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No Sleep ’til Kumasi

It’s time for vacation.  I’ve been living here in Burkina for almost ten months, the hot season is upon us, and so it’s time for a little relaxation.  My counterpart also pointed out to me that I should absolutely take two weeks now and go because when I get back, we’ll start planting in our tree nursery.  We’ll start digging our well and preparing our field for the moringa orchard.  Once the rainy season has started in earnest, it will be time to fish and work in the fields again.  Then come September, there will be the harvest.  Point being:  get out now and take some time because we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Where am I going?  Well after careful consideration (well to be truthful, there was only one destination in our minds) four of us decided on a beach vacation in Ghana.  What does Ghana have that it’s neighbor, Burkina Faso doesn’t have?  Below is a list:

Beaches, good beers, English, “rainforest”, seafood, wildlife, trees with leaves, resorts, real safaris, tropical food traditions, kente cloth, trade routes, ecotourism, more access to air conditioning and internet, a lack of dust, lions, oh and an Apple store in Accra (not that I have any money to spend there but still).  There’s a reason why we call PC Ghana the “Posh Corps”…

That’s just an incomplete list but some things I’m looking forward to upon arriving.  However, with Ghana being a much more developed country comes increased tourism.  And with increased tourism there is more petty crime, more scam artists, and more unwanted attention.  However, it is all to be taken with a grain of salt.

The beginning of the trip starts with a roughly twenty-hour bus ride from Ouaga to Kumasi in central Ghana.  That might sound miserable however this bus is air-conditioned, not falling apart, and I will get my own seat and (hopefully) not have to share it with a vomiting baby—all improvements on my current mode of transportation!  We’ll spend some time in Kumasi checking out the sites, including one of the largest markets in all of West Africa, then it’s on to Kakum National Park.  After that, we will spend a few days in Cape Coast getting our fill of history—and if you’re me, trying to go fishing.  Then we will plant ourselves at a beach resort in Akwidaa Beach for about five days.  After that, we will go to Accra to spend a couple days with Sam’s Ghanaian friend (and so that Brook can take the GRE).  Then, hopefully much rejuvenated, we will take the 24-hour bus back to Ouaga.

So that’s that.  A week or so ago I was feeling a little bit of vacation regret.  I didn’t think I was ready to leave site like that for two weeks and especially did not feel ready to handle a much more developed country and return mentally unscathed.  However, as the date of departure crept closer, I began to feel more prepared.  The “tubabu” chants from little kids up in Gouran and in Tougan were starting to grate more and more and it was then that I realized that perhaps it was time for a little break.

I hope all is well back home and I’m thinking of you all!


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Jason Tsichlis

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March 2012