she need, a plastic bag to cover herself, a blanket, money, what does she need? I have a meter of cloth, I was going to make it into a shirt, I will give it to her, I want her to feel warm, I feel cold.

African Damaged Goods





Ghana Volunteer Option

Ghana Volunteer Option
Borgla or Bolgatanga, Ghana West Africa
Monday, September 3, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Salad Making Schools

Malnutrition is one of my pet obsessions; I think an inordinate amount of time about this topic. I cannot remember exactly, however Josef Garvi of the Eden Foundation in Zinder, Niger was explaining how the world uses food. It went something like this, and do not quote this as fact, it is not. However, as I remember he says, less than 20 foods provide the staple food sources for nutritional needs of the 90 planet.
http://www.eden-foundation.org

What we eat is cultural; I like Potatoes, the Ghana people like Yams, no problem and great, food diversity.

I am making this video about Fufu, a food made of yams and plantains, something like a banana. Something comparable to eating mashed potatoes, and a staple food in the Ashanti region and many others areas.

A person ask,
- Do you know Fufu? -
I say,
- I do not know Fufu. -
- Try Fufu. -

Ok, I am a carbo-a-holic or starch-a-holic, if I allow myself to eat what I want; I would eat only French Fries with Mustard, or A1 Steak Sauce and lots of black pepper or better yet, white pepper. As my life has evolved, I have slowly went from eating French Fries with Catsup to combinations, and moved away from the stereotypical American French Fries.

However, I know eating French Fries is a great way to get fat; I must tell myself and force myself to eat Vegetables and Fruits.

Fufu is a probably considered Carbohydrates, I do not want to learn to eat another food or learn to love another food that could help me to become fat. West Africa is full of the foods that supply a lot of calories and energy, however incomplete for good nutrition.

To describe the diet of West African people, it is analogous to a person in the USA eating Mash Potatoes with Catsup every meal.

- The Banana is not native to Africa; sailors brought it here from Southeast Asia and lead to large population growth in Africa.

- Carrot, common name for a plant, native to Eurasia and northern Africa. -

- Apples - NOT native to the USA…

American as Apple Pie and the food is not a native of the USA; the seeds were brought here by boats from Europe.

The food culture of Africa is lagging behind in West Africa; there is a lack of diversity of foods. It is nice to say, easy to say, however telling me to eat spinach will not make me like spinach.

Telling a person in Ghana to eat lettuce and vegetables is nice, however to get them to like to eat a more nutritionally diverse diet requires a good cook or chef.

In a way, I think the pivotal solution to malnutrition is by changing the foods they eat, and finding more foods they like. One solution would be to have volunteers have cooking schools to promote the vegetales they do not grow or eat properly.

For example, salads, how to makes salads, the French introduced the Baguette Carbohydrate, lets-get-fat food to the Francophone countries, it would be nice if they came back introduced some great salads.

Volunteers learn to eat the local foods, and a good cultural exchange would be to bring into the diets of locals many new types or new ways to eat a variety foods and change the channel.

A good use for a Vegetarian… hehehe

Ghana Volunteer Option





Bolgatanga Ghana Food Market Video

Bolgatanga Ghana Food Market Video
Bolga or Bolgatanga, Ghana West Africa
Monday, September 3, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com



I am told this is a Kumo, I have never seen this type of Vegetable before, it taste like a Cucumber to me, the people say something about Garden Eggs. I really do not like Cucumbers, and I was spitting for an about 10 minutes, but I suspect the majority of cucumber fans would be happy.



The view of the inside, taking pictures of foods is interesting, I am not a brave person with foods. I have to look at something for days and sometimes months before I get up the courage to try. The best way to take photos is to buy the food, have them prepared the food to eat on the spot, and then take photos. This is difficult for me, as they also want me to taste the food… aagh.

I took this video of the market here in Bolgatanga, Ghana. A simple video of a Ghana food market, as I walked one direction through the market, this market is very large and diverse; this is just a small portion of the market. I walk through this market one to two times daily here in Bolga, for the curious, it has a never-ending supply.



If you received this in your email box, you probably need to click on this link to go and see the video. HoboTraveler.com Videos

Bolgatanga Ghana Food Market Video





The Hotel Site I Want

The Hotel Site I Want
Bolgatanga or Bolga, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I have been making a page for the Auberge Mandele in Kpalime, Togo.
HoboHideOut.com is open for submissions. A Hotel owner can submit for free their Hotel and also place up to 57 photos and captions for free explaining the Hotel, Guesthouse or any type of place to sleep for travelers.

