17-10-2012

An Angel in Benin

Packed Motorcycle

“What time is it in Africa?

This was a question that I got from a young boy in St. Kitts this summer. As most of us know, Africa is a large continent spanning at least four time zones.

I am determined in my time here to sample as much of the continent as possible. I cannot visit every country, not even most of the ones that I would like to, mainly because travel within Africa (not unlike travel within the Caribbean) is prohibitively expensive. Continue reading “An Angel in Benin”

17-07-2012

Victoria Falls, Tanzania

I was not prepared for my arrival in Zambia. I was there to visit the magnificent Victoria Falls, but I knew that the country was landlocked and I was prepared for a typical dusty, hot African town. Nothing could have been further from the truth. When we landed, I felt like we had arrived on a small Caribbean island. I could have been in St. Kitts, St. Vincent or Grenada. The air was fresh and clean and I relished this, taking in several large gulps of air. Continue reading “Victoria Falls, Tanzania”

25-06-2012

Mee-low

Cocoa Pod
Cocoa Pod

Perhaps you have heard a West African pronounce the word ‘Milo’. It is most likely that they pronounced it as ‘Mee-low’. In the Caribbean and the US, the word is pronounced ‘My-low’. I first heard this pronunciation in 1997 and I have been arguing about the correct pronunciation ever since. That is, until I came to Ghana. Ghana makes their own Milo from their own cocoa. It is the best I have ever tasted, so I concede. They can pronounce it whichever way they like! Continue reading “Mee-low”

14-05-2012

Water, water everywhere

Akosombo Dam from the sea

Yesterday, as I was considering the water and electricity situation in Ghana, I realised that I had never written about the Akosombo Dam, the hypdro-electric plant in the Eastern Region of Ghana. This dam, which I have visited on many occasions and which I will describe shortly, provides electricity to Ghana and to neighboring countries, Togo and Benin. Unfortunately, this plant has been unable to meet the ever increasing demand for electricity here. Many rural areas of Ghana do not have electricity at all. The Ministry of Energy website reports that only 30% of households in the northern regions have access to electricity. Those areas, rural and urban that do have electricity supply from the government, experience frequent “light out” as it is called here because the equipment is old and obsolete. Continue reading “Water, water everywhere”

20-03-2012

Nzuelzo-the Village on Stilts

My children’s school spent a week focusing on Ghana. Class groups were assigned to regions in Ghana and at the end of the week, each group made a presentation. My daughter’s group focused on the Western Region. She was given a piece to say on stage and it was about Nzuelzo (say “IN-SOO-LIN-ZOO”, the village on stilts. When she said those words, she perfectly mimicked the Ghanaian accent and since then, none of us can refer to Nzuelzo without using the same intonation and adding “the village on stilts.” Continue reading “Nzuelzo-the Village on Stilts”

20-02-2012

Life on the Water

Oddly enough, I visited not one, but two villages on stilts in 2011, one in Benin and one in Ghana. My experiences were vastly different and both affected me deeply.

My first visit to a village on stilts was in Benin. I imagine that each person to visit Ganvié comes away with different impressions, however, one thing that seems to be constant is the view that words and photos are not sufficient, Ganvié has to be experienced to be understood. Continue reading “Life on the Water”

28-01-2012

Benin – Rue des Esclaves

I wrote a little about Benin in a previous post when we encountered a particularly kind soul on the road. Here are some of the other adventures we had in Benin.

We visited Ouidah, a small town in Benin and the center of the Voudoun religion. We encountered the sacred forest and held snakes around our necks at the Temple of Pythons. Note that the pythons are allowed to roam freely at night. Continue reading “Benin – Rue des Esclaves”

10-01-2012

Happy New Year

I have to write this article quickly before this year flies by as quickly as 2011 did. We spent the New Years in Ghana this year and it was enjoyable. Christmas and New Years in Ghana is not unlike that in St. Kitts. It is very family oriented, Church, turkey, ham, and so on. One similarity which surprised me was the masquerades. With their colourful costumes and their masks, they strongly resemble the Clowns which are a key part of St. Kitts’ folklore and Christmas fun. Continue reading “Happy New Year”

08-12-2011

Just Go With It

Glidji Regent, Ge-Fioga Sedegbe Foli Bebe XV

In my last post, I described my arrival in Togo, the French-speaking country that borders the East coast of Ghana. It was four of us, navigating the country on our own, content to wander around wherever our fancy led.

On our second day in Togo we opted to go in search of some shrines in a town called Glidji that was highlighted in the guide book. We had no idea where they were or what we would find there, but this adventure exposed us to many idiosyncrasies in the Togolese culture, including the importance of chieftainships and voodoo. Continue reading “Just Go With It”

05-11-2011

TOGO

In a previous post, I mentioned that my desire to visit Francophone countries in Africa was realised when I drove from Accra to Togo and then on to Benin.

It was a remarkable trip. I left my hubby and children at home and set off with three friends towards Aflao (say AH-FLAH-HO), one of the towns where one can cross from Ghana into Togo.

Just a geography refresher, Ghana is surrounded by Francophone countries with Togo and Benin bordering them on the Eastern side, Cote d’Ivoire on the West and Burkina Faso in the North.

Continue reading “TOGO”