Ghana Travel Stories

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

--- William Ernest Henley (1849–1903)
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Ghana, West Africa --- Sunday, April 24, 2011
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of HoboTraveler.com | Gadget Profile

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The driver from Kumasi to Koforidua, Ghana had this American Flag hat on his head, it is truly difficult for me to not laugh and enjoy this type of small grace in my life.





I will leave about noon from Koforidua, take a van to Accra for maybe three dollars, and then take a taxi from Accra to the airport for 15 Cedis. My flight leaves at around 10 PM, but check out from the Kes Hotel is at 12:00 noon.

I will fly with a 730 dollar one-way flight to Brussels on Brussels Air.
BrusselsAirlines.com

Then fly with a 230 dollar one-way flight from Brussels to Puerta Plata with:
Jetairfly.com

I need to thank Jeroen for a great consulting job, he saved me 300-400 dollars in a five minute call. I found the best ticket I would find, then called him, he fine tuned my trip and saved me 300-400 USD. Jeroen is the best travel agent on the planet.

I have been trying to get a couple of friends to Paypal.com Jereon a 100 dollar retainer, then pay him 25 dollars per call, so they could save hundreds.

Invictus


Africa Let Them Kill Each Other

"Can you accept people & cultures just the way they are?"
- Told to me by Kurt, a Peace Corp volunteer who had just finished his two years in Ecuador and came to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil December 23, 2000


I love Africa, and after coming here six times I know why, it is simple. I love children, and it is difficult to find an adult in Africa.

I hate Africa because finding an adult is close to impossible, the place is stupid, primitive, uncivilized and violent.

You know you are having a bad day, week or decade when you find yourself muttering the Serenity Prayer repeatedly like an insane person:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
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Ghana, West Africa --- Saturday, April 23, 2011
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of HoboTraveler.com | Gadget Profile

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Bah, I hope they kill each other in Ivory Coast
I told this to Bah yesterday, maybe I was over-reacting, maybe I am genius. Nonetheless, I cared about my friend Bah from the Ivory Coast enough to return to Ghana with one major mission. My goal was to convince Bah to leave Ivory Coast a country at war, come stay with me in the safe and childish country of Ghana.

I accomplished my goal, I tried to change one persons life and did, it cost me about 1500 US Dollars to so I could be proud of myself, I wanted to look at the guy in the mirror with respect and not say I just looked the other way.

Does Bah Appreciate my Help?
There is no easy answers to love and appreciation, but generally she does say thank you. However, as I said, Africa is a big child, and she is 100 percent African, she believes that white people are around to help Africa, it is not a right for me to expect more than what she can be in life, she is and always will be from the African culture.

I want to give long-term readers a clue, I have written for months about Bah, and she has never read one Blog post I have written.

I will leave this morning, I will travel to the city of Koforidua, Ghana close the Accra Airport. Then on Sunday night, I will fly to Sosua, Dominican Republic, a more modern version of Africa.



Africa Let Them Kill Each Other


Fasting on Good Friday for Africa

If I cannot to do good for Africa today, maybe I can do nothing well. I am going to fast today, and I am not sure why, but I have faith it will help.

2:04 AM, I woke up in fear, I am afraid, I am angry. I reached over to touch the black girl in my bed and she becomes angry, Pushing away my hand from her butt, she says,
"It is Friday."



I am afraid, I am angry, yesterday she said something like,
"Good Friday is for:"
"No food."
"No sex."
"No work."

I am angry, I wanted to say,
"The only thing Africans can do well, the only things I trust you to do, is the no work."

I need a moments, I need a pause, I need the "caesura," I am afraid to open my mouth for fear I will scream at Africa,
"I hate you."

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Ghana, West Africa --- Friday, April 22, 2011
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of HoboTraveler.com | Gadget Profile

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And anytime you feel the pain
Hey Jude refrain
don't carry the world upon your shoulders

- Lyric from Song, Hey Jude by The Beatles
Why I Fast?
My world can start to spin, then just by trying to stop it, I sadly make it spin faster, until it goes out of control. I am angry at Africa, I must accept there is nothing I can do, and in the times when this weight is on my shoulders, when my mind is tempted to spin out of control. I need to refrain, I need to do something, my soul demands to do something, but there is no strength in my limbs, my mind, my heart, I have no love left to give to you my Africa.

To fast is to stop, whether I am the person being selfish, or whether Africa is selfish, a small solution is to fast. To stop, to refrain, to give up, to not take, to stop trying to change the world and have faith that all is good.

When I have nothing left, when there is no love in my heart, I still can offer one more ounce of faith.

I can fast, I can stop until I accept that I am not in control, that is faith.





