Kumasi, Ghana, November 26 - 28, 2007
Trip Start Sep 19, 2007
85Trip End Jan 05, 2008
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Where I stayed
Shortly after our arrival that night Robin and Chris, two of the shall we say "more mature" women on the trip treated us to a show. The two hadn't been getting along for a while and had some words with each other back in Senegal over who had the say over what could be stored in Daphne's small refrigerator
Kumasi is the capital of the Ashanti Kingdom, the Ashanti's being the largest of the Akan tribes that make up most of Ghana's population. The city has numerous sights related to Ashanti history including Maniyah Palace, a British-built palace given to Ashanti King Prempeh II on return from his forced exile in the Seychelles, the Prempeh II Museum of the King's belongings and royal artifacts, and the National Culture Center, a crafts village of fixed priced shops and artisan stalls where it's possible to watch artisans at work on Ashanti Land's famous crafts, best known of which is Kente Cloth.
Like elsewhere in Africa the center of life in Kumasi is its central market. Kejetia Market is a massive expanse of rusting corrugated tin roofs and shanties selling everything locals could possibly need and is said to be the largest in West Africa, a claim the seemed entirely plausible from the looks of it until I saw even vaster expanses of humanity engaged in trade in Nigeria
There is an amazingly low hassle factor in Ghana compared with other countries in West Africa, and I was almost never bothered or asked for anything in the country. I found the Ghanaians to be the friendliest and most welcoming people of all the countries I visited on the trip. Even police, who have such a reputation for being on the make in many African countries, in Ghana were all friendly and helpful in giving directions rather than trying to impose fines for fabricated infractions.
Ghana's background as a former British colony is evident in many ways, not the least of which is the crisp smart-looking uniforms schoolchildren all wear - dresses for girls and usually khaki shorts with different color sport shirts depending on the school or town for boys. These made Ghanaian children all look especially neat and clean after the ragged snotty ones a week earlier on the Dogon trek. I suppose I also prefer to be greeted by children with, "How are you, Obroni? What is your name?" rather than, "Donnez moi un cadeau!"