What a week. I always feel like I should be taking notes all week so I can write more accurate blog posts and not forget anything. I’m getting older you know. But now that I type it out, that just sounds weird. So I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I do have to sit here and think a bit before I start writing and every time I hit publish, I think of something I left out. But then I see how long the posts get and I figure some things are better left unsaid.
So here goes.
Went on my first overnight field trip this week. We took a pile of eighth graders up towards Aburi. That’s about an hour north and several meters up. It was quite nice to be in the mountains for a bit. You see the rest of this place is pretty flat. If I’m honest here, I was looking forward to this trip about as much as I look forward to hair cuts and wearing a necktie. I have to say it turned out rather well though. The kids were good, we, or at least I, learned a ton about water and local culture, did some good service for the community and I met Sharon Marley, Rita’s first born. Therefore, by the previously discussed theory of relativitiness, I have now met Bob! Ha. Anyway. We did some work at the Kokonuru clinic that was built by the Rita Marley foundation and sense Sharon was in town, she just got married to a Ghanaian guy, they asked her to make an appearance. The kids were laughing at me, knowing I’m a bit of a Marley fan. I didn’t get a selfie with her, but I did get to talk to her for a bit. Pretty cool.
Friday night, Maddox and I, along with our driver Eddie and his friend Kwame, headed out to the National Stadium to see the Black Stars play the “Dream Team”. It was a farewell game before the team headed off to prepare to lose to the USA in the World Cup. Once we got inside and settled, it was fun. Before that, well, I was second guessing the decision to go. So if you’ve been to any professional sporting event, you know there can be some traffic hassles getting to the arena. Well, as the BTO once said, “you ain’t seen nothin yet.” Take one metropolitanish downtown, subtract traffic lights, add traffic circles, subtract most road lanes and add a pile of people excited about a game and you’ve got the basic idea. Thank goodness Eddie wanted to go and drive us. We may or may not have driven on a sidewalk at one point. Oh and parking. Yeh, we just blocked a couple cars in, although somehow they were gone before we returned and our car was just kind of floating in space.
Getting in the stadium was nutz too. We were just ahead of the projected kickoff when we arrived, projected being the key word there. There were two queues, you can’t call them lines here, and neither one was moving towards the two gates that were open. People were not happy. Although, a lot of those angryish men did light up when they saw Maddox in his Black Stars kit. Eventually we found a line that was moving. Eddie put the grip of
death life on Maddox’s hand and we got in line. We were literally smashed into each other in the line and had to squeeze through a door that was not more than two feet wide. Maddox’s eyes were like saucers as he watched the police with semi-automatic weapons yelling at people and we’ll call it, gesturing, towards fans with their batons to keep people in line and moving. OK. Maybe my eyes were that big too. Eventually we made it to some seats, managed to slow our heart rates back down to about five thousand beats per minute and enjoy the game that started somewhere around six pm after the line of fifteen or so dignitaries all gave their speeches and shook hands and such. That’s how they do it here.
The game was fun. The Black Stars thrashed the Dream Team, stars of the local leagues, and Maddox was so excited he could hardly stand it. It was ten o’clock by the time he finally fell asleep. We were supposed to meet some of his friends there and his last words on the night were, “I’m pretty sure I heard Lucas and Michael’s voices while we were there. They must have been sitting right above us.” Sure buddy. Sure.
One last thing. Yesterday, I went on my first official mountain biking expedition. It was hot. It was also fun and pretty amazing. We started at the bike shop at the entrance to the Aburi Botanical Gardens were we rented bikes. I think it is fair to say that those bikes had seen better days, but they made it to the end. Well most of them did. We rode for forty six kilometers or so. About twenty some miles, through some really remote areas. It was pretty amazing. A lot of the ride was along dirt roads and just hot, but the views were fantastic across the mountains and there was also some pretty wicked single track. We passed through several tiny villages and a couple of places were the trail went right through someone’s yard. I guess that’s what you’d call it. Every time we passed a house or village the kids came running and yelling, “Oburoni, Oburoni.” Pretty crazy. I didn’t get a ton of pictures, but it was something I won’t soon forget.
I’ll wrap it up there. Hope you have a good week.