Ghana Travel Stories, Page 15

Nkawkaw Ghana

Nkawkaw Ghana
Nkawkaw, Ghana West Africa
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

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


West African Tsetse Fly Farming Mystery

West African Tsetse Fly Farming Mystery
Nkawkaw, Ghana West Africa
Thursday, August 23, 2007

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


Boring Reality of Travel

Boring Reality of Travel
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

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


Tourist or Embassy or Volunteer Bubbles

Tourist or Embassy or Volunteer Bubbles
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

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


Depression Caused by Vitamins

Depression Caused by Vitamins
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

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


Got a Burkina Faso Visa in Accra Ghana

Got a Burkina Faso Visa in Accra Ghana
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

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


The Shower Step

The Shower Step
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Monday, August 20, 2007

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


World Development Timeline

World Development Timeline
Accra, Ghana West Africa
Monday, August 20, 2007

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