Today was a sleep-in day. It felt great , but still we woke up too early for me. We enjoyed the 103.7 FM top 30 songs on the shiny, red, shortwave radio at breakfast, before everyone disappeared again to fall asleep. Kyle and I had a nice french conversation with Joseph before also heading back into the hostel to rest. I slept until I was awakened by Kyle because people were heading to Osu to shop and eat. When we arrived I noticed that on a Saturday afternoon everyone in Accra is out and about. Today everyone is called to or hissed at (which is the most common way of getting someone’s attention) ‘sssss.’ It did not matter today if you were an Obrooni on the street or an Obibini (black or African). We first went to the bank for Kyle to try to use his ATM card. The result was not unexpected as it did not work again. We headed then to the internet for an hour.
This was by far the hottest day since we had been in Ghana. We were dripping as we just walked ‘the strip’ in Osu. We stopped at Frankie’s to get some amazing ice cream and chilled there for a while. We then ventured to the dressmaker so that the girls could order some traditional Ghanaian dresses. After getting lost a number of times and asking many directions we found the small shop that was unclearly marked. The girls looked at fabrics and we watched the game on the television in the back. Manchester United was playing Chelsea for the UEFA cup. The men in the shop gave us chairs and invited us to watch with them. We arrived just for the exciting part of the game. No goals had been scored in regular time or extra time, so now the game was in overtime. What a game, Chelsea came put on top much to the joy of the shop workers. I noticed that on the walk to the shop the streets had been mostly empty and no one was out. Everyone was tuned in to a radio or tv. The world really does stop for football – the world’s game.
We met up with everyone near Frankie’s and headed to the Pizza Inn. This, as you can imagine, happened to be the next Obrooni and wealthy Ghanaian hangout. People sat in nice outfits, suits, some seemed to be on dates at what we would consider a fastfood court. We ordered a pizza and it was very good. However, we ordered an 8 slice pizza with 5 people eating the pizza. So we all had a slice and then we came up with a great communal solution. For the last 3 slices each person would take a bite and pass the slice until it was gone. This happened to be a great solution, at least a very interesting experience, until some people (Kyle) decided to take bigger bites than what is acceptable. This made Molly very sad and angered (see picture). Later that night some people went out, but mostly everyone hung out at the hostel enjoying pineapple, which we bought on the return trip from Kakum. We completely bought two ladies out of their pineapples for the day. The were very happy.
We woke up early today to head to Labadi Beach. Breakfast was oats (oatmeal) and toasted jam. I am not too much of a fan of oats, but the toast was great. We were going to the beach to play soccer and enjoy the sun. After eating we hailed a taxi. The first wanted too much money, but the second agreed to a price of 35,000 cedis – I am getting very good at bargaining. It cost 20,000 cedis to enter the La Pleasure Beach,so we tried to sneak into the Labadi each Resort. Unfortunately half of our group decided to turn around and give us away – not good crashing technique you have to be confident.
We paid and were immediately grabbed by hawkers. A man who claimed to paint sat me down for nearly 20 minutes with a stack of paintings trying to get a price and a sale. However after the sixth time of telling him that I was not going to buy a painting he still couldn’t believe it. Finally I got away and we agreed to be friends. We set up with some cushioned chairs, played frisbee, soccer, and enjoyed the water and waves of the Atlantic. We body surfed and tackled the amazing waves. After exhausting my swimming, I went to sit down in the shade for a while. I met a drummer who taught me four traditional rhythms. He was very cool and would not finish the lesson until I had memorized the rhythms in the brief 30 minute period. He them wanted me to buy him a drink and I thought it a fair trade after a comprehensive drumming lesson.
Joseph from the hostel arrived and just as he did the beach acrobats were warming up. They were amazing. They were all extremely muscular and could balance just about anything of anyone on any part of their body. They jumped, balanced, yelled, juggled, and put on a really great show. I could not believe all that they could do with just three guys, a table, some straw hats, and a lot of practice. It was a nice break from the hawkers.
Kyle, Sarah, and I left early since we could feel our bodies being scorched by the Ghanaian sun. We had some trouble getting a taxi, but made it back. We got back and noticed how badly burned we were, SPF 30 just couldn’t hold up. I should have applied a second coat. After showering and applying lotion and aloe we watched the highlights of the UEFA league finals. As we watched we slowly dozed off and slept for four and a half hours! I have no idea how, the beach and sun just wear you out. Kyle woke me and asked if I wanted some PB&J since it was well past dinner time and it was dark out. It was some of the best PB&J that I have ever had. As we enjoyed the reduced fat, super crunchy Skippy peanut butter, raspberry jelly, and Ghanaian wheat bread we enjoyed also the courtyard TV playing the African version of ‘American Idol.’ The Mentor show has terrible singers and harsh judges just like it American counterpart. The Nigerian students staying in the hostel were absolutely loving the show. All of the music was bad and American. Most of what we watch on the TV is the football games and the news. The best news is Aljazeera News, it covers so much and they send reporters to a lot of places that usually no one will go. I enjoy the updates from Aljazeera even at home in the States.
There are no pictures from the beach because there was no time and there were enough sleezy guys taking care of that. The beach was like any in America or Europe, but the water was so much warmer.
Index of blog post series on Ghana.