Africa: Sunshine and Mosquitoes

August 20-24, 2014
I started my Modern Global trek and adventures with a trip to Africa. Having traveled by airplane for many hours, I finally landed in the Tamale Airport, located in the northern region of Ghana. It was almost midnight and I was so tired from the long trip. I checked in at the Kumasi Hotel, which seemed nice, but upon using the bathroom, I found a gecko laying in the tub. I screamed and it scurried into the corner of the room. The next day, I rode in a taxi and arrived at Accra, the capital of Ghana. It was filled with culture, excitement, and so many nasty mosquitoes. There were massive crowds of people yelling and walking around everywhere. The heat and smog made it difficult to breathe and the blinding sun was so intense. Many mosquitoes were constantly biting me. During my travels, it made me sad to see so many poor people living in grass huts with non-furnished rooms with dirt floors. The beds are covered with mosquito nets. Even though these people are poor, I noticed that they seem to be quite happy, riding around in buses and taxis. The street markets are filled with various food vendors and children playing games. There is live music being played, and celebrations taking place. It was there that I learned to sing and dance to an African tribal song. Afterwards, I enjoyed lunch at the Crab House, which is supposed to be one of the best restaurants in Ghana. It was strange to see people eating without utensils and washing their hands in bowls filled with water and gel, before they eat. An eager chef named Afolabi, showed me how he makes a dish called Jungle Rat. When I saw him scrape off the fur, I almost gagged. Chef Afolabi insisted that I try some. After I ate a small piece I noticed it tasted very similar to chicken. To my surprise, I was able to finish the meal, which included another dish, fufu, that also tasted like chicken. I spent a day at the Akuma village, a fascinating place in Ghana. It was so loud and noisy, but I got confused and lost there. Finally, I met a tour guide named Mrs. Ofosu. She told me about the history of the African people and a famous tradition where a person is buried in a coffin representing what they did in their life. She took me to a coffin shop, where African people visit to pick out a coffin before they die. I saw many coffins in different shapes such as sneakers, airplanes, and even beer bottles! If I lived in Africa, I would probably pick out a coffin shaped like a microscope. Then she took me to a funeral for her friend’s Uncle. It was advertised on the radio and in the newspaper. So much celebration was going on there. Many people came and gave an offering of flowers to the family and the whole village danced until sunset. On my final day in Africa, I wanted to remember my experience, so I went to a souvenir shop, and bought a few different, but expensive gifts. People were selling African masks, sculptures, paintings, and jewelry. Then I went back to the hotel, and packed up my luggage, and headed back on the airplane. Goodbye, Africa!