Shs girls in Ghana which language

One year in Ghana

Easter is almost a month over and now I finally find the time to turn to my blog. What happened? Much! Easter itself was relatively unspectacular, Julius and I spent Easter Sunday with our mom Monica. We slaughtered two chickens there (I bought one of them myself in Wa and drove it to Kaleo on my motorcycle; I named it Hubert) and I grilled them in the German style. Monica and her family looked at me a bit stupidly when I was preparing a marinade, but in the end everyone tasted it. Easter Monday is the actual public holiday in Ghana. Traditionally there is an Easter picnic all over Ghana on this day. The whole village then gathers in a large square and then they eat, dance and play games together. Even if these games seem silly at first, it is fun to watch and it is always a distraction from everyday life.

Although Easter passed quickly, I was not bored for long after that, because a few days later the long-awaited visit from Kathi and Lukas, the two volunteers from the sfd from the Volta region. We spent the first few days very quietly, as the two of them had to get used to the weather in Upper-West (yes, there are huge temperature differences within Ghana). A tragedy broke out in the first three days. Landshut, my little dog died ... I still don't know what exactly. The day she arrived he started acting weird, was aggressive and just lay around all day. When that didn't get better the next day, we drove to Wa to get advice from the Vetenarian Office. They gave us an anti-tick remedy and a dewormer, which we administered to Landshut. When he got worse the next day, Kathi and I drove the dog back to Wa to the Veterarian Office. There he unfortunately died after half an hour on the treatment table ... it's a shame, because I really took this little dog into my heart.
Of course, we were also so lucky, because as soon as the two arrived in Kaleo we had a nice long power outage overnight. That doesn't sound so bad in itself, but you have to consider that no fan works without electricity and without a fan it's just hell here at night! In addition to the extensive rest, we spent the days on smaller day trips, such as to Sankana (a village nearby with a beautiful market and an even more beautiful dam), to Wa or to Wechiau to visit the hippos. Of course we also did the most important thing you have to do in Upper-West: ate the dog (NO, NOT LANDSHAT!). And not just once! I was more likely to be supported in my view that dogs are very good meat (for me it is, without a lie, the best meat!).But now to our actual plans for the vacation: We had to travel to the north. What was not so clear to us at first, however, is that there is relatively little to see in the north, but it doesn't matter. The day before we left we had a little party, we bought another chicken in Wa (Barnabas was his name) and then grilled it. There was also homemade pasta salad and garlic bread. Pure madness! There was of course beer to drink. And why do I describe the food so precisely? I usually always eat the same dishes in Kaleo. Rice with stew, polished rice, yam with stew, kenke, fufu, rice and beans, banku ... so only Ghanaian stuff. In addition, cooking alone is not really fun, but when you do it with friends it is great fun.The next day we went to Wa in the morning and from there with a Trotro to Larabanga, a village in the Northern Region about four hours away. But what do we do in a small village in the Northern Region? It's easy to see elephants. Larabanga is namely the village in front of the Mole National Park, one of the few tourist attractions that the north has to offer. We stayed in a hotel outside the national park (the hotel in the mole is of course a lot more expensive than outside) and we decided to stay two nights. On the same day we were able to marvel at the attractions in Larabanga ourselves: Nothing. So we sat down in front of the hotel and watched a part of Harry Potter before we went to bed, because the next day we had to get up early. Around 6:30 in the morning, the owner of the hotel drove us to the national park for 10 Cedi (shitty tourist prices), where we had the choice between a walking tour and a jeep tour. Due to our choice of shoes (typically Ghanaian, we only had flip flops packed for the trip) we opted for the jeep tour. It's more relaxed than hurrying through the bush anyway. Indeed, we saw a lot of animals. Elephants, antelopes, warthogs and a strange bird that I have no idea what it was. The elephants were particularly beautiful, most of which romped around and bathed at a water hole.

We were back at the Savannah Lodge (our hotel outside) by 11am and didn't have much to do. With three beers for lunch (it was vacation after all) we decided to leave a little earlier and not spend a second night in Larabanga. It's nice that we paid in advance, of course, and of course the owner has already spent the money and therefore couldn't pay it back to us. Don't get me wrong, the owner is really nice and nice and we believed him. But somehow we managed to settle the costs with other costs for food and travel and were therefore only a little in the red.

The long drive to our next stop, Tamale, was a little funnier than usual because of the early beer lunch. Spontaneously we had no idea where we were going to spend the night in Tamale and Google only gave us a few offers, none of which was really appealing. In the end we settled in a hotel near the center, which was okay. I was fortunate that my air conditioning room was too cold and the air conditioning made extremely loud noises when turned off. So no question of restful sleep. The next day we decided to spend the second night somewhere else and in the Catholic Guesthouse we had a nicer atmosphere. And once again we fell victim to our spontaneity: Since none of us had thought of a travel guide, and had not really informed themselves beforehand, nobody knew what you could actually do in Tamale. We only knew about the oldest mosque in West Africa, which is said to be somewhere near Tamale. So we googled and found the Larabanga mosque as the only result. Well, does the name of the village sound familiar to you? Exactly! The village we just came from. Suuuper! And what else is there to see in Tamale? After numerous Google inquiries, we came to a clear result: Absolutely nothing! Tamale is the third largest city in Ghana, and apart from a market there is absolutely nothing to see there. So we visited the market and spent the rest of the day with Harry Potter before we went to a bar in the evening (we even had to look for that ... there's really nothing in Tamale !!!).

