Here are a couple of blog posts from Tamera that for some reason she couldn’t get to load.
Subject: My last day in Busua
Getting ready to head home and looking back on my last week here, I have to say I’m a little taken with myself. It’s become natural and easy this Ghanian way of life. When I checked into my place I talked to the manager Julie for 10 to 15 minutes about nothing and everything. When I mentioned I had laundry I wanted to do she introduced Sabina. When I asked how much to do my small pile of clothes, she gave me the most ghanian response I would expect. “How much do you want to pay me?” Yep, everything here is negotiable. I still giggle to myself when I think about the afternoon I spent with Nicole in the market in Kumasi. She took no price at face value and haggled with most every vendor she bought from. I love being around her when she completed the sale or walked away knowing she would find something better later. The Jewish half of her was fitting in perfectly with the local ghanians.
My first afternoon here in Busua I walked around town to get my bearings. I talked to a few locals, asked a few questions and always did my best to remember names. I found my breakfast spot located just across from my lodge. A little out door street cafe where I get to talk to Dixon every morning. He or Auntie Mary is there to open at 6am. And Dixion, who I believe to be 17 or 18 years old, swears he’s 26. Another funny thing about the locals is that they NEVER tell they’re real age. They usually give you some version of something close to yours. I’ve met Dixon every morning for breakfast since I arrived. He cooks me 3 eggs with whatever veggies they may have laying around, leaves out the salt, per my request and sides me with 2 cups of Nescafe. No real coffee in this country, only instant. This breakfast costs me a whopping $2.30GH, which is less than $1.75US. Way better than my surf shop which caters to the vacationing abrunies, (white people). At the surf shop I can eat breakfast, lunch or dinner for about $8-$12GH, which would be $6-$9US. Still not that expensive, but I have a very tight budget with no option of an ATM until I go back to Accra to catch my flight. So breakfast is enjoyed with my new friend Dixon, and whoever else maybe sitting near by. I introduced him to another new ghanaian friend of mine and he jumped in to explain that I was his BEST FRIEND! Dixon is so cute!
On day two here I decided to spend some time getting connected, that is checking my e-mail. I went to the only internet cafe in town and waited. I’ve learned that just because a sign may say that a place should be open, this may not always be the case. The cafe sign posted said “open 8am to 2pm”. I arrived at noon and oddly enough after an hour of waiting, still no one had showed to open the doors. I did however make another new friend as I waited. Abey from Tema. Kirstin will be proud to know that he was a fan of her mosaic wall and is eagerly looking forward to attending a mosaic workshop if she should ever decide to host one.
Aquekwa runs the internet cafe. He chose the name which signifies which day of the week he was born. He was born on a Wednesday. After being asked a few times over I realized this was one thing I would have to research. Since I have been here, in the southern part of Ghana, it is the one question I have been asked repeatedly. Through my research I have discovered that I too am a Aquekwa, just like Abey and my friend who owns the internet cafe. I have see these two almost every day since I have arrived. We share food; fou fou, kan ke and gaurey. We share playlists; yes these boys are getting the best of Aretha Franklin and Jack Johnson. And… best of all we just hang out. Today we beaded, it’s one of Abey’s specialities!
I walk through the streets and say hi to the locals I have met and have made conversations with. I hang at the surf shop with the other “abrunies”, most of them have, were or are currently volunteering. The past few days there was a funeral for a local gal from Busua. So the streets are sprinkled with locals and visitors dressed in black with some hint of red drinking and milling about. What they call a funeral or a wake we may refer to as a 3 day party. Maybe that is not entirely true. They really only turn up the volume and increase the booze intake when the sun goes down. And, they stop a little after the sun comes up. I think that would be a great way to be honored upon passing. Get the party started!
I was asked by a friend if I was home sick, but that really hasn’t been a problem. I’m sure it helps that I have made so many friends but I think a lot of it may be due to the fact that this place reminds me a lot of San Diego. It’s been over caste the last few days with only a hint of sun. The water is cold. The waves are small, but my skills are improving. I run, surf and exercise everyday and the people are chill. So cold showers or no showers… who cares! I love the plantians, love the people, love the water and love the surf!
But maybe… Just maybe I could go for a yummy cup of coffee!
Subject: I’m still here…
When I decided to come to Ghana with our group of kids I made it appoint to spend at least one extra week surfing. I heard the surf in Africa was good, so to me this was a no brainer. However, with all the stuff going on before I left, moving out of my place and renting my condo, I had little time left to plan my last week in Africa. I figured everything would work out… and it has! After trying to make plans to go to Morocco or South Africa (the two most know surf spots in Africa), I bailed on the thought of spending an extra $1,600 on the flights alone to those places. Apparently those countries aren’t that close to Ghana, and planning a flight less than 1 month prior is not the optimal…. I talked to my Ghana expert, Kirstin, about the option of staying in my little beach town west of Accra. When I said the word Busua, she assured me that was the place to go!
So my decision was made. The kids and Angie went back home to San Diego and for me, it’s day 34 in Ghana and day 7 in Busua. I couldn’t have picked a better spot to spend my last week in Ghana. After taking 2 tro tros (the ghanian equivalent to a stuffed mini van) and a taxi, my 6 hour travel day was complete. I checked into my room at the Dodson Lodge, a 30 second walk to the beach. I was stoked find that for $12GH ($9 US) I got my own bedroom with clean sheets two pillows and a couple of different surfaces for things. One night stand, one desk, 2 chairs and a cradneza for my suit case. I only mention it because I’ve found that some of these things have become a novelty to have, and are not really necessary. I share a toilet closet and a shower room that I can usually count on for good pressure and cold water. Although it has been 5 weeks since my last hot shower, I can’t say that I’ve been missing them all to much.
Yesterday was the exception for the water working. I have spent the last 4 days surfing, running and making new friends. The first three days out I did my morning jog and took advantage of the surf with a morning and evening session and settled in at the Black Star Surf Shop for my dinner. My ribs and chest are sore from paddling out on my board, my hip from walking with the board under my arm out to the break and my elbows from hanging out belly down on the board. When my yesterday rolled around I decided I deserved a lazy day. I slept in till about 6:45. Finished reading “Kite Runner” (I’m averaging 4 days for novels), ate breakfast and surfed at 11. Tried to take a nap around 3, but it was too hot and loud to manage. So with my lazy day decisions I thought it best to take a shower and head to the surf shop. I walked in the shower room and checked the water, there are two things I have been trained rather well in doing. 1) always KNOW that the toilet has enough toilet paper, or bring your own. 2) always check the water before being certain a shower is what you will get. Every day at about 11am the power and water are turned off, but usually is back on by 5pm. Yesterday the water and electricity had disappeared until about 7pm. Since the shower was out of order with not even and option for a “bucket” shower, I took my bottle of conditioner to the beach and went for a swim. I’ve compared my adventure here in Ghana to a long luxurious camping trip. Sometimes you will get what you expect and sometimes you will make due with what you got. And that was the comedy for the day. My ocean shower and a little leave in treatment from my conditioner.