This is the site I would want if I owned a Hotel, nothing is hidden, a person will be able to publish their telephone number, internet page, any information to help a person to find the rooms. They will even be able to send the person to a Hotel booking site. The has the control over the information and can easily add, change.

The Hotel Site I Want





Having Fun Making HoboHideOut.com

Having Fun Making HoboHideOut.com
Bolgatanga, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

One wrong move here and I have a problem that affects presently 3.5 million pages, and soon up to 24 Million.

I am enjoying myself, making a webpage can be so boring, I think this is why many internet people learn Flash, so they can have a challenge. Even though it probably hurts more internet pages than it helps, they still want to use it because they have a challenge to use the code, not to help their client.

There is about 8 million cities that make a list in the world, probably another 3 million that do not make the list and I estimate about 24 Million Hotels on the planet.

What a challenge, how to collect, allow and make a site for 24 Million places to sleep? HoboHideOut.com

How to find them, how to find great hotels that do nothing to help visitors to find them.

I like a challenge, something to think about in these concrete room when I am not reading a book.

Having Fun Making HoboHideOut.com





Ghana Scarification

Ghana Scarification
Bolgatanga or Bolga, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I found this Crafts Village two days ago, where they sell hand made decorative type designs, more or less tourist stuff. As I entered the entrance to the Crafts Village, I see this woman.



If I would have been thinking, I would have change the camera from photos to video and this woman would have allowed me to video this Ghana great body art.

I would guess about 70 percent of the people in this village have a cut or slash here or there on their faces. This person face was covered, I asked her where she was from, and the boy answered for her, as she does not speak English, then saying Ghana.

Scarification is normally an Ethnic or Tribal type of marker, to say, I am from this groups of people, I am from this village. In some countries like Guatemala, the colors and type of clothing are the identifiers.

Scarification is an identifier of an Ethnic group, that probably has a city of village that is the central or more or less the capital of the Ethnic groups, ergo the reason for my questions,
- Where are you from? -

The woman was more culturally significant and authentic than the made to sell Crafts Village, made-for-tourist situation. Funny how this works, what is authentic culture is normally diminutive and what is not is exaggerated.

Ghana Scarification

I think if they use it, than authentic culture, sometimes objects were formerly used in the past, and the practice has stopped. Therefore, I walk around the village seeing how they live, not want they are making to sell. One is authentic culture.





Hotel Fans in Bolga Ghana

Hotel Fans
Bolgatanga or Bolga Ghana, West Africa
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I was in room 15 of the St Joseph Hotel here in Bolga, a good room and quiet at 11 Ghana Cedis for a self-contained room. Self-Contained is a shower and toilet inside the room here in Ghana English.

I moved to shared toilet, shower room at the Sandgarden for 8 Cedi, and had to interview my fans. I entered 5 rooms and every fan was obnoxiously noisy except for room 26, and it has a cough and will soon develop pneumonia.

I had an even noisier fan in the Date Hotel in Accra and moved to the Eclipse Hotel with a great room at 11 Cedis with quiet fan.
There are so many reasons to live in a Hotel or to not live in a Hotel; it becomes a nightmare of variables to check.

West Africa Hotels are ok for one or two nights, and then a person has to call no-joy and search for the one room in various hotels that is acceptable for the long term. I have to search for the Hotel room, not for the Hotel, I try to find the one room that works, not the Hotel. This is why I am saying room 15 and maybe 14 in St Joseph Hotel.

Hotel Fans


Looking at African Poverty

Looking at African Poverty
Bolgatanga or Bolga, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I had a conversation with a consultant working here in West Africa, was talking about the poverty he saw as he drove around. I did not say much as I was in agreement, however, for two days now I have been nagged by this comment,
- As we drove around you could see poverty. -

I realized later, I do not think you can drive around in West Africa and see poverty. This whole places looks poor, because of the dusty clay soil used to build the homes is a fooler.

I have not seen man poor people; it is hard to find a barefoot person or torn clothing.

I was in agreement with him, because as my Betazoid side kicked in, I empathized with him, not with reality, I was seeing poverty as he saw poverty, in his eyes and I could empathize and agree, however later when I disconnected from empathy with him, I reverted back and empathized with in the streets reality.

Looking at African Poverty





Ghana Food Fufu Video

Ghana Food Fufu Video
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Click here to see the video

HoboTraveler.com Videos



This is a photo of Naomi in the Video City Hotel in Mampong, Ghana making Fufu.

Fufu is made from Cassava and Plantains, or with Yams. It is an exciting food because they use this large straight wooden mallet to mash the Cassava and Plantains into food to eat.