After spending two days in Ghana's third largest city, on day three it was time for the onward journey to Bolgatanga. Bolgatanga, or just Bolga, is the capital of the Upper East Region and is known for its handicrafts. Because Monica's sister lives in Bolga, she was able to recommend a good hotel to us, with which we were very satisfied. Since we only had half a day to travel on from Tamale, we only strolled through the small town once in search of something to eat and then enjoyed ourselves at the hotel with another part of Harry Potter. The plan for the next day was to visit the Tonga Hills, but unfortunately Kathi wasn't doing too well that day, so Lukas and I had to go there alone. The Tonga Hills are rock formations and hills just a few kilometers outside of Bolga. These hills are particularly known for their traditional sacrificial shrines. In order to get an insight into the tradition and even to get to these shrines, as a tourist you of course have to pay admission and a tour guide. We didn't really feel like doing that, but when you're there, you have to see something. So the guide took us a little through the landscape and introduced us to the chief who ruled there. He lives with his 23 wives (no joke!) In a large, traditional building complex. Outside are the ancestral tombs that act as sacrificial shrines for the house. Chickens, dogs, goats or donkeys are sacrificed there, actually everything that is not human. The actual large sacrificial shrine was on one of the nearby hills. Funnily enough, you are only allowed to enter this shrine barefoot and without upper body. Even if you may not believe 100% everything that is told about this shrine, it was a nice experience to get an insight into the ancient culture of the people in Bolga. Plus, the view from the hills was beautiful and it was definitely worth the trip! Since we've heard so much about handicrafts in the Upper East Region, there was no avoiding a look at the handicraft market. Well ... it was more or less a place with numerous shops, all of which sold the same thing and at horrendous prices (we know, we have money ...). Fortunately, you know that the prices are always set too high and you can bargain it down with a little rhetoric. It is rather annoying that every seller tells you that you should come to their shop and buy something. If you're only in Upper West, you're not used to it anymore.

The next day was also the last day of our trip. Early in the morning we went to the last attraction: The sacred crocodiles from Paga. Paga is a border town to Burkina Faso about half an hour from Bolga. And there are supposed to be crocodiles there. Crocodiles to sit on. But before you are allowed to see the crocodiles you first have to take a tour of the traditional houses. Of course, against the insertion of small or large coins. It was really interesting to learn a bit about the history and see the houses, but yeah ... wouldn't have been necessary now. Of course, we were also allowed to pay for the crocodiles themselves, and not a little (by Ghanaian standards). 15 cedi entry per person, plus 15 cedi for a chicken to be sacrificed. If you want to take photos you have to pay an extra 5 Cedi per camera. Well, you can do that with white people. In fact, after waiting half an hour in the blazing sun, we saw one of the larger crocodiles that was then lured ashore. And yes, we could sit on it and yes, it was kind of cool too. But the tourist rip-off took a bit of the joy out of it. Looking for a taxi back we ended up at the border by chance and almost crossed it.

The way back to Kaleo was a little more complicated than expected. When we were back in Bolga after Paga, we had to find a Trotro that goes to Wa. Nothing! There is no Trotro to Wa at this time. We were then advised to take a minibus that goes to Tumu and from there you can easily find a means of transport to Wa. Well, that we had to wait about four hours in this shitty Trotro in the blazing sun before it started, of course no one told us. In fairness nobody could have known, because the buses only run when they are full to the last seat. Sometimes it is faster and sometimes, as in this case, it is not. After another four hours of driving we reached Tumu in the dark and when we asked it was quickly made clear to us that no more Trotros would drive to Wa today. It is too late. But for 180 Cedi (we started at 300 Cedi negotiation basis) we got a Trotro all to ourselves, which even takes us directly to Kaleo, because that would have been cheaper for us than if we had to sleep somewhere else for a night . What only occurred to us later, when we were already on the way, was the danger of robbers. Especially at night on roads with little traffic, armed robber gangs like to hide and rob vehicles. And for a second reason we had to fear a bit for our lives on the way back: the way the driver drove. We raced at a monkey pace over the bad sand roads (no, it wasn't tarred) and I'm sure we almost went on it a few times. Nonetheless, we all arrived home in Kaleo alive.

Perhaps someone may wonder why we watched Harry Potter so much on our tour (no joke, we almost managed all 7 parts). In fact, there is nothing to do in Ghanaian cities, especially those in the north, other than the tourist attractions, if any. And unfortunately these usually don't fill the whole day. To me, to be honest, almost every Ghanaian city looks the same and the only difference is the people who live there. Of course there are differences, but the cities usually only consist of one or more main streets where shops congregate, most of which sell the same thing. There's just not much to see there.

But even after our return, the fun wasn't over yet! Spontaneously two German girls who are doing their voluntary service in Cape Coast and three other girls from Volta and the Central Region visited me. Since Lukas left a little earlier, I was alone with six girls in Kaleo for a while. Of course, fun was inevitable when there were so many people around and it all brought the holidays to a great end.

School has been back for a week and my motivation for the last term is very limited. Unfortunately, teaching is no longer fun at all due to the circumstances. In addition, Julius (who was not there for the whole trip because his father visited him) has terminated his voluntary service and will be leaving Kaleo in the near future. I still don't get on well with him, but I think it will be difficult when there is no longer any German. Let's see how it works. But there are only three months left that I have to teach, somehow it will be fine!