Ghana 2004
Page 1


Wli waterfalls in the Volta Region, reportedly the tallest waterfall in West Africa. The Volta Region is one of the least-visited regions of Ghana.

It’s estimated that only 5% of travelers to Ghana go to the Volta Region. However, various aid organizations such as Peace Corps have quite a number of ongoing development projects in the region. With its wonderful people, waterfalls, jungles, and more, the Volta Region ended up being my favorite region in Ghana.

Liate Wote, site of several Peace Corp development projects, including the school shown here, where volunteer and Ewe children participate in a singing game.

Children in the small village of Liate Wote, Volta Region. I stayed in this village for a short while, eating some of the village food and attending Catholic Mass, held in the Ewe language, complete  with beautiful harmony singing and drum accompaniment.


Liate Wote village, Volta Region.

Tafi Abuife, Volta Region, known for its kente-weaving.

The long looms of the kente weavers in Tafi Abuife.

The endangered mona monkey in Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary.

Tafi Atome village, Volta Region.

The tro-tro, which basically seems to be anything that is not a taxi or a bus, is the most common mode of transport in Ghana.

And riding this is almost like doing a '70s college prank, where Ghanaians try to stuff as many people as possible into the vehicle to a point beyond absurdity.

Christians make up about 60% of the population of Ghana, and they like to show it with business signs such as this one here.

Some of my favorite signs include:
Jesus Power House 
Good God Haircuts
God is Great Tires
Hilltop Anointed Fashions


After staying in a village for a few days, some luxury at the Chances Hotel in the town of Ho was in order. For 3 days, I did little else except read, swim, and email.
It was glorious.

I met a DJ named Samuel who worked for Volta Star Radio, where he hosts a morning program. He invited me to see visit him at the radio station the next day. Samuel is standing to my left.

I found some reading material that was far better than I could have ever hoped. One was a pamphlet entitled, "What Every Lady Must Do To Avoid Late Marriage - Powerful Prayer Points to Win Your Husband To Be".

This pamphlet insisted that "you can stop the devil now from delaying or hindering your marriage" and advised, "avoid dressing flamboyantly such that you will look like a Jezebel or proud or carnal." It then gave ten surefire signs on how to detect if you have a curse or hindrance in the course to get married.
And finally, there was this handy hint: "Some ladies have body odour. If you notice such a thing, try and find a solution to it. Try to be very neat. If possible take bath as many times as possible. All by the same authors as "Who Is This Jesus"?", and "28 Practical Steps to Become a Millionaire".

Some schoolbooks, such as this fine one that I purchased in Techiman, teach children valuable lessons. It is a novelette about a young woman whose father treats her mother without respect and tells her that women are worthless and not to be trusted. Because it's so awful at home, she runs away and moves in with her boyfriend and supports him through law school. Upon graduating, he promptly dumps her and marries someone else. The book ends by the woman saying, "I'll never trust a man again."

If you find yourself in the town of Ho and want to email and get a haircut, look no farther than the Looks Good Barber and Internet Café. As I wrote emails, the barber occasionally bumped into me while giving someone a haircut with his electric clippers.

Jamestown, Accra.

Often, when people describe old colonial neighborhoods in other countries, they use words such as "decaying". This was not "decaying". No, this was crumbling. There were many buildings in complete disrepair, falling apart, or facades of a long-faded British "grandeur". Cropping up
around these old colonial buildings was something more resembling a shanty-town, with a few oddly well-kept buildings here and there, just to confound travelers like me.
One of the very well-kept buildings, complete with a second story, wrought-iron gate, driveway, and well-manicured garden belonged to some member of royalty. I stopped and looked at it, bewildered, for a moment, and then walked on, only to be stopped a few steps later by three girls who appeared to be in their mid-20s. They asked the usual questions, and then one promptly asked, "When will you marry me?" I chuckled in response. As the conversation continued, it turned out that they were related to the member of royalty (the third kin of something-or-'nother).

And speaking of flirting, an odd thing that occurred on two separate occasions was while I was walking past, a girl would touch the skin on my forearm, and then turn back and smile. Strange...

I hung out with this helpful boy while waiting for The OSA bus to Mole National Park, which showed up 3 hours late, then left us stranded after its headlights went out for 3 more hours.

Here, we are waiting for the bus at the bus terminal in Tamale, located in the northern, predominantly
Muslim part of Ghana.

By the time we got to Mole National Park, it was 2:30 a.m.
We slept for a short while, and then woke up for the early morning safari walk.

Mole National Park guide.During our walk, one elephant let loose with an angry bellow, making all the other animalsscatter for cover and startling the heck out of us. The guide immediately started cocking his ancient rifle while muttering, "aggressive elephant, aggressive elephant".


The park encompasses a flat savannah that is rare in West Africa, and is one of the most accessible places in Ghana to observe elephants, antelope, warthog, and baboons, all of which I saw on a, early morning two-hour walking safari.

Elephants at the swimming hole in Mole National Park. Because Of our very late bus, we arrived at Mole at 2:30 a.m., and then rose at 5:00 a.m. for our early-morning safari walk of the park.

Warthogs in Mole National Park.

Ghana 2004
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