the story of
It's something special with the african air, in the morning. It's filled with the warmth from the sun, the dust from the streets and the love from the people. No wonder, the natives are so proud to be african.
Because believe me, they are.
They will let you know,
in every single sentense,
in every single breath,
that they are proud to be
And to be honest:
when you know how the african air feels like in the mornings - you won't blame them.
WARNING - DON'T SWIM, STAY ALIVE
Be aware of the crocodiles. They're more than happy to mark their turn. If you ask kindly, the locals will take you for a ride in their boats. Swimming s not always a good idea.
I was lucky, who met "the lion man". He got his name a few years ago, when he was fighting against a lion. He won. He smiled at me, when he said it.
-Did you hear, I won.
I nodded and glanced at the crocodiles in the muddy water under us.
We landed at the airport in the capital of Ghana, - Accra. But we didn't spend more than a few hours there before we had enough of traffic and dusty streets. We took the bus straight to Koforidua.
It's a quiet area, but it has some markets where you can buy local things, like bags, fruit and jewelry.
From Kodoridua, you can easy take a "trotro",
just like a mini bus, to the majestic waterfall,
Ghana in general is a non-touristic country and when you travel here you'll definitely get to see the actual culture and meet genuin people. Although - it's still not too difficult to travel through the country. It takes time, but it's overall very easy. And, people are friendly. They'll help you, if they can. The south part of Ghana is more used to tourists than the northern part.
The south has a few busy cities, with a lot of traffic. As expected in big cities, there's a contrast of the life standards between the people. You'll bump in to a lot of people, mostly men, in costume and briefcases, but you'll see them pass by a lot of people, sometimes whole families, bagging for money on the streets. Some of them have a place to come home to, some of them don't. You'll see many of them, sitting on the same spot, day after day. But there's something different from cities I've been to before - here, people are smiling and they're willing to give you all they have, even if that, so often, means nothing.
When you leave the cities you'll find a whole new world out on the country sides. People are living in simple houses, made out of mud. And, literally around the corner you'll find beautiful landscapes and waterfalls.
The south part of Ghana
Kordoridua. Small and dusty streets but with almost no traffic. Don't miss out the small markets, where you can buy local food, jewelry and clothes.
As we arrive in Kumasi the air in the trotro gets thicker. It goes slower now. The streets gets busier. I realise that this is an actual city, the first i've been to since Accra. The traffic is thick and the cars are honking wild and loudly. Suddenly the car stops rapidly at a traffic light. Kids are running barefoot along the roads, desperately clinging the cars to beg us for money. Some of them wear clothes. Some of them don't. Women putting baskets filled with frutes or fabrics in our faces. Ask us to buy. Cheap, cheap. All the way from America. Cheap. The car keeps on rolling and the women speeds up their steps but it's to crowded. The car stops again and new women and kids comes along. And it goes like this. All the way trough the city.
At one moment i get the chance to just stare at them while they're talking. They are gestulating a lot with the hands. Almost like me and my family when we're doing charades back home. All of them seems to know each other already. They stroke each others backs, hold each others hands. They speak loud and quickly, and laugh hysterical. Genuine. The barefoot kids are running around their feet. And on their heads they carrying baskets filled with goods and chattels they probably hope to sell during the market later on today. I can't help but thinking how heavy it looks.
And there and then, i see it.
It's the power of being a woman.
And I just can't stop staring.
When we arrived to the small village the natives insisted us to meet the chieftain.
I glansed at my friend. She brushed some dirt of her shirt,
put her hair behind her ears and glansed at me back.
She nodded, carefully, almost like she wanted to say "I think we're ready for this.".
I don't know why, but for some reason the word "chieftain" jingled very formal in my head.
I imagined a old man with a lot of authority. A person who lived in abundance, maybe with some heavy jewelry around his neck. Now, in retrospect, I understand that it wasn't really realistic, but I was even picturing him in a golden throne.
To say that I felt a bit nervous, would definitely be an understatement.
When I first spotted him behind the trees, I thought it must be a mistake. It must be wrong person. Maybe he was the one who would introduce us to the real chieftain, later. Maybe he would serve us some local tea while the chieftain was making his way from the golden throne.
But I was wrong. There he was, all in the flesh. And in a simple red shirt, without any heavy jewelry around his neck. He was leaning against the tree trunk, and gave us a big smile while we were making our way through the forest.
We bowed, and he bowed back, greeted us, and asked where we came from. He was curious and friendly and asked me to take a picture of him with that "technology thing".
We had some laughs with him, but then, in the middle of a conversation, he suddenly asked if my friend would marry him. We said something like "thank you but no thank you", but he insisted. My friend brushed some dirt of her shirt, put her hair behind her ears and nodded, carefully, almost like "it's time to leave".
Right before we left he took my hand, looked me deeply in the eyes and asked, again, if I would let my friend marry him. I said that I needed her for the rest of our journey, so I couldn't let her stay here. He came a little bit closer, with his cheek against mine, so close i could smell the mint tea from his breath, and he whispered, slowly in my ear,
"But, if I give you 20 camels?"
I said no, of course, but now, a few years later,
I have to admit - I'm thinking about those camels sometimes.