Fasting on Good Friday for Africa


Living on 300-500 Dollars Per Month in Ghana

I am presently living in a Hotel called Video City in Mampong, Ghana. Located about one hour north of Kumasi, it is strategically located, far enough away from the big city to be comfortable, yet close enough to enter and buy what I need.



It is easy to get a good Hotel room in Ghana for 10 Dollars per night; therefore, you can pay 300 for rent, and 200 for food, and easily live on 500 Dollars per month and be a tourist. If you want an apartment, I would expect you need to pay right around 75-100 dollars per month, but finding anything furnished would be an act of God. As normal, there are always locals who try to convince you to pay the same as the USA, as if somehow Ghana prices are not applicable to foreigners.

The city of Sosua, Dominican Republic, or Panajachel, Guatemala are cities that exploded with tourism in the past. They overbuilt and drove the prices down to the nub for rooms and benefits; there is a surplus of cheap room, while in Africa there has never been a tourist.

A good strategy would be to find former tourist trap Mecca and rent room, for example Acapulco in Mexico.

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Bah’s Budget 400 per Month Budget for Ivory Coast
What started me thinking today was Bah getting out a piece of paper and writing down numbers. She is good with money; she calculated that the two of us are paying 800 USD per month to live in this very large 360 square foot room. She added up the cost of 300 per month, then food, and even included my 5 dollar per day Internet cost and calculated we are paying 800 Dollars per month.

She wants me to return to Ivory Coast, and rent an apartment, however when I return she knows that paying 300 per months is stupid. We can rent an extremely good apartment in Grand Bassam for 100 per month, this is the expensive one. Therefore, she was mapping out a budget in Ivory Coast where we can live for less than 600 Dollars for two of us, and we would be living better than any of her friends.

This is the benefit of living with a white man, she becomes rich, and I can be a poor American, I can live on the lowest amount of money, yet live in the most expensive apartments in an area for an upper upper middle class person of Ghana. There is an extremely rich class, the two percent in Ghana, Ivory Coast or Togo that have more money than any American has ever thought possible, so exclude the idiots from this scenario.

Renting 4 Apartments by the Year on Planet Earth
I am suspecting as I semi-retire I will rent 3-5 apartment by the year in different cities around the planet. If I rent them for roughly 75 dollars per month, I can pay 300 USD per month; have completely furnished apartments waiting for me when I return for three months per year. The longer a person stays in a room or an apartment, the better the situation.
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Ghana, West Africa --- Wednesday, April 20, 2011
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of HoboTraveler.com | Gadget Profile

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Living Items Purchased Here in Mampong
The advantage of living a long time in one location is you can slowly outfit the stupid place until all your small needs become memories. I have purchased these items, and they are also all in include in the 800 dollars, plus a ton of clothes at the market for Bah… hehehe

Purchased in one month of living in Mampong:

1. Broom
2. Mop
3. Bucket
4. Skillet
5. Electric Hot Plate
6. Four Plates

OK, that is the quick list off the top of my head, there is more, and Bah does like to buy clothes, and we like to eat beef kabobs here at night. We do not drink alcohol, and normally drinkers need to double their budgets.





129 Dollar Per month Internet in Ghana
I used 6455.5 Megs of data in a 30-day period in Ghana, at roughly 2 cents per Meg here, the total I paid was 129 USD. This was included in the 800 dollars per month I paid, so do not think I am living badly.

MTN USB Wireless Modem cost me 60 Cedi
5 Cedi buys me 166 Megs of use

This may well be the most expensive Internet of my travel life, however maybe the most convenient and it allows me to move freely around the country.

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If you are planning a long trip, then I recommend you download this or another free program and measure your usage. If you are businessperson, it is good to know your daily needs and budget the cost.

Free: NetWorx

2880 Dollars per Month Internet in Ghana
If I used the amount of bandwidth I want, it would cost me 2880 USD in Ghana.

I now know, I can manage my Internet business with about 6 Gigs per month. However, my optimal usage is 4.8 Gigs per day or 144 Gigs per month, this was my usage in Senegal whereby I had an unlimited internet access in the room, but was paying 700 Dollar per month for the room. I was agreeing to be gouged for only 18 days in Senegal because I did not like the country and was planning to leave.

I need to use this type of Bandwidth for a few months to optimize my site, and would rather pay 200 Dollars per month in the Dominican Republic or Guatemala.

I know this is confusing, however the solution is easy, start your trip in a country like Guatemala or Dominican Republic and work your way up to Africa. (Or down.. Hehehe) There are many people on the planet who wish to work using the Internet. Soon the companies like MTN will open up and give us unlimited Internet on the whole planet, right now they are just gouging because they can and there is no competition.

