We have been in Ghana for a little over a week now and it’s been a really refreshing change for the two of us to be speaking in English again all the time, though it is African English it is brilliant to be able to communicate clearly with nearly everyone again.
Ghana is a wonderfully developed country after having been in some really poor countries for the last couple months, there is still major poverty and problems here, but some things just strike you when you come here after some of the other West African countries. The roads here and the infrastructure in general are just so much more advanced. Simple things like street lights in towns and electricity in the houses which we take for granted are far more common here than in the towns and villages of Mali and Burkina Faso. School kids are all over the place, not just children selling things, but actually children with uniforms and books and bags, we take it all for granted but it hits you when you ride into Ghana after these other countries.
One other thing that really hits you here is that it is a much more Christian country than any of the others we have been through so far, unfortunately it still seems to have been heavily influenced by some of the worst elements of Christianity, just as we have seen Islam with some of it’s worst elements in some of the other countries we have been to. Here there seems to be a large amount of the American Telly Evangelist style churches, with many places seeming to have turned church into more of a business than a place for the faithful to meet. For example some churches seem to have the pastor’s name in the same size writing as the name of the church – big and bold!
One funny aspect to all of this is that I (Jeremy) can’t go anywhere in Ghana without people calling out “Hey! Jesus!” because I look the spitting image of Jesus with my beard and long hair (nobody told them Jesus wasn’t European!), I’m pretty used to hearing this about 10 times a day and have tried a number of lines on them… the best so far seems to have been “Now you don’t need to go to church this Sunday because you have seen me!” I haven’t managed to work any miracles yet, but we have been fortunate in tying up a few loose ends while we have been here in Ghana.
The big news is that we now have a camera! After two attempts to send it to Africa it has finally arrived! The first time it made it to Senegal in 25 days after missing its 5 days guaranteed delivery time and this time it was sent with DHL on a 2 day delivery… it still took a week, not because this is Africa, but because the UK had it sitting in Brussels of all places for 4 days! Expect a sudden rush of pictures on the website again in the next week as we get carried away!
We also seem to have managed to get the very elusive visa for Angola sorted, apparently the Ambassador here in Accra has taken a personal interest in us overland travelers and has sorted out an arrangement with the Embassy in Brazzaville (Congo), we have applied for our visas here and apparently they will be waiting for us in Brazzaville! Wow, how cool is that! Angola has an up and coming star of an Ambassador here in Accra!
In amongst all of this we have enjoyed staying in Kumasi which probably has the largest market in West Africa (think acres of everything you can imagine include all sorts of witch doctor fetish stuff and you might be close!), we have sorted a few problems out with Keith’s bike (it was losing oil because the nut that holds the front sprocket came off because a locking washer wasn’t fitted properly by the mechanic in London when he put the chain on) and we have really enjoyed our stay at the Amamomo Beach Garden in Accra while we waited for our Visas and the delayed camera (it’s a little out of the city and very relaxed as the name would suggest, on the beach, and run by some very cool and friendly Rastaâ€™s, it feels more like living with their family than being in a hotel, a welcome change from the big city life.)
So it’s been the second coming of Jesus and the camera! All in all good things to have I think!
So our plan now is to move on further West along the coast to enjoy the beach life a bit more and to get as far away from the big city bustle as we can get!
Update: It seems the African Surfers also had a similar experience and they blogged about it here, so this might actually be the third coming!.