They will eat the mashed Cassava and Plantains called Fufu with a ground sauce made of Tomatoes and Peppers.

The process of making Fufu by my interpretation and the understanding as of today is listed, however, this may change as the Fufu culture unfolds.

1. Growing of Plantains and Cassava together in the field plot.

2. Boiling of the Cassava or Yams

3. Mashing of the Cassava and Plantains, the exciting part, or sometimes Yams.

4. Grinding of Tomatoes, Pepper and making the sauces.

5. Eating the Fufu by plucking with fingers and dipping into the sauce.

Fufu One Video

I am in Bolgatanga, Ghana presently and have now traveled too far north for the proper growing of Plantains. The locals have almost stopped eating Fufu, therefore I have decided to publish this video with very good clips of the exciting part. I hope to add later a more completed story, but for now, a very exciting Fufu video if you want to call Fufu exciting.



If you received this in your email box, you probably need to click on this link to go and see the video. HoboTraveler.com Videos

Ghana Food Fufu Video





Washing My Clothes in Ghana

Washing My Clothes in Ghana
Bolgatanga or Bolga, Ghana West Africa
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I remember being angry in Aneho, Togo over a year ago when the price list quoted 1.5 US Dollars or 700 CFA to wash one pair of long trousers. I now realize this was a very good Hotel.



An Ok Hotels in West Africa ask,
- Do you want a Beer? -
However, normally a person has to ask for anything, including a Beer, service is a foreign word.

A Good Hotels will ask,
- Do you want your room cleaned? -

The best Hotels advertise, and provide laundry service, plus the beer, plus the cleaning of rooms.

If you compared Apples to Apples, or the over-head of the Beverly Hills Hilton to the cost of doing business in Aneho, Togo you would slowly understand to pay 1.5 USA dollars cost more than the Hilton does. One days pay in Togo for a Hotel worker is 1.5 US Dollars, and one days pay in the Beverly Hiltons Hotels for the laundry person is at minimum about 48 US dollars. Therefore, to compare Apples to Apples, the cost of getting a pair of trousers cleaned in the Beverly Hills Hilton should be 48 dollars.

In West Africa, I need rooms with showers, so I can wash my clothes by hand.

I am not sure what type of logic to call this, however, maybe quantum leap logic, or out of the box logic, or one-eighty logic, however, I am getting better at it.

What does it say when there is obvious Laundry service in a Hotel or City? Maybe with all I just wrote you would think reason the Hotels are not good, however, the better answer is there is no demand. The percentage of people asking for laundry service is so low, they do not see it as a good way of making money, and they sell beer.

I was at a meandering of the Amazon River, a village of 48 huts, I asked for a canoe and it cost 3 US dollars per day, I ask for place to sleep and it was free. Nobody ever wanted to sleep in the village, however tourist asked enough for canoes it had a price, the locals thought, why would a person pay to sleep?

I am asked in Ghana, what is my mission or where do I work? The people of Ghana assume I am here working on some save them from working, give them money project.

What do I ask the other White People in the Hotel?
- What is your project, what is your mission, where do you work in Ghana? -

I hope one day I find more over-priced laundry price list, as I would know there are some travelers and tourist in the Hotel. Aneho is at a border, you leave the country, you need clean clothes.

The quiz…?

QUIZ ONE:
How is your Quantum Leap Logic?

- I am a normal Hotel in Bolga, a bar large enough to hold four times the number of people living in the Hotel.

- The prices of rooms start at 8 and then double or trip to 20-24 per night.

Why is does the room prices jump from 8 to 20-24?

QUIZ TWO: Why are there so man hogs or pigs in Bolga? I am referring to the farm animal.

Washing My Clothes in Ghana





African Ethanol

African Ethanol
Bolgatanga or Bolga, Ghana West Africa
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I cook with Alcohol in my room; it is the best way to cook for a traveler, only a candle cooker is more dependable however creates a soot mess. (Dependable is how easy to find the fuel allowed to use inside a room.)

Alcohol needs sugar to ferment, strange and absurd as it may sound, as the world wishes to send food to Africa, it is a proposition of mine, that Africa could use extra food and food waste or garbage to become the Ethanol or Biofuel Giants of the Planet.

I can see James Dean now, in a twisted remake of the movie Giant, standing in Zermou, Niger, drunk on Millet Wine falling down hysterically happy and frustrated. Knowing he has hit Gold, plant gold, cellulose and garbage, mixed to create Ethanol.

