Monday, May 21, 2007

To Ghana and Back

Since my last blog, I have been to GHANA where my daughter and I spent a wonderful two weeks meeting family and seeing the sights in Accra and Cape Coast. My best times were meeting my old school mates from SMS, UST and finding them all well and doing awesomely. Notably I enjoyed the company of Slim, Alex, Ray, Charles, Josie and Davina and then there was my ex-room mate Darius. I saw the next thing at Alliance Francaise with Pete. Her name is Dobet Gnahore and she moves like a cat. She is a singer-songwriter, multi instrumentalist and dancer with a mean band and a meaner show. Her CD is Na Afriki and I own one. Move over Angelique!

Ghana at 50, there wasn't much left over to see, but Panyin outdoored her baby and on AL's behalf Snof claimed God-mother status for us all. It was so good to see the AL group, Akos and Tibs, Zid and Arnold, Zipporah, Elliot and Naana; Tawiah, Kosei, Naa Abena and the old girls of Wey Gey Hey. There was Kate and Bea and Rosemond whom I hadn't seen for all of twenty years! And then there was Robert! Wow! In two weeks I had seen all these and others including old Achimotans and Aliki.

At La Palm the kids swam while Ako and I sat under an umbrella which did nothing to curb the heat of the sun. Pete came and then Miki and Tawiah and their kids. We ate Banku and Tilapia, plantains and jolof. The malt was not cool enough but it was good to sit and relax.

Bojo beach was a new place to me and the sand was white and clean. The waves washed against our feet, singing praises to the sky. The sky was so wide, so vast, so full of freedom and I sang hymns and waded as far as my knees. I soaked my capris as far as my thighs. We played old school rhythm and rhyme hand-games while Stephanie and Essie pretended to swim. K. quarrelled with London boy and my nephew, Papa Fule brought his girlf friend to say hi. All too soon the afternoon was over with frantic calls from home, warning us of a tropical storm. We rode the canoe back to the main land and kesewa and I went adventuring at Kokrobite. We didn't find Nii Tettey Tetteh's Kusun, but we found the compound of Nii Tettey Addy. We didn't meet the great drummer though. Lost opportunity!

Cape Coast was quite the trip and I learned many life lessons in a day. We did the Cape Coast Castle tour and saw the museum exhibits. Then at Hans Botel we ate, while crocodiles swam lazily by and lizards skittered on concrete floors. I saw a hornbill, in bright primary plumage and songbirds flitting from tree to tree.

Ghana was the same and Ghana had changed. The Akosombo dam has declined in might and load shedding means hydro power outages on a regulated schedule. Everyone speaks of the declining rains but hardly anyone remembers that nearer the source of the Volta River, the Burkinabes have dammed the same river leaving only a trickle arriving in Ghana. Inspite of this inconvenience, life continues and people live as fully as they can. Generators come alive when the hydro-power goes off, giving expensive and enivironmentally unsavoury power to those who can afford it. All others contend with early nights in hot steamy Accra, pulsing with the hopes of millions of people in three piece designer suits and ties, riding four by fours or wearing second-hand oburoni w'awu tee shirts, with faded letters telling of another world- Molson Canadian... what animal is that?

No comments: