A Bumpy Ride to Hohoe

Trip Start Jun 21, 2012
Trip End Jul 21, 2012

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Flag of Ghana  , Volta Region,
Saturday, June 23, 2012

Next mawnin', I woke up & felt OK! I did fall asleep for about 6 hours and felt energized for the day. My volunteer program coordinator named Megan e-mailed me to inform me dat the volunteer program driver will be late to pick me up at the hotel. So, I waited in the lobby and tried to work on my travel blog.  I was served a light breakfast with some bread n' cheese and some orange juice.  I didn't notice Jonathan (the hotel driver) 'cos he wuz sportin’ sunglasses.  He waved at me & asked me if I needed anything.  Nope.  He sat by me and started askin’ me questions:  Are ya married?  Seein’ anybody?  Children?  How old are ya?  No to all of the above.  I told him to guess my age.  He thought I wuz 25-30 yrs old.  I laughed and said no.  48!  He looked disbelief.  Sure, it made me feel good a bit, or maybe he tried to be nice.  My turn, I asked him the same questions he asked me.  No to all of the above, too.  Interestingly he said, "Ya have to have the money in order to get married."  It sounded like a dowry to me.  He’s 31.  I dunno know if it’s a culture thing for all the Ghanaian men, or it’s his religion.  Gotta ask my Ghanaian friends about dat!

The volunteer program van driver came & fetched me.  There were other volunteers at the airport where we picked 'em up.  The volunteers were a surgeon, a lab technician, and a teacher from New York.  We were told it’d take 3.5-4 hours of drive to Hohoe.  De nada.  I had my camera ready for snapshots on the road trip. 

To my surprise, the Ghanaian man, who wuz accompanied by the driver, knew sign language.  His name is XXX (I need to ask him for his name again 'cos it's Ghanaian dat I can't remember!).  We chatted and I asked him questions.  How did he learn sign language?  His family?  His job?  I also asked him about things I saw on the road trip.  He learned it in college.  There were several signs that I didn’t understand and some of the signs were SEE (Signin’ Exact English) and Ghanaian signs, not ASL (American Sign Language) dat most of deafies & I normally use.  I had to stop him to repeat or ask him what they’re.  So different!  I followed him pretty good.  Hopefully I’ll get used to it but I also teach him my ASL w/out criticizin’ him.  We agreed that we teach to each other:  our signs and our culture.  My deaf Ghanaian friend warned me dat the interpreters wudda be different and not dat good like the ones in the U.S.  Told him no problem and now I see what he meant.  So…he’s my interpreter for the volunteer program, ah.  It’ll be quite challengin’ experience for us, I bet!  He used to teach at Volta School f/t Deaf where I’ll be volunteerin’ but quit.

It wuz on Saturday about noonish when we departed Accura.  On the way to Hohoe,  there were still peeps by the roadside sellin’ different things such as mangoes, cassavas, bananas, bottles of water, and clothes.  Women carry their baby on back in a wrap like a piggy back.  They also carried a big bowl or a box filled w/ things on their head.  They didn’t hold it w/ their hands.  Even young children were already mastered at balancin’ it on their head.  Some of 'em looked heavy to weigh on their head!  There were numerous lil’ shops (or I’d say shacks or huts) by the roadside dat they sell where ya see in the U.S.: Coke, tires, lil’ TVs (not HDs), and more.  They’re makin’ a livin’ from sellin’ the things.

The road was bumpy, rough, and had many potholes where the van driver bothered to avoid ‘em (literally all of ‘em) at any cost.  And speed bumps, too, where the driver had to slow down.  So, ya can imagine there were MANY stops, slow downs, swerving, and accelerating.  I didn’t see one mechanic shop nearby in case the tire blows out.  In Accura, the road was paved until when we were near Hohoe, it turned into dirt and orange clay.  The land was flat and greenish until I saw the hills becomin’ mountains.  They were so dense with lots of lush and cultivating greenery & trees.  It’s my first time to see rows of mango trees.  The size of the mango was so BIG, unlike the one ya see in the supermarket.  I’m lookin’ forward to eatin’ many mangoes!  Man-Goes!

Well, in the U.S. we have domestic animals which are cats n’ dogs, ja?  In Ghana, I see chickens n’ goats!  I meant LOTS of ‘em.  They roam freely and apparently are smarter than the cats n’ dogs not to cross the road.  The Ghanaians walked by the roadside, ride bicycles, motorcycles, and many of ‘em ride vans or buses.  A few of ‘em drive cars.  Their homes were like huts made of sticks, just the ones ya see on TV or in magazines.  Some of ‘em were made of mud & covered w/ metal roof.

Most of men wore like the men in the U.S. but I found men interestin’ in particular.  They wore special kente cloth dat wraps around their body and throws it over the shoulder diagonally like a big bed sheet. I wuz told they wear it in red, brown, or black for the funeral.  Women wear just like the American women but in a simple n’ plain way.  Many of ‘em wear beautiful, colorful outfits.  I wuz encouraged to have ‘em made one for me.  They are expert in makin’ ‘em, or ya cudda buy one at the market.  I’m plannin’ to get one or two.

The road trip to Hohoe from Accura was quite absorbin' dat hardly made me fall asleep, even tho, it wuz long!  More tales to come in Hohoe...

P.S. I have more pics but I'm havin' trouble uploadin' 'em.  Hopefully will do later today or send 'em to my Facebook.

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