January 15, 2009

20 minutes in the life of Ghana...Elmina to Cape Coast

We have a new site www.g-lish.org where you can read all articles from This is Ghana in a much more organised fashion. Read 20 minutes in the life of Ghana...Elmina to Cape Coast there.


When these women carrying beams of timber on their head passed me this morning I decided to chronicle the journey to work in pictures--it takes about 20 minutes in a share taxi (when it doesn't break down, take a detour, or get pulled over by police at barriers)--so join me in 20 minutes in the life...


...of my journey from home to work that starts here, on the side of the highway, where I flag down a share taxi and still catch myself awed...

...by the women (it's mostly women--and they usually have a baby wrapped on their back to boot) who carry heavy loads on their heads because there's no other way for them to get it from A to B: these women have Pure Grace, the slogan emblazoned on the mini bus's rear windscreen, as they are on almost every vehicle in the country that...

...stops to set down passengers who need a break...


...and almost exclusively have windscreens that look like cystallized spider's webs...


...with side mirrors to match...



...so it's best to gaze out the side windows to see the fishermen carrying nets for mending....

...where piles of Gari--ground cassava--sit in neat stacks on tables across the highway from the Ewe fishing villages...


...and fishermen's pirogues (for fishing is a male domain) sit awaiting their next dip into the ocean and nets sit stretched for mending...


...for several kilometres along the highway...


...and children sell "pure water" from aluminium basins on their heads by the highway where the Atlantic waves pound the beach...

...and billboards advertise the ubiquitous game...

...before you come upon the village where pirogues set the scene...


...and lone fishermen take stock...


...and communities of fishermen participate in a communal hand-over-fist dance to haul in the nets...


...before coming upon the lagoon at Bakaano where a thin strop of sand separates the lake from the sea...

...and you shortly find yourself entering Cape Coast proper where you can buy a timber bed frame on the side of the road...


...and avoid falling in the open sewage trenches...


...and buy an onion from a street hawker and mind the firewood that will soon become charcoal that most people use to fuel their small coal braziers over which they cook almost everything, including...


...pancakes that will soon be sold from that little green shed by a lady who piles them up in a glass case and wanders along the road until they're "finished"...


...and do a spot of chair shopping before the day gets going...


...and make a call for 25 cents from the yellow umbrella stand...

...and stop at the blue painted shop that sells stales like milk, of course, and sugar, rice, single tea bags, and other food stuffs in small portions from 5 cent sizes to $1 or more...

...and a bite of wakye (wah-chy), a dish of rice and red beans and sold in those large silver bowls along streets all over Ghana...

...so you can fill your stomach for a day at the office!

That was a 20 minutes in the life from Elmina to Cape Coast...

3 comments:

  1. I just found your blog, and I love it! I have volunteered twice in Ghana, and do what I can from the U.S. (I really enjoyed your December post about the life of a volunteer, btw-- all great organizations!) This post made me want to comment, as I lived in Cape Coast. It made me very nostalgic! Thanks for your candid views about Ghana! You're welcome to check out my blog on Ghanaian orphanages at http://prayersfromafrica.blogspot.com.

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  2. I am doing a project on Ghana and this was really helpful! Thanks!

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  3. Thanks so much for the lovely comments. Keep spreading the word about Ghana. And keep on with the great work. I always find it amazing how many people still continue volunteering or helping out when they return home. I think it says a lot. All the best!

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