March 30, 2014

Sometimes British politeness can lead to some really awkward situations. After I’d finally seen an elephant it seemed like a good time to figure out how I was going to get home. I was sat outside checking flights when some older Lebanese guys thought I looked like a good candidate for a chat.  This was all fine, they gave me advice on what sites to look at for flights. Then they both wanted photos with me, but that’s something you kind of get used to being a white person in Ghana. Fine. Then they offered to give me a lift back to the airport with them the next day and pay for everything for me to stay an extra day. So strange! A very generous offer but I didn’t really fancy hanging out with them for 2 days. I hate those awkward situations where people are so insistent you feel rude to refuse and rude to accept. So I politely excused myself and hotfooted it out of there, deciding to figure out how I was going to get back en route.


One of the students who was on the safari gave me a lift back to town on the back of one of the guides bikes- a much speedier journey than the first one! So fun! I got the bus on to Tamale which just happened to be there when we arrived and made the terrifying decision to take an 11 hour bus journey home. I splashed out and spent 50C on the last ticket for the VIP bus. We left at 4pm and really it wasn’t that bad. I slept most of the way and luckily it passed by ACP Junction (the turning where the volunteer house was) so I was able to go straight home. Unfortunately had to knock on the door and wake the housemates up at 3am because someone had locked me out but I’d made it home!


VPWA house

View from the VPWA house


Sitting in my ‘real’ home in the UK I feel like it should be weird to call Accra home, but it really did feel that way. I was going home to the amazing friends I’d made and the place I’d been living for the last 2 months. It was good to be back. I was so happy to see everyone the next day but had no idea what to do with my last weekend. I’d been planning to go to the Volta region to see Wli falls (the biggest waterfalls in Ghana) but the others were planning to go back to Big Millies. I tried to persuade them to come with me but they were having none of it. In the end the decision was easy. My trip had made me miss my friends and I wanted to spend my last weekend with them. People over places every time.


It turned out to be one of those perfect weekends which only happen every few years, when you are so happy about everything that nothing could possibly make it any better. We went out for a final night in Accra on the Friday, having my last Cardinal shots in Container, and partying with the students in Duplex. Accra is a great night out! Had a weird morning when Lizzie the cleaner woke me up to move me out of my room for someone else to move in. That was pretty sad, I loved my little room and had to go nap in Ana’s room instead. We headed to Kokrobite in the afternoon, squeezing in a quick nap before an epic night at Big Millies. A revealing game of I’ve Never, pretending to sing along with the band on stage and finally ticking skinny dipping off the bucket list made for a perfect last night out.


On stage Big Millies

I definitely belong in this band…


Sunday was spent lazing on the beach, swimming in the sea, and for Lauren –pretending to be French to fend off unwanted advances. Did have an embarrassing moment though –I’m not sure if this happens to anyone else, but instead of falling over when drunk I do it the next day. Walking back in from the beach to Big Millies I feel flat on my face, into the sand, when wearing a bikini. Sand everywhere! The Ghanaian stall holders came running over “I’m sorry”, “I’m sorry” like it was their faulty my hangovers show themselves in an inability to stay upright. My friend John helped me up (He thinks we’re destined to be together because he saw me at Elmina as well as multiple times at Big Millies). I brushed myself off and quickly ran back out to the beach where noone knew what had happened.


That evening, back home, I went to Pool Bar to say my final goodbyes to Nana and Betty. I still miss them and their extremely efficient service, serving us clubs as soon as they saw us sit down. It’s great being a local somewhere. The next day was full of goodbyes, a final lunch at the hotel and some last minute souvenir purchases. I was so, so sad to leave. Ghana had become my home and I wasn’t ready to move on yet. I’d had the greatest time with the most amazing people that I will never forget .  I’m sure I’ll be back one day but I don’t imagine it could ever be the same. Ghana is progressing rapidly and in a few years I’m sure it’ll be a popular tourist destination. Hopefully that doesn’t take away any of the magic.


VPWA ghana

Last day with my boys


Ghana I miss you!