Ghana – Puke, a Slave Castle and a Bike Ride

By Cameron

Let’s see… Ghana was split into two port stops, one in Takoradi and one in Tema.

Takoradi turned out to be quite uneventful. Caitlyn became sick the night before we arrived. We left her on the ship briefly and got some interne t at a nearby hotel and swam in the pool. When we got back, she began vomiting violently, covering everything in the room with a nice layer of barf. That was lovely. At its height, her fever was at one-hundred-three-point-something. Thankfully, she was well enough by the third day to join us in our brief visit to (though, very long drive) the Almina slave castle .

We didn’t get to see very much in Takoradi, but it wasn’t really Caitlyn’s fault. Even if she had been exploding with golden rays of sunshine and health, there wasn’t a whole lot to do there, and everything that was there was really far (as in two-plus hour drives) away.

That  was okay with me, though, as it marked the peak of my work on The Great Treasure Hunting Game, which I “finished” in approximately three days. (I have had to edit it a few times, to fix various bugs. Technically, it still has a huge one, but it is highly unlikely to occur—so highly unlikely that it doesn’t bother me at all that I have no idea how I would fix it.)

Tema was a bit more eventful, but we only spent two days there.

The first day we went on a bike ride—a now, notorious bike ride, as it was most strenuous and not incredibly pleasant. Posed by the vending guides as an “easy, flat, three-hour bike ride,” we spent six hours riding up a hill and down a hill and on a dirt road and on a dirt path and on a single-track that was more of a half-track (at times there was literally not enough room for the pedals to get by) and again on a dirt path. It was 95*F and 120% humidity. (Made-up figures; potentially accurate, I don’t know)  [This will adventure will be a story we will tell for years to come. – Mom]

On the way back to the ship, from the bike ride, we got to experience Ghanaian traffic, which is four to five hours of standstill and composed of ramming other vehicles and proceeding to have shouting matches with their drivers. That was interesting.

On the last day in Tema, we went on a field program organized by SAS to a social enterprise that is the only domestic producer of sports balls: ​Alive and Kicking​. We got to tour their “factory,” which looks like it could be a fixer-upper and turn into a nice suburban home, although I don’t think they have any of those in Ghana. (It’s really poor. I didn’t really see any real infrastructure beyond a few major paved roads.) We learned about the process of hand manufacturing soccer balls, and then got the opportunity to make really small ones. They just happen to be the perfect size for playing catch, actually. That was pretty fun. Though we did receive some blisters on our hands from pulling tight the strings that have lasted up to this day. (Four weeks now) Afterwards, we went outside to a field and “played” soccer with the workers that taught us how to make the balls. (Actually a few of the male college students played with the workers, while everyone else stood around in pennies and jerseys, respectively, looking dumb.) It was much better than the day before it. That’s for certain.

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