There are many small stories in a day, while the days are generally slow in Ghana; there is always something quirky happening.
I am now in Koforidua and will make another jump to Mampong, Ghana today.
I had enough of Ho, Ghana, although the Tarso Hotel is one of the best, a few people in Ho were driving me crazy so I took the "geographical cure," and escaped their childish minds, out of sight, out of mind truly does work sometimes. I did an experiment on the way out of town, I text messaged about seven people and said goodbye, and waited to see who would call or reply by text.
I left the USA 12 years ago, understanding my friendships and love is both inspirational and sad, there is nothing more illuminating than to leave. Only when you leave can you see, weigh, measure and feel how valuable you are to your friends. Emmanuel and Regina from Ho have now called me five times; they are the gold nuggets, while many friends were just fools gold. Ghana Friends made of Gold Photos
Who is your friend?
Generally, in the age of e-mail and telephones it has become easier, my friends write e-mails or call, I am still a person and a friend when out of sight, I still exist in their minds. I weigh countries by the number of people who e-mail me from the country after I leave. I have a girl from Cote d’Ivoire right now that is calling and writing once per week.
Ho, Ghana West Africa --- Thursday, December 23, 2010
Naomi is the small person in this photo.
Naomi an Important Person I met in Mampong, Ghana in 2007
Mampong, Ghana is an important city in my travel history, not because of the city, but because I met an exceptional human there by the name of Naomi in 2007 in the Video City Hotel.of Mampong.
I searched on old Blog posts for Mampong: Ghana Fufu Food Video
By the way, this video is one the most viewed videos I have ever recorded, I think the Ghana Diaspora wish to remember home, leaving home is not as good as they think.
The Valuable Travel Memories
Tourist and Travelers believe they are going to remember with love a tourist attraction they saw in a country. After 12 years of perpetual travel, almost all my travel memories revolve around people, tourist attractions are a dime a dozen, wonderful memories of times shared with special people live with me forever.
The Video City Hotel in Mampong was an oasis after a long journey in the year of 2007. I know you cannot return, it does not work that way, but I will spend Christmas in Mampong, Ghana this year.
Why was Mampong an Oasis? Well, I had just spent two weeks in Accra, one of the cities I despise on planet earth, and started working my way north towards Burkina, Faso. I accidentally found the Video City Hotel, it was not in the guidebook, and the best never are. Generally, the education level and knowledge of the world of the average Ghana person is about the same as Mexican janitor that is cleaning the toilets the USA. However, a Ghana person is generally 10 times more honest than a Mexican is.
Well, I walked out the front door of a great Hotel in Mampong, and Naomi and this guy was making Fufu. I asked a couple of question and suddenly this 15 year old girl becomes my best friend, my guide, my insight into understanding Ghana and Africa, a small piece of genius, it was an oasis in the middle of "Mexican Janitors," that looked Ghanaian.
God does not care about resumes, age or credentials, you can have a whole alphabet behind your name and make 500,000 per year, and I am still willing to call you an idiot. However, true genius, true compassion is like searching for Bobby Fisher.
If you are searching for meaning, this movie "In Search of Bobby Fisher" is right up there with "The Razors Edge." It is a parable, many will hate it, but one in fifty of you will have a moment, that caesura that make all the crap in life worth tolerating.
Here is a true Ghana story, this happened yesterday and maybe can explain why looking for the 1 in 50 special person in life is needed to recharge the battery.
Because of the luck of the draw, yesterday I sat in the middle seat of a van, in complete rear, the worst possible seat, but the last available without waiting another hour. Not a big deal for a 2-3 hour trip, so I tolerated the situation and dealt with it. Well, this small girl was sitting to my right; she was in control of the window. I get car sick I need to be extremely careful in when I am in the back of a vehicle, I could vomit easily. I needed air and relief from too much Ghana.
I asked this small evil little Ghana girl to leave the window as you now see it, she just ignored me, I said please, I asked politely, then finally I was finished, I had enough of her control freak, no compromise, not caring attitude. I no longer cared for her; she was going to be eaten.
I opened the window 100 percent, put my hot sweaty armpit in front of her face and held the window open for about 15 minutes. The wind blew into her face, she smelled my armpit, and suffered.
This is real life in underdeveloped countries, there is unbridled selfishness and self-centered behavior, there is no fair play, and it is often eat or be eaten. I am a big person; I can and will dominate and make the rules when needed.
I finally looked at her, moved the window back to half position, pointed my finger at her, stare at her with hate and said,
"I do not care about you."
I pointed at the window and with a warning; she did not forget in my eyes, she learned her lesson. There is always somebody bigger than you are, this is the lesson.
We all need to be grateful for the small genius, the small love, the small things in life, then speak softly and carry a big stick.
Andy Graham in Koforidua, I am now ready to pack and move on down the road to Mampong, in search of real genius.
Yes now I have Skype and Magicjack and from El Salvador can call USA or Canada 24/7 for 3 to 10 cents a minute on my cel or land line if the electricity goes out..rarely, have a tiny modem for less than $15 month gives me a good connection, for years I used cibercafes, but their hardware are generally clones and tend to freeze up a lot, my laptop is my own baby. At any rate 'grew up' in guatemala in the 1980s when the oral tradition prevailed and the the Internet and cell phone, ipod whatever boom did not hit Central America until years after the States, except for the affluent 10 in the capital cities.I read a post on another site, not a travel site from States today that the disadvantaged there should be taken care of first before the NGOs flood Latin america and Africa, all I can do is hope the new generation here growing up 'online' and with more open mind will make their own country a better place for all to live and work, so people wont have to pay coyotes and drug runners to get through Mexico into USA to mow lawns, flip hamburgers and be exploited. And yes I stopped taking illegal drugs over 30 plus years ago and hereabouts we hear news of drug cartels and their wars in nearby Mexico, seems a lot of people in 'developed' countries are using illegal substances, sad. Myself, I miss the Library!!!!! At any rate, Merry African Christmas and Happy New Year and bon voyage in 2011. Donald Lee, Ex Pat and Survivor, Central America.