Saturday, September 1, 2012

My First "Shop" in Accra

Hello!  I've been off the Internet a bit while traveling to and from Accra for my first "shop".  It wasn't an easy trip and I came home with a bit of sickness.  (No worries - it's NOT malaria or anything awful, I'm just feeling crappy.)

The first leg of our trip - getting out of the house) wasn't too bad.  The grownups experienced the normal pre-trip stress-out by as we made sure all the "i's" were dotted and "t's" were crossed.  The first hour of the trip is pretty long because the road is very bad.  They paved it at one point but now it is just potholes and dust - oh so much dust. Then, it was another 5-6 hours until we were in Accra (the traffic was easy).  We stayed in a lovely hotel called the Golden Tulip.  It was very clean and the service was great.  The best part was the pool! Dave's company has a "guest house" but we opted to pay for a hotel because of Joshua's peanut allergy - the kitchen at the guest house has too many unknowns - plus we wanted a bit of privacy and a pool.

Joshua and new friend in the kids pool.
The shopping part of the trip was an adventure to say the least.  Finding everything you want is possible in Accra if you are willing to search for it and then pay a lot. A typical shop includes going to several "grocery" stores that are about the size of Tony's Market (off of Bowles in Littleton), a couple of specialty shops that are about the size of my kitchen at home, and maybe something from a vendor who has set up a shop about the size of a neighborhood lemonade stand.  To complete the experience, you must buy something out the car window from someone walking between the thousands of cars on the roadway selling bizarre items.  I wasn't prepared with money or this time I would have bought an adapter plug for my slow cooker.  I forgot to take pictures until we were on the way out of town so next time I will take more and share them with you. 


A couple of shopping choices on the way out of town. 

The shopping part wouldn't have been too bad if Joshua were in the mood to behave.  As those of you with little ones know, their behavior at a store is either fine or truly terrible.  This time he behaved in a manner that made my job easy at exactly two of the 10 stores.  I left him in the air-conditioned car with our driver for two of the shops and the rest ... it's the same everywhere.  Oh well, this was such a different experience for him and I am sure he was tired so I can't blame the poor kid.  However, I can complain.

Joshua was happy to have free license to play his games in the car.
The ride home was really long and tough. The traffic in Accra was ok but then it seemed that we were stuck behind every big truck or slow driver in Ghana. The best part of the drive was near Cape Coast where we could see the ocean. After a stop to pick up Dave in Takoradi (from the airport - he skipped 4 hours of travel), we turned inward toward Bogoso. Driving the small, dusty roads where we must share the roads with pedestrians and huge trucks after dark was scary. Our driver knew exactly what he was doing and I am glad it was him and not me!
This map will help you picture the drive.  From Accra follow the coast West to Sekondi-Takoradi, then turn North to Tarkwa and turn West again to Prestea (it's really close to Bogoso).
And just because I know you were worried, the dogs were perfectly happy to be left at home with a couple of friends that spoiled them rotten.

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