Living on 300-500 Dollars Per Month in Ghana


Business Trip to Dominican Republic

I need high speed Internet access, our traffic on Hobo Traveler has dropped by 30 percent because of an update by Google, I need to make huge downloads and uploads.



Mobile Office Dominican Republic

I need an Mobile Office with these benefits.

1. Live for 500 Dollars per month.
2. Unlimited High-speed Internet access in my room.
3. Private Room
4. Internet in my Hotel or Apartment.
5. Stable electricity, food, and quality of life.

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My List of Possible Countries

1. Thailand
2. Philippines
3. Dominican Republic
4. Guatemala
5. Peru

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Ghana, West Africa --- Tuesday, April 19, 2011
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of HoboTraveler.com | Gadget Profile

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Cheapest to Expensive
The cost of room per night:

1. Guatemala - 6 USD
2. Dominican Republic 8.5 USD
3. Thailand 8.5 USD
4. Peru 10 USD
5. Philippines 15 USD

There are so many variables; however being in the same time zone of the USA is a huge benefit. I am going the DR because the I can rent studio apartment by the month for 250 USD with a kitchen, stove and fridge, one the truly cheap places to live are willing to cook your own food.

I will go to Guatemala after the Dominican Republic; a company has hired me to take photos of Mosquito Nets.

"Everyone who works for you is a volunteer. Their circumstances may mean they have to "show up," but great attitude, performance always voluntary."
--Tom Peters TomPeters.com
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Plane Ticket Printing
I can search for tickets in Ghana; I cannot buy a ticket online. I tagged my friend Mark in the USA to help me purchase two tickets.

Accra to Brussels: 740 USD
Brussels to Puerta Plata, DR: 165 Euros.

For about 900 USD and I am in the Dominican Republic.



When I get to the results page after buying a plane ticket, I use this free PDF printing program to print the confirmation. I can e-mail a PDF copy of the ticket to friends, family quickly. I truly recommend you learn to use a PDF print function, this makes record keeping easy.

PrimoPdf.com

Business Trip to Dominican Republic


Top 5 Global Airline Booking Sites 2011

I am here in Ghana trying to book an airline flight from Accra to Chicago. These five booking sites will allow me to search for a flight.



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Top Five Airline Booking Sites
I am pointing out the top five sites that allow you to price airline tickets globally. This means if you walked into an Internet Café anywhere on the planet, with these sites below you have the optimal chance of finding a flight effectively, efficiently and in a timely manner. This does not mean the site is actually going to allow you to purchase the ticket.

| Vayama.com |

| Skyscanner.net |

| Dohop.com |

| Kayak.com |

| Mobissimo.com |

Last minute discovery:

| Bing.com |

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Ghana, West Africa --- Sunday, April 17, 2011

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I am in Ghana, West Africa in April of 2011.
To be called a global airline booking site, the site needs to be helpful worldwide. I am presently in one of the scam capitals countries of the planet. Maybe Nigeria is the epicenter, nonetheless, Ghana is a great place to test airline booking sites.

I did a search for a flight from Accra, Ghana to London, England for May 5, 2011. These sites below refused to allow me to check air ticket prices. There are many variables involved, however in my best estimation these sites are not helping on a truly international or global airfare level, more or less they wish to take the cream off the top, and ignore countries where you truly need help.

| Orbitz.com |
| Cheapoair.com |
| Onetravel.com |
| Hotwire.com |
| Priceline.com |
| Cheaptickets.com |
| Expedia.com |
| Travelocity.com |
| Tripadvisor.com |





"Ghana, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."
- Thanks Andy Graham 2011

Top 5 Global Airline Booking Sites 2011


Tyler Uploaded Great Photos of Ghana



Photos by Tyler

Tyler uploaded some truly magnificent photos of Ghana.

Members of "My Hobo" can now upload and store large photos on our server free, this is perfect for travelers. Store them, show them to friends, this is essentially a backup of your photos, and if your camera, computer or the memory stick was stolen, "My Hobo" has helped to protect your travel photos.

It is easy to do, and you can file them in folders by city, Tyler put up these Travel destinations or cities in Ghana:

1. Axim, Ghana
2. Bibiani, Ghana
3. Cape Three Points Forest Reserve, Ghana
4. Cape Three Points, Ghana

Take a look, his photos are clear, the colors are distinct, sharp, and stand out, he has a great eye for color and framing out photos.
Photos by Tyler

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The Pain of Sciatica in my Hotel Room



I paid 150 USD for an MRI in the La Union, Philippines a couple of years ago. I have a disc that is pushing against my spinal nerve and causes the nerve to hurt from my lower back to my toes of my left foot. This pain is not easy to ignore, it is like pins and needles jabbing at my leg.

