Thursday, January 25, 2007

Arrival in Kumasi

January 20
Arrived in Kumasi earlier today by bus. It’s a five hour journey and a trip through a more rural part of Ghana. Was reminded again of contrasts; brilliant purple flower petals littering down upon heaps of smoldering garbage, urban goats scouring the bare ground for a blade of grass and me high above in a protected bus (I say protected because of all the vendors one encounters through open windows when leaving Accra and entering neighbouring communities and cities.) In Kotongo I saw the sun for the first time since arriving in Ghana. The smog was and is so thick during certain parts of the day, the fumes from the piles of burning garbage acrid and dense. Although tired from the previous night’s party (JHR country director turned 30) I wasn’t able to sleep as images of life in rural West Africa rolled by; small children doing the work of grown men, a girl of no more than ten years old running a sewing shop on the side of the Accra-Kumasi highway, rivers so thick with garbage they weren’t flowing, a boy showing off his skewered turtle to anyone who would look and big fronds and trees heavy with mangos. Ate deep fried yams at the rest stop and paid a thousand cedis to use the can.
Arrived in Kumasi just as the Kejetia market was closing for the day. We were jam packed between cars, chickens and housewares. What a market! Feels good to be where we’ll be calling home for the next eight months. T.

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