Yesterday we went from Tamale to Techiman …. on the way we stopped for a refresher at the Kintempo Waterfalls ….. last time we had been here even though the falls were beautiful it was completely spoilt because the whole site was littered in garbage … and when i say littered there was a layer of the small plastic water sacks and garbage .. it was disgusting.
However the government has cleaned it all up, Dela tells me. It just took 18 deaths …. apparently because the area had not been maintained properly even though it was a hugely popular spot to stop along the highway for a refreshing dip …. a tree had come crashing down the falls onto the people who were in the water at the time.
And sure enough all the garbage was gone and the site looked quite pristine and well kept… there is a plaque remembering the 18 people.. and the Falls are beautiful…. it just seems the price was just way to high.
We complain about our government but what i have seen of Ghana wow we are lucky. Ghana will build a brand new airport … not fix up a perfectly good one, yet not pay proper wages at the airport so corruption to pad their salaries is rife. The school buildings are usually imposing but the teachers are paid nothing and the education??? And the roads ?? Wow no matter what – our roads are magnificant comparatively … in the couple years since i traveled around Ghana the roads have deteriorated a lot and in some areas are positively dangerous … so you know how a politician will drive down these roads?? … they will race along in a caravan of huge black SUVs lead by a police on a motorcycle with sirens blaring right down the middle of the highway !!! … so us plebians are basically run off the road!!!! Wow, it was really something! … and don’t get me going on the gap between the rich and the poor …… and oh! … the politicians are in that rich – obscenely rich group – hmmm.
Sorry small rant.
We stayed over in Techiman … this area is the bread basket of Ghana, Dela tells me. And for sure the area is green and verdant. And Techiman is a market town where people come from all over Ghana to get the what is harvested here … you would never believe it though. It is a sad, dingy and dirty town .. i was going to stay in a local Monastary that is gorgeous but apparently big important bishops (also in big black SUVs – Religious leaders and Politicians … ok won’t start) were having a meeting there so they couldn’t accomodate us … so i ended up staying in a pretty sketchy hotel (think it was called the Bates Motel …no it wasn’t but the hallway was pretty creepy!) … but they had the best pizza!!
The next day we continued on the Road …. As we whizz along i always think how i would describe the scenes … There are vast swatches of green and you can glimpse villages of mud thatched roofed huts looking serene and sun dappled and ponds with white water lilies … verdant green everwhere. Then we hit a village on the side of the road and there are masses of people often dressed quite beautifully because it is Sunday and they are going to church … these villages are invariably strewn with garbage, the straggly buildings falling apart, with goats and chickens scratching in the garbage …but teaming with vibrant, laughing, talking people – such a complex scene somehow. Industry and decay, vibrancy and listlessness, stalls over laden with watermelons, oranges, papayas, tomatoes and the stall is rickety and leaning with an umbrella that is ripped and dusty….
And it goes on beauty and ugliness …. all the way to Kumasi.
And i said to Dela it is funny when i am away from Kumasi i think it not so bad … I mean Tamale was worse no?? …. and no no no no …. Kumasi is King of Khaos!!!! It is Sunday so the place is just churning with people and cars ! Wow, it is intense…
So it is so nice to arrive back at Sir Max …. ok the water is off so i can’t clean off the sweat and grime of travel but we sit down to eat our watermelon we bought on the side of the road that the staff here has kindly cut up for us … and slowly i can feel my system rehydrate!!
…. and finally i can phone Etienne to wish him Happy Birthday!!!! see the computer … that is where i called him … not bad, huh? … considering he was in a big thick sweater and told me there was a foot of snow out there!!! Happy Birthday, my darling Etienne!!!!