Friday, December 22, 2006

Fury on Shipment Day!

The morning started out quiet then all hell broke loose! To send out shipments here everything must be brought certain days and certain times to the customs officer at the Accra airport. We were recruited by Renae and Elisha to separate scraps. Each time a garment is made the scraps are returned to the shop and the scraps are separated into different sizes to either be made into different crafts or to be sold in the states as quilter's fabric. And when we are talking scraps we mean ALOT! Speaking of, if anyone wants quilters scraps drop us an email and we can bring some back. BTW our email is Once the scraps were bundled into 5lb bags they were added into the shipment. All the bags were loaded up in a hurry and taken out to Renae's car. All of these bags were being crammed, mashed, and strapped into the truck while street traffic and bystanders looked on in confusion. Young Ghanaian men offered to help but talk about girl power….we had it all loaded in minutes. Once Renae and Elisha were off, the office came back and sat around in exhaustion. Tiffany is feverously planning our grand Ghanaian tour. Since the office is closed next week for the holidays we are planning on doing our traveling then and spend our last week working here. That also means that we will be incommunicado for the next week.
So the plan? First you must know that things in Ghana operate on a different schedule. The schedule is always up for change. “Yes, the bus is supposed to leave at noon, but for today, and today only, we decided as a surprise it will leave at 3. And tomorrow we decided it won’t run at all.” So all plans are tentative until actually executed and even then if there is an unforeseen circumstance such as a breakdown or just a detour so the driver can buy some bananas, it can change. We will be leaving Cape Coast tomorrow. Leaving on the first tro-tro (a minibus that they use as public transportation) we will be heading to Kumasi. This is the heart of the Ashanti tribe region and we are currently unsure of what trouble we can find there but that is typically not a problem, it tends to find us. After Kumasi we will head north to Techiman and Nkoranza to see the Baobeng-Fiena Monkey Sanctuary and stay the night at Operation Hand in Hand which is a community-based project for mentally handicapped children run by a Dutch doctor. They have a small guest house there which consists of round huts with running water and a bed. From there we will continue northeast to Yeji. Now this is where the trip starts to get REALLY interesting. From what we know there are little to no accommodations or things to see in Yeji so hopefully we don’t arrive too early. The goal is to catch the yam boat (a large barge that runs the length of the Volta river carrying yams from the northern region to the south) that makes its way once a week. The boat arrives about midnight and then ships out again at 3am on Wednesday morning (once again all timetables are merely a suggestion). Passengers sleep, eat, and live on the boat deck for the length of its journey. Instead of traveling the entire Volta, we will be getting off at one of the few stops - Kete Krachi. There isn’t much published about this trip and of what is published, nothing mentions being able to get off at Kete Krachi. Taking the entire trip will end you in Akosombo and takes approximately 36 hours. So here is what we do know. You find a spot on the deck where ever you can. People are hospitable the accommodations however, are anything but luxurious. Ghanaian people are very friendly and enjoy good company so I am sure it will be a fun party. There is a stop in Kete Krachi but there is the chance there will be some swimming involved! Well, we signed up for an adventure and this assuredly is!

From Kete Krachi our accommodations and transportation are questionable but we will find a way to Bimbilla and head down the east side of the Volta. On the eastern side we know we want to visit Wli Falls which are supposed to be amazing. Then south to Hohoe (how very merry of them) to hopefully meet up with our fellow volunteers to celebrate the New Year! Circling back to Accra, we have the choice to take a flight back to the northern region and see Mole National Park for a safari or return to Cape Coast war torn and battered.

It goes without saying that we will not have access to internet to update our blog during this time. That will have to come after the holidays. We both wish you the best and have a happy New Year!


At 12:36 AM, Blogger Coryea said...

Wow this is amazing!! I can't believe y'all are out in Africa right now and I'm stuck in cold Kansas! :( I'm really happy for y'all though and it looks/sounds like you're having an amazing time. Live every moment to its fullest down there and I want details when y'all get back!!!

Take care ladies and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! ;-)

At 12:40 AM, Blogger Coryea said...

Oh's the rum?! Pour a little out for me...ok!! ;-)

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Kelvin said...

Who ever said women can't do anything must of been a man & talking thru a hole in his head !!! (hehe) I'm a krazy monkey so that counts me out. A great effort and a great blog - worth sharing so I have mentioned it @ #340 on my blog - 21 21 21 Great Blogs To Read".
Click on my name if you want to have a look at my blogs.


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