To Akosombo

Trip Start Mar 11, 2005
1
13
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Trip End Mar 27, 2005


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Flag of Ghana  ,
Wednesday, March 16, 2005

We awoke from a restless night. It was too hot to sleep. There were lots of different noises in the village but mostly goats, roosters and children along with the banging and clanging of pots and dishes etc. And the relentless sound of the brooms - sweep, sweep, sweep. There seems to be a lot of commotion outside, but perhaps this is a normal morning? Turns out it is not - they've caught a black cobra in the fence right outside our bedroom window! I hate snakes!

After breakfast we go to catch the tro-tro. We walk from Daniel's house out to the main road to catch it. Shawn teases Daniel it is 10 KM out to the road and this becomes a running joke while we are with him. I'm not feeling well again this morning and I down some Gravol and Pepto and pray that everything stays inside where it should.

The tro-tro arrives and it would be what we call full when it arrives. They do not call this full at all. Daniel did convince them not to pick up any more passengers until we got off. Normally they would continue to pick up everyone that flagged them down (by waving their arm and pointing at the road). Luckily it was a short ride. We cut across a field - with me ever mindful of anything that might slither - and arrived at an office of the Volta River Authority. We got a visitor pass of some kind, the rates on the door were C25,000 ea for non-Ghananians but we did not pay. They sent the same driver to pick us up that we had yesterday. While we were waiting for him, I walked back to the post office we had passed and bought some stamps for postcards and for the stamp collectors on my "please bring me back" list.

The driver first took us up to the top of the dam and we worked our way inside. Kailey was busy handing out Ontario Power Generation pens that they had given us to bring to give away. It didn't take long for word to get out there was a girl giving out freebies as men were literally coming out of the walls to get a pen. We gave a windup radio/lantern to our driver. I tried to get him to sell me his shirt, but he wouldn't part with it. It was a Volta River Authority 40th Anniversary shirt 1961-2001. He said he would try to get me one. We had a tour of the dam inside and out and made arrangements to meet with the director for a few minutes. He had been busy with a TV crew filming him. We got the chance to take a lot of pictures. We presented him with some gifts from Ontario Power and a portrait book of Canada we had brought.

We went to the town of Akosombo. The township of Akosombo was built in 1961 to house the workers involved in the creation of Ghana's largest dam, a clay and rock construction that measures 370m across and from top to bottom. The largest man made lake in the world, Lake Volta, was created when building the dam. We have a home movie of Shawn and his brothers swimming in the town pool and we wanted to see if we could do the same - swim in the same pool he had 40 years ago. We took a quick drive to see if we could see his old house, but he said they all looked the same to him. While Kailey and I swam, Daniel and Shawn walked back up to the top of the hill where he knew his house was and tried again to locate the house without any luck. The boys didn't want to come in the pool they just wanted to eat. We got the driver to take us to the Volta Hotel where the boys had fried chicken and fries, Shawn had an omelet and I ordered meatballs that came with fries and Kailey ordered spaghetti so we mixed up the spaghetti and meatballs when they came. Daniel and the driver would not eat, even though I said I was buying, they thought it was just too expensive to eat there. The driver did accept a beer. Beer and water are the same price (at least here at the hotel). The boys found an internet cafe in the hotel so we got 15 mins each - I hope I was able to get my email off this time. Of course the boys wanted to MSN someone and since it was noon at home, no one was on.

When we left, Daniel wanted to take us to the market. Shawn just wanted to buy beer, water and pop - it had been a very long day. We went to the market anyway - what an experience! People kept touching Kailey. It was so packed cars were driving so close I was afraid someone's toes were going to get run over. We followed Daniel through the market, trying not to get lost all the while holding our breath. There sure were lots of sights to see - we mostly went through the produce section. We sure got a lot of stares!
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