Yep. Ice and Ludacris. It’s almost at the top of the hill in Peki. Just look for the sign with them on it. I really wish I had a picture to share with you, but it just didn’t feel right to whip out the camera at that point of our walk through town. But we’ll get back to that.
We had a fantastic opening weekend to Spring Break. We packed up the cooler, cranked up the Jimmy Buffet and head down to Daytona on our Gold Wings. Wait a minute. That was something else. Actually I told the kids “hop in my Chrysler it’s as big as a whale…” OK. Maybe not that either. We did take the cooler, and we did head down the highway, but it wasn’t towards Atlanta. We headed north and east into the Volta region to visit Bob.
But we first we stopped to see Cedi. He makes the beads you see. Cedi Beads is somewhat well known around these parts, and according to the pictures on the walls, he’s made his way around the world a bit too. It was pretty cool to see his facility. The kids didn’t really care too much for the seemingly scripted “tour”, but they loved making their own beads, playing with some of the kids that were hanging around and of course kicking the soccer ball for a bit. We had to leave without seeing our finished products, but of course we left with a few bracelets and such.
Onwards we headed from Cedis along the alternate route that was necessary because the only bridge that crosses the Volta River is closed until 2016. Crazy, huh? But don’t worry, we had two alternate routes available to us. We were assured that the dam that wasn’t too far down river was a viable crossing point as well. Our intelligence was confirmed by multiple sources so we moved forward with the mission. It was an absolutely beautiful drive to the dam through the countryside and under a tunnel of trees at one point. Magnificent. Should have seen it as some foreshadowing. Don’t worry, it turned out ok, but it was touch and go there for a bit. You see the nice police woman and her army companion with the full kevlar jacket and assault rifle assured us that the bridge here was open, just not to us. It has been written that this particular route is not available to foreigners, diplomats or white people. Swear to goodness. That’s what they said. So we try to talk through it, look real distraught, though friendly, and the kids were even doing their part playing possum and looking cute in the back seat. But, it didn’t look good. Then as we began to turn the car around they had a change of heart and let us through. All they asked is that we buy them some cold water. Wink wink, nod nod, smirk. Whatcha gonna do? So a greased hand shake and an arranged “escort” and we were on our way again. Close one. But not really. Its just how you play the game.
The rest of the ride was relatively innotable (I like making up words. Back off.), we’ve already discussed the distressed roads in this region, so we’ll let that dog lie.
Roots Yard is one of our new favorite places in Ghana. Bob (who I think Maddox is still secretly thinking might really be Bob Marley) and Jacquelin, and their kids, are great people and live quite the nice lifestyle. It felt like we were hanging out with friends in their back yard for a couple of days. The food is purely vegan and totally fantastic. Honest. I didn’t go hungry by any means. I honestly had thoughts of converting it was so tasty. But then I thought about Oreo milkshakes and pizza. A fella has his limits. The kids had a blast playing with their new friends in the yard and just hanging around. I love these little trips where the kids get lost in the present moment and forget about iPads and such and just play. It is so cool to watch them figure out new friends and share their imaginations.
We attempted a hike through “Butterfly Alley” but having lived in the city for the past eight months my wilderness survival skills are a little off. The two local guys that ran by at full speed with their machetes and the black clouds that were gathering behind us were mistakenly identified as local flavor. Turned out it was signs of what we’d call a gully washer back in the states. We got soaked. Just in case you were wondering, junglish trails and dirt roads get really slick when it rains. It was some work getting back to the car. Funny part is, Maddox was complaining as we started the hike and wanted to quit and go back and be carried and yadda yadda yadda. But as soon as it started raining, he was having a blast! He lit up like a pumpkin in October. You just never know with kids. They are a great reminder that life is happening in this moment and none other.
The rest of the time at Roots Yard was spent just hanging around. We talked music, religion, kids, life and tofu with Jaquelyn and Bob and took a little walk into Peki as well. Maddox had managed to travel with only one pair of shoes which, unless you suffer from short term memory loss, you will recall were now quite soaked. We found him some two cedi flip flops, that’s about seventy-five cents if you’re wondering and bought some candy too. Which the kids then shared with kids we passed on the walk back to the house. Pretty cool. An interesting little town where it felt like you were walking through the Ghanaian version of Cheers. Ok, they didn’t know our names, but it seemed that everyone was happy to see us. They called out welcome or shared big smiles or even a few thumbs ups. I understand now why Ice makes the trip for his hair cuts.
Sorry. I know I need an editor to trim this stuff down, but I don’t even have the lights on right now so I don’t see the board approving any investments in this outfit. So keep reading if you’re still awake and interested. I’ll wait if you need a drink or a stretch break.
Alright. Let’s get to the ride home. I swear to goodness I leave stuff out of my entries. I just have lots to say.
So we pack up the car, pay up and exchange hugs all the way around. I know they were doing their job, but I really felt like I left with two new friends. Oh, and a key. Oops. I didn’t realize that until I opened the front door of our Ghana house (Josie’s words). So I’ll just throw it in the mail and they’ll get it this week. Ha ha ha ha hah ahahaaahhh hahahaha ha. ooohhh. Sorry. Yeh, we’ll have to figure something else out to get the key back to them. Turns out we also left all of our hats on the bench there too so, they have some collateral I guess. Sorry. We were leaving right. We stopped and bought a cool drum on the side of the road and the kids got some shakers. We watched the guys work a little too as they were shaping drums. Pretty neat. Now I just need to work on my skills a bit.
The kids passed out once again and we headed for the ferry. I had no idea what to expect. I kind of expected a wooden raft and some long ropes, but it was a legit ferry boat. Pretty big. Probably thirty cars or so on it and a ton of people. So picture that ferry you’ve been on before with cars and such. Now picture them a little closer together and add twenty to thirty people walking around between the cars selling stuff out of the big silver bowls balanced on their heads full of anything from water to kabobs to what might have been crayfish. Yeh. Its like that. It all went really smooth. We pulled up, paid and drove right onto the boat. Much better than the two hour wait some folks had warned us about. Unfortunately, the kids slept through it. Maddox didn’t even believe that it had happened when we told him about it a few hours later. Funny.
The last bit of the vacation was spent at Sanjuna Beach Club. Its on a river, not the coast, and the sand doesn’t even recede into a swimming area, but there are a couple of pools and a playground and even boats to rent. There’s also a big sandy area with goals for soccer. But, there’s almost no shade over the sand so its close fourtyteen degrees on your feet if you want to play. We had been here before on a staff trip and the place was bumping. People everywhere, a giant sound system pumping out beats, the real deal. But this time. We literally had the place to ourself. It was pretty cool to have a couple of hours in our private beach club! We did some swimming, some ping ponging and had a picnic lunch before deciding we would rent a row boat for a bit and head out on the river. Only problem was we needed a bit of cash.
(Now this in itself could be an entire blog post. And perhaps it will be one day. But for now, the quest to find cash in Ghana will stay focused on this particular instance).
OK. I just deleted all that. No I didn’t get an editor, just realized it was lame. Basically, just double any time estimate some one gives you in Ghana and remember that you will always feel lost driving here so go ahead and quit listening to your gut about that one.
It was a great start to our Spring Break. It is always nice to get out of the city and see some green and just relax. It was also good to be home though. The last couple of days have been pretty laid back. The kids had a play date with their besties and Robyn and I went batiking. That was pretty cool too. We made some good looking fabrics, if I do say so myself. Otherwise, we’ve just had Josie puke and both of them have a fever and Tina with a fever or something that apparently made her halucinate. Yeh. Just another day in this life.