Ghana Travel Stories, Page 14

Yeji Ghana

Yeji Ghana
Yeji, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

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

Mampong to Elura Ghana

Mampong to Elura Ghana
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, August 28, 2007

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.


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

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. 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

The Path in Ghana

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

Mampong Ghana Bullfrogs Sounds

Mampong Ghana Bullfrogs Sounds
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
August 25, 2007, 2:47 AM

Bullfrogs sounds in my Hotel Room.

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 Universal Language

The Universal Language
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Sunday, August 26, 2007

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 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.


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. 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

Skipped Kumasi Now Mampong Ghana

Skipped Kumasi Now Mampong Ghana
Mampong, Ghana West Africa
Friday, August 24, 2007

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

Escapades in Nkawkaw Ghana

Escapades in Nkawkaw Ghana
Nkawkaw, Ghana West Africa
Friday, August 24, 2007

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

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