ANDREA CRUMP’S TOP 10 COUNTDOWN

10 Top Reasons My Trip to Ghana was the Best Vacation Ever!

10.  We got to do some different things that I’m sure not every tourist gets to do while in Ghana.  We saw unusual sights such as the coffins made into shapes such as fish, pineapple and a camera in Teshie-Nungua.  We met a traditional priest, who gave us a tour of  Aburi and Tutu park which was an old cocoa plantation.

9.  I did not have to cook, clean, or drive anyone anywhere for 11 days (woohoo)!!!  Jacob, our chef, provided us with delicious and nutritious meals everyday of our trip.  Ben, the caretaker of the mansion, did a good job making sure everything was functioning properly (as best he could) and that we were comfortable.  Ben, the bus driver, made sure we got to where we had to go in one piece, dodging potholes, people, and other cars.

8.  I love going to the beach and we went to Tawala Beach. There is a restaurant right on the beach.  It has little huts with benches that you could sit and enjoy the ocean breeze or lounge chairs to lay in and soak up sun.  This place was nice and relaxing.  I enjoyed eating lunch on the deck – the rice and grilled chicken were tasty.  The actual beach itself was ok – quite a bit of debris. We found some nice shells and rocks.  Someone even found a bracelet that washed up.  But overall, it was a nice place to hang out and chill.

7.  We visited the Wli waterfalls which are in the Volta region, in southeast Ghana.  The ride there was an adventure within itself.  We went through many villages/townships.  It was something to see the different houses people lived in and the variety of things that were sold – everything from fruit, vegetables, electronics, leather furniture, bedding and more.  The roads were not always paved and we seemed to be going straight up in the air.   Once inside, we were introduced to our guide, and he led us to the waterfall.  We had a forty minute walk through the woods, over 9 bridges to get to the waterfall.  It was beautiful.  I could have sat there all day watching the water cascade over the rocky cliff into a lake at the bottom.  You could see hundreds of birds (actually, I think they were bats) flying back and forth over the rocks high up near the top of the falls.  Several people from our group got in the water (it was chilly).  I stuck my feet in (can’t swim so that’s as far as I would go) and found a rock to keep as a memento.

6.  We visited several historic sites such as the W.E.B. Dubois Centre and gravesite, the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, and the Elmina Castle, which is the largest and oldest slave fort in the world, built in 1482.  Along with the tour guides, Mantse shared a lot of information with us about Ghana, the people, traditions and current status of the country.

5.  We visited the children at Patience International School in Nima.  This was fun because the children were so cute and excited to see us.  When we arrived, down an alley into a courtyard, there were about 40 elementary aged children there to greet us.  They jumped around and posed for pictures.  Their principal gave us information about the school and when it started.

4.  The Arts Centre was fun but a little overwhelming.  Sooo much to see – jewelry, clothes, masks, artwork, purses, furniture, fabric, musical instruments and more.  Everyone is trying to give a “special deal just for you”.   It was fun to see Mantse barter with the vendors to get us the best price.   We had a special bonus at the Art Centre when we went to a batik class and got to design our own African fabric.  We were able to choose symbols and a color we wanted.  The color of my fabric is orange, and I chose a symbol which means “changing oneself; playing many roles” and the butterfly.  Victor, one of the