17.5.11

Ghana Updates: Episode 3

Hello from Kumasi!

So after four days of legit pre-placement training in the capital city of Accra, we hopped on a bus to Kumasi. In this case, 'we' is Leah, Lin, and I, as Raquel and Alyssa were off to Takoradi by way of tro-tro* HARHAR. The five hour ride north to Kumasi was rough; I shudder to think what it might have been like in a tro-tro.

*a tro-tro is like a mini-bus... and the driver pulls over at random while the mate screams out the destination and people scramble to the nearest tro-tro heading to their destination and you get real close with your tro-tro buddies because you're both sweating onto each other and making a right mess and the whole deal costs less than it does to think about taking a bus back in Canada.

Anyway, once within Kumasi city limits, the bus driver kicked us off in the middle of a chaotic downtown street with literally hundreds of people milling around, hawking wares and yelling Tvi and there is poor little us, sweating like eskimos in a sauna, hauling around too much luggage worth of camera equipment and lightweight clothing, and very obviously with no idea of what to do.

This is when the cabbies pounced.

First, they tried to put our bags in one cab and us in the other. I was like, 'mahfka, no.' Then they tried to convince us we needed to pay for their bag-hauling services, and I was like, 'mahfka, no.' Then they tried to hustle us for 10 cedis and I was like, 'mahfka, no!' Anyway, we finally reached Kapital Radio, where we met the infamous Mufty** (made infamous by Laura and Ashley's stories.)

**Mufty will be our mentor at Kapital for the next 2.5 months. We'll be producing his show "Know Your Rights" every Saturday evening, the only show exclusively dedicated to human rights in all of Ghana. Gonna be dope.

He shook our hands, showed us around, and then brought us to the Presby Guesthouse, our supposed home for the next 2.5 months. Problem is, they want to charge 20 cedis a night per person, which would come out to 600 cedis monthly, which would come out to $450 for rent, which is what I pay in Ottawa for a much bigger, much less hot place, so I was like, 'mahfka, no!' Anyways, we're staying there tonight while Mufty tries to find us something better. Hopefully he is successful.

That's all, really. Some quick observations about Kumasi:
1. Less hectic than Accra.
2. Less noisy than Accra.
3. Less dirty than Accra.
4. Less white people (obroonies, or "foreigners") than Accra.
5. Hotter than Accra (fml.)

We had jollof rice for supper. As we have for the past four days. What I wouldn't do for a poutine right now...

3 comments:

  1. I only was "fortunate" enough to ride in a tro-tro once. 25 people in an 8-seater van. Gooood times.
    Your taxi story - classic. Which reminds me: beware, when you go to a tourist destination, that you will have many "tour guides" show you around... And then ask you for money afterwards. Grab one guy when you first arrive and make it clear that he is your one and only guide for the trip, and ignore everyone else.

    Your observations are very amusing, though. I understand completely.

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  2. sounds like you're being whipped into shape to serve them =)
    mahfka no! haha

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