Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Adventure to Koforidua

This past weekend, a group of 12 of us girls from CIEE decided to adventure up north a bit, to the town of Koforidua. We departed on Friday (which to our surprise was a holiday and we ended up not having classes) and took two tro-tros to arrive at our destination, which was about an hour and a half away. When we got there, six of us piled into a small taxi and took us to the hotel we had booked for Friday and Saturday, which was in a small area called Two Streams, a few miles from Koforidua. The hotel was at the end of a bumpy dirt road and we settled in to our small but comfy rooms.

After walking down the main road of Two Streams – which consisted of a few stands every block selling very similar items – we took a taxi into town to eat at Linda Dor Restaurant, which the guide book informed us had an array of choices besides just typical Ghanaian food and most people were ready for something different than jollaf and fufu. Looking at the menu, we realized Lidyas was all that we hoped for; pasta, hamburgers, soup, sandwiches, Chinese food, etc. When the waitress came to take our orders, she informed us they did not have any beef, and when we inquired about a few other dishes she seemed surprised that we would even think they had that item. I settled on pasta with vegetables since I haven’t been eating too many veggies here. After a very filling meal we headed back to the hotel.

We were awakened the next day early in the morning to loud voices and multiple slams of the screen door near our room. Next thing we knew, we were all being kicked out of our rooms because the hotel accidentally overbooked. So at seven in the morning, we piled six Americans plus a driver and another random Ghanaian lady (later we found out she worked at the new hotel) into a very small five person car and headed off to another hotel down the road. The new hotel was quite nice – a king-sized bed, TV, even toilet paper in the bathroom (which is very uncommon)!

Our initial reason for this trip was to visit Boti Falls, a 30-meter high waterfall with a hike in the surrounding areas. We told the people at the hotel we were heading there and somehow, without us knowing, they set up the whole trip for us and picked us up in our personal tro-tro. They took us to the falls, about 30 minutes away, and then set up a guide for the hike. The day was perfect for hiking. We passed by some caves, saw an umbrella rock, and admired the three-pronged palm tree. I also sat on an old rock beneath the tree with intricate designs that supposedly will cause you to have twins.  I’m curious to see if this will come true...After the hike we went down to the waterfall and had a refreshing swim in the water before heading back.

Everyone was pretty exhausted when we returned so we all rested for a bit then ventured out to find some food. The only place we could find in Two Streams was this little chop bar called Mat’s, so we ordered enormous portions of jollaf rice and chicken. The four of us sharing a room left first and on the way out began talking to this lady named Christine, who, coincidentally, had a husband who was working in St. Paul. Before we knew it, she had invited us to her house and wanted us to return tomorrow and learn how to make typical food she was preparing for her brother’s wedding. That night, we ventured to her house a few blocks away and sat on her porch for a while and chatted. Her daughters gave us a great little performance they learned at school and we met her exuberant sister, who reminded me of an American city girl.

The next day we returned at eight in the morning and Christine gave us a few chairs to sit in. It was a very interesting and unexpected morning. We thought we would help prepare for the wedding, but they just wanted us to sit in the chairs and random people would stop by and chat for a little while, then leave and say, “I’m coming, okay?”  We became very used to this phrase and I soon discovered it translates roughly to, “I’m going and I probably wont come back, okay?” Finally we went to the other side of the complex and watched ladies make soup and fufu, and helped out a little bit. At one point, a car came into the driveway and the lady driving (A friend of Christine’s I think) was heading to Legon so we hopped in and Christine sent us with a container of groundnut soup and rice balls. The cozy ride home in an air-conditioned car was a great way to end this exciting weekend.

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