Stand Up for the Champions

1-31-10

Yesterday I carpooled with the other volunteers to the town of Ejisu and then we took a tro-tro into Kumasi. That morning I decided two things. The first was that I did not want to spend another night in Kumasi, and the second was that I wanted to stay at the lake forever. I stayed until 11AM after waking up before the sunrise to capture it on film (which never happened because it was completely overcast). I had breakfast and then laid in the sunshine until my skin turned a splotchy red color. We all checked out and argued over our bills (7 Cedis for 2 glasses of wine turned into 70 with the misplacement of a decimal for me), and took the taxi to Ejisu.

Once in Kumasi I went straight to the STC station to book my ticket. The guide said that there were thirteen buses leaving each day, so I wanted a late one since it was already 1PM. It turns out that the only bus leaving was at 1:30PM. I had no choice but to take it. I figured I didn’t want to miss the Cup of African Nations final between Ghana and Egypt, and neither did the bus driver who might cancel the Sunday trip altogether. At 1:30PM, however, the PA system came on and a woman announced that the bus would be delayed an hour. So I went and paid again for a toilet, this one with toilet paper, and then got a roasted plantain from a street vendor. Roasted plantains are the most delicious thing I’ve had in Ghana.

The bus came at 3:30PM. Everyone was agitated before the trip even began, and little did we know we’d still be together 10 hours later. The bus broke down and hour and a half south of Kumasi. We coasted to a small town where we waited outside of a bar for a replacement to come from Kumasi. I hadn’t peed since 1PM, and my bladder was quite full, but there were no restrooms around and no bushes. It got dark as we waited, and the locals began drinking and laughing at me. I went back on the bus and sat with a woman who had been quite friendly with me since the station. Eventually the bus came and we were crammed in with people traveling from the north. People ended up sitting with cargo on the steps that lead into the cabin (very safe).

Many hours later we got to Accra, where the bus broke down again. Luckily we were at the station, so we just boarded another bus and went. All in all, however, we did not arrive in Tema until 1AM. I was exhausted, dirty, smelly, and hungry. On top of that I still hadn’t peed.

Today I watched the final between Ghana and Egypt. Unfortunately Egypt won. Senam and I commiserated together, and he drank beer (I would have joined if I liked beer). Afterwards I showered and prepared for my departure tomorrow. I still have to pack, and I am tired enough to just go to bed.

I hope tomorrow brings new things. I am nervous to leave the comfort of the Humado house, but I know it is for the best. I hope to come back for a couple of weekends to spend time with the family. I think we have grown to like being together.

Ghanaian Travel Tip #37: Always bring food with you on journeys. There is a reason why everyone has crackers in their purse- you never know when an unexpected breakdown might happen.

Ghanaian Random Fact #38: Ghana makes and produces its own Guinness.

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2 Responses to “Stand Up for the Champions”

  1. Chelsey Says:

    I am confused, why were all the villagers laughing at you?

    I assume you remembered to greet your drivers after the last incident, right? lol crazy

  2. Mom Says:

    I really don’t know why the adventure being as bumpy as it was should come as a surprise to you. When last has any trip, anywhere gone as planed or even relatively smoothly? Remember the last caravan to DC? 4 hours stretched into 8? South Carolina to Virginia 19 hours? I dont need to say any more. Glad you made it safely nonetheless and I am sure the experience did a lot for your worry wart habit. Sky diving? Hmmm? Just 3 more years……

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