So, we were to get up at 5 in the morning so that we could make it to Kakum National Park early enough to see the animals. The driver (not Kwame) didn’t show. We ended up walking to the junction and took a taxi. 10 cedis. We arrived in …wherever I was, and had to pay a gate fee 1 cedi. Then, we walked to the reservations desk and it cost locals 2 cedis but a foreign adult 30 cedis. Ok, I must confess the next sentence is not Bishop worthy – I remembered I had my student ID and pulled it out. That dropped the price to 15 cedis. The reason that’s not Bishop worthy – I’m not a student…so, I feel like I should take a class to make up for it! On top of that..it was 3 cedis for an “inconvenience charge” unless we wanted to wait until 8:30. An extra 2 cedis for the kids – Esi and Nana Kwame, and 3 extra for me. I told them, I’d better see animals or I want my money back! 😀
We hiked…and hiked..and hiked…and finally made it to the first leve. Nan, as I call him – started to feel ill – a round of tums 😀 After we went over our first bridge, I noticed a young woman, maybe 22ish, struggling and terrified out of her mind, going across – I remembered what I’ve seen in the movies, and had her watch me and we made conversation. I promised her a hug if she made it, and she did 😀 She took the “escape route” and waited for us at the end.
After the 3 of us finished, there was a nature walk. See, I thought that was included in the price – but nooooo…they wanted 10 more cedis. We only had 8 between all of us. Now, the guide said he’d cut us a deal – however, in the back of my mind was the sign that said “do not give the guides any money.” How I keep getting in these predicaments is beyond me. First the airport guy, not this dude. Anyway, I told him I’d hang onto the money and we’d give it to him at the end. No one was really sure what the money was going for – but we did our hike. I gave it to Esi because she could understand both languages.
We hiked..no casualties – reminded me of Sidecut park in Maumee, OH. Except with a cola tree (one of the men there tried to tell me that’s what Coke is made from, possible – but I dunno.) The guide found a black snail..it was pretty big. The most common question I get is “Do you have that in America?” I suppose, if you go with the general sense of America – meaning – the tippy top of Canada to the southern most part of South America – we probably have 99% of the things that I’m asked. Like peanuts – though, one of the students didn’t believe that we had such a thing – to be honest, I wasn’t sure Ghana had peanuts either – I’d packed peanut butter, but it was in the pouch that ripped open…along with the neosporen (that comes later).
Anyway, yes, we have snails – not big black ones with purple on the inside of the shell – at least, not that I’ve seen 😀
The time came to give the man the money…we did. BUT, in the middle of everything, we decided we wouldn’t have enough money to pay for the way home – I figured 1. I could exchange some at the gift shop or 2. We’d ask Dora when we got home. Ended up being numero uno. I bought some post cards and a piece of kente for the art teacher, Sandy. Afterwards, I got to thinking about it – it’s not really “traditional” kente – I may keep it for myself and try to find her a different piece, we’ll see.
The rest of the day included laundry – a quick trip to the market that was closing (it closes at dark, that’s 6:00 PM here – year round. They don’t change time either – just like Arizona.) It didn’t dry completely 😦 Before it got dark, we went to the “market” – the images you see of streets lined with people carrying things on their head and shops stacked on top of each other – it’s true 😀 AND, if you turn the corner – there’s a whole secret inside to the market, you can buy anything you ever imagined you may or may never want – still have to find cheese and milk though…
When we got home, it was girls’ night at the Aidoo house. Some cousins were in town for a funeral, and they stayed over one more night. We soaked our feet, and Mantefwa (I butchered her spelling – let this just be a cover-all that I don’t know how to spell Ghanaian stuff, so..I just sound it out 😀 ) Anyway, she exfoliated our feet, massaged them, and even painted our toes – including Nana Kwame’s! After all was said and done, I was ready to zonk out. Long day 🙂