September 28, 2010

Excellent Photos of Ghana

Ghana Photos

If you are traveling to Ghana, I am sure you will enjoy this simple and quick way to find great photos of Ghana. Basically, head to Google Images and begin a search.

A search of "Ghana" brings back a colourful array of images.

A search of "Wli", which is in the Volta Region and a popular traveler's stop, brings back lots of waterfall pics as well as some from the hike to the Upper Falls.

"Kumasi" gives you both a view of downtown--especially crazy Kejetia trotro and market area--as well as traditional ceremonies.

A quick click on "Accra" gives you a strong sense of the capital.

The photos of "Bolgatanga" are actually very representative and give a strong sense of how the area feels.

Shoot me if the photos of "Cape Coast" don't make you want to visit! And it's sister, Elmina, is just a 15 minute drive away.

Ghana Videos!

You can do the same thing with Google Videos. Here is the link to view videos relating to "Elmina". And videos for Accra, Cape Coast (President Obama in Cape Coast) and Kumasi. There are even some for Bolgatanga!

So, you get the idea. Hit Google images search and type in the name of the place you're coming to visit in Ghana. You will get a sense of the place before you even leave home.

Elmina Castle and fishing photo at top by chris_wilson.Black and White fishermen in Cape Coast photo by See Wah.

September 20, 2010

Ghana Bloggers Mature

The blogosphere in Ghana has been growing steadily. You can read a lot of the regular bloggers at

I was checking out some of my favourites and found some fun and thought-provoking stuff going on.

Accra Conscious Forever posted a brilliant poster of Adinkra symbols. If you visit Ghana, especially along the coast from Accra to the Ivory Coast and inland to Kumasi, and everywhere in between, you'll see Adinkra symbols on pretty much everything that's not moving, and much that is moving too--especially vehicles. You will certainly see a lot of batiked cloth printed with the more popular symbols. If you want to know what they mean, check out Adinkra Cloth Symbols.

Interestingly, here in the far north of Ghana most people have no idea what Adinkra is. It's simply not part of the culture as it's unique to the Akan culture, those areas described above.

Accra Conscious Forever also did an awesome post on music called Blending Visuals into Music - M3NSA

"No.1 Mango Street – the international debut album by MC, singer and producer M3NSA. The single is a cocktail of eclectic Afro sounds infused with Nu-jazz and High-Life delicately underscored with sweet harmonies of rhythm and blues."

Holli at Holli's Ramblings wrote a thought-proviking post about the issue of witches in Ghana. Both the post and the comments are worth reading. This is one of the things you're unlikely to notice while traveling through Ghana for a short time, but if you happen to pick up a newspaper on most days you'll find a story about witches. I live in the far north and hear about these problems often. It's hard to listen to and accept.

I was teaching a young girl how to use a computer and using a Harry Potter excerpt that was nicely formatted to show how the Indexing works in Word and "document map" button and she happened to flash across the mention of witches. I had to explain the history of witches in western culture and the Harry Potter phenomenon. She couldn't believe people wanted to "be" witches. One word, totally different connotations.

Here is a small excerpt from Holli's story:

"Northern Ghana is home to over 10 massive witch camps – each housing up to 1000 people – the majority of these are young children. Soak that in. THERE ARE STILL WITCHES CAMPS IN GHANA IN 2010. All of these people have been banished from their villages for all sorts of crimes, including allegedly killing people who died from ‘mysterious illnesses’."

And Betumi wrote about culinary entrepreneurship in Ghana. Betumi, by the way, is the BEST place to read about food in Ghana online. I was intrigued by this post detailing Fran's recent trip around Ghana collecting more data and researching food prep in Ghana in all its forms. I'm interested to see if she finds the 17th Century translation!

"Over lunch I challenged a couple of the English faculty to begin looking at the portrayal and symbolism of food in African literature, a shockingly neglected area, and especially to examine any gender differences between men and women writers. My sense is that women are more intimately connected to food preparation and socializing around the cooking pot and hence their memories (especially when exiled from their homelands) may be different. I'm curious to see if Helen and Kari take up the challenge. I also have the exciting promise of receiving a 17th century translation (from German) of a document describing the preparation of kenkey. I'm still trying to track down dokono's origins and history. Suggestions made at the luncheon were that, unlike "dokono," "kenkey" is a Malay word, that Northerners have always fermented millet, so they just used the same technique on corn when it arrived in Ghana. I welcome anyone's comments on his subject."

September 6, 2010

The Interview with Expatify for Ghana Expats

I completely forgot about this interview I did with Expatify ages ago. They wrote to tell me it was online in July. We've had so many problems with terrible internet connections here in Bolga that I completely forgot about it. 

The interview is helpful for those planning to move to Ghana for an extended period of time, like expats, workers, volunteers, and so on. If you're planning to visit Ghana for a short stay, you may also get something from it. I added a few tips that will help anyone planning to travel or work in a developing country too.

A short excerpt:

"Unless you’re in Accra or Kumasi, there are no luxuries like coffee shops, cinemas, or large supermarkets. However internet cafes are improving dramatically everywhere. Water supply and electricity are notoriously unreliable, but you learn to cope."

* The Kosa I refer to in the interview is owned by Dutch, not Germans. 

I took that photo in Cape Coast some years ago. It's the fishermen pulling in nets together. It's awesome to watch them work like that in rows all along the beaches, hand over fist, a kind of dance and song to ease the drudgery, I guess.
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