I smell it, I feel like I have a divining rod for alcohol to fuel cars and when they are finished, I can buy cheap alcohol for my cooker.

Hmm, if I took 70 percent millet stalks here, or 70 percent banana leaves and mixed with the over production of peanuts and pepper I could make some really nasty guaranteed to kill you wine.

Making alcohol from cellulose is painful; however, I need to talk with Chris in Idaho, what happens if you had an oversupply of extra foods, or garbage to add to the mix?

The percentage of Yams, Cassava, Peanuts, Peppers, Plantains and other foods that go un-used or wasted has to be extreme. If a person mixes that up with all the stalks and green crap rotting, what do I have left, is it a good mixture to make alcohol or ethanol?

The Chiefs of Africa and the Leaders of Africa would have a hard time stopping their small people from making Alcohol or some Alcohol sludge to be distilled in big processing plants. I am so tired of looking at peanuts, pepper and bananas I am annoyed. Please, how can 50 people make money selling peanuts to 20 people? If all of you had a jug of moonshine in your hands, someone would come and buy it and smuggle it out of the country, or sell it back to you for cooking fuel.

WFP can dump food, and they can use it! Or MRE can be used…? Somehow putting the fuel production into the hands of the small people on the planet.

African Ethanol





2007 September 6 Enter Burkina Faso Leave Ghana

2007 September 6 Enter Burkina Faso Leave Ghana
Ouagadougou or Ouaga, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Friday, September 6, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

Marker

I left from the city of Paga, Ghana more or less on the border even though the map says no, and entered he the city of Dakola, and not on my map, and after walking across a longer stretch of No-Mans land, I left the Border Crossing and caught a groups station wagon to Po 1 Mil CFA and then went from Po with Rakieta Bus Lines a full size but to Ouga for 2 mil or about 4 US.

This trip was easy as the cars at the borders coordinated with Rakieta Bus Lines to take us directly to the Rakieta Bus Station.

2007 September 6 Enter Burkina Faso Leave Ghana





Baobab Tree

Baobab Tree
Bolgatanga, Ghana West Africa
Friday, September 7, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com

I am in Burkina Faso now, however I think anyone going to Bolga or Bolgatanga, Ghana should keep their eyes opens, walk up, and knock on these wide load trees called the Baobab Tree.



Baobab Tree

I took a picture with people to try to show how large this tree is, there are some even larger trees in Bolgatanga, Ghana.



Baobab Tree

I sure hope I have the right name for the right tree. A Ghana boy told me a similar name, I am hoping correct. Nonetheless, there are some amazingly wide trees in Bolgatanga, Ghana and a special tree.

Baobab Tree





Preparing Pineapple to Sell in Thailand

Preparing Pineapple to Sell in Thailand
Learn how Thailand prepares a Pineapple to be sold by street vendors. This video was made in the hope that people in West Africa can earn more money selling Pineapples using this method of preparation. It is a good idea that needs pass along.

This is a gift to West Africa, a good idea… from Thailand.

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Bangkok, a.k.a Krung Thep, Thailand Southeast Asia
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Andy of HoboTraveler.com --- Submit Hotel URL
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This is what happens when a Thailand girl or person puts there hands on a Pineapple, what comes after they finished is great to eat.

I travel round and round the planet earth, I see a good idea in one country and wonder why they do not use it in another. It is hard to come up with an original idea and sometimes I think,
- All the good ideas… have already been taken. -
Note… allthegoodideas.com is now taken…

However, you make the stew, the problem to me is this, we need to share recipes, we need to share ideas, and good ideas could make a better life for a family. I think we need to pass them around, easy to do now with a video we put on the internet for all to see.

There are many Pineapples for sale in West Africa, and it appears to me, if the vendors of West Africa, Ghana, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast etc. would cut up a Pineapple and sells this way, a family could have more money, and this very healthy food would be eaten more.

I suppose when I was there, I should have videoed the way West Africa cut the peeling off an Orange and sold it.

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VIDEO BELOW
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IF no video here, you need to read on the blog, and not by email or RSS feed, click here: Travel Journal
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VIDEO ABOVE
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Take care, a Thailand girl with a knife.



The start of the process of preparing a Thailand Pineapple to be eaten or sold by the public.



I never purchase a Pineapple in Thailand, it cost 24 Baht in the store, I can purchase a whole Pineapple prepared and iced down for 20 Baht, however normally I purchase half for 10.



After they are finished, these Thailand girls with Black Hair and Brown Eyes push this cart around selling Pineapple,

Please Send to Africa, Thanks

Preparing Pineapple to Sell in Thailand





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