When, Where, Why:
Sometimes a change of scene necessitates a change of real estate, so in April 2013 I moved to Ho, Ghana to work with Pencils of Promise (PoP) building rural primary schools and promoting quality education in the Volta Region.
Cape Coast, Central Region, also has strikingly low primary education statistics – a shame considering the oldest and best schools originated in this area. Volta, however, is far less accessible and a tribal minority (Ewe). So naturally, all the Ewe language skills I’m picking up will be most helpful for future travels abroad…but only in Togo.
In under 50 words:
Ghana is in direct competition with Nigeria and Kenya to be the most well-known African country that people actually equate with the continent (Sorry Egypt, South Africa). It practices smart approaches to its oil caches, acknowledges its painful slave history, and has a happening art scene in its capital Accra.
Food & Drink:
Goat, fish, and palm oil. Soups or stews contain all three and are eaten with a maize, cassava, or yam dumpling-esque mash (keke, fufu, or banku) by dipping the latter into the former. It’s a sticky process with a filling result. If one is not eating carbs or fats or both, one must not be in Ghana.
To wet one’s pallet, I’ve found a fair amount of blond or malt beers and bagged water. And the sachets of home-distilled gin. Always the gin. It expands the stomach, or so I’m told.