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Ghana, West Africa --- Saturday, April 16, 2011

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Lying in bed or sitting in chair "can be" painful with Sciatica.
I must first make sure the bed is firm, I do not use a pillow, and then sit in proper chairs, and long bus trips can be torturous. I then perform certain types of stretches and exercises to sort of push the spinal disc back into better alignment.
Solutions to Sciatica

I have spent the last month trying to explain this problem to Bah, she does not understand, rather treats me as if it will go away tomorrow. I showed her this MRI image yesterday, trying to force her to focus on the mechanics of this problem. When it finally clicks in her head, she will understand when I want to change chairs or get her to stop trying to jump on me. I am extremely strong and she does not understand I am sometimes in pain when she jumps on me. I must make good choices, and she must accept these choices. Bah speaks French, I speak English, we meet in the middle, the distance is farther than normal.

There is no doubt Bah is Alpha Female, often I must be five times the Alpha Male to convince her to listen. Generally, Alpha people want to be listened too, there is less need to listen, it is our nature to get our way.



Panda is Kicking Our Butt
The big "G" search engine did a "Panda" update of their search engine, this update stopped 20-25 percent of my traffic and essentially gave me a 25 percent cut in pay. It is tiresome, we must constantly fight to increase traffic, and I used to think Hobo Traveler money was residual. However, without constantly pushing to clean, update, and maneuver the site, in less than five years the big "G" search engine would just dwindle HoboTraveler.com traffic until it almost did not exist.

More or less, if a page is not new, or there is not regular traffic on the page, it is not of value to big "G." and one specific page disappears from the search index.

This means that a 100-page site is probably more effective at making money than a 100,000-page site, the larger the site, the more the big "G" refuses to index or keep pages in the index. We must find a way to run faster than the big "G" search engine, we must be innovative.

I do not enjoy being in a popularity contest and this will greatly harm pages written by University Professors and scholars, if the page is not of interest by the general masses, it will be tossed out of the search engine.

I am rather sad; there are some truly great pages on the internet, where the person has put up some great information. Maybe it is ugly, maybe it is awkward, sort of an ugly ducklings, the failure to thrive pages will disappear, what is trendy could dominate.

You will no longer be able to search for pages hoping to find pages about the New York Times, you will need to go to the New York Times directly, then drill down or search, because the big "G" does not index all the pages. There are manual exceptions to the rule, and some big brand may be making sweetheart deals.

Generally, this means that content is no longer going to be King, one person cannot put up content faster than the big "G" removes it. One person needs to concentrate on 5 to 10 words, and forget putting up tons of pages. Alternatively, as we are doing, we are creating "My Hobo", which allows us to create content at amazing speeds. However, that is not the primary goal; we want people to type in HoboTraveler.com and bypass the big "G."

We are defining a formula of each page, our editing process will demand there is excessive facts, photos and abnormal amounts of research, content needs to be exceptional. Average pages are no longer of value to the big "G."

Help us by joining "My Hobo".

I still feel sad for that one lone writer, typing in some nerdy information that could change the world if the right person accidentally found in the search.

They say the Internet is doubling every 5.34 years, I think this is horseshit. The number of pages is doubling maybe every 30-90 days, and the time online is going to explode when everyone has it on their cell phone and figures out Facebook.

Tyler Uploaded Great Photos of Ghana


I Want to See Your Photo

I want to see your photo, please upload photos to HoboTraveler.com. I want to know you and become friends; this is now possible on HoboTraveler.com.
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This is me standing in front of the Hotel swimming pool in the city of Rio Dulce, Guatemala.
Here is my profile: Many Photos of Andy

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Ghana, West Africa --- Friday, April 15, 2011

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My Dream for My Hobo
I want to plan a trip, say for example I want to visit Sweden, one of the most expensive places on the planet. I hope to one day get on "My Hobo," search for the city, then find people who have visited Sweden listed there.
I would then send a Private Message to a real person and ask them,
"What did you think of Sweden?"
"Do you know a good Apartment for me to rent that is cheap?"

We compare notes with real people, no sale pitches, and the real story. I do not know about you, but paying thousands of dollars to visit a country, I want a real person explaining to me the pros and cons.

You can:

Private Messages
- Writer other members, make friends, if there is a problem you can block the person.
Meet other Travelers
- Find travelers that have visited your travel destination, and then write them.
Backup Travel Photos
- Upload full size photos, then when you return home you can download.
Comment on the Blog
Create Hobo Nickname
Comment on Photos
Search Hobo People
Edit Pages and Help Travelers
Write Travel Articles
Read Deleted Comments on Blog
Vote to Choose Country

Sign up for My Hobo



I Want to See Your Photo