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The Path in Ghana

2007-08-27 02:48:00

The Path in Ghana
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Monday, August 27, 2007

“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. -
- Groundnut Paste on Toasted Tea Bread. -

I started to say,
- Naomi, lets go to the restaurant to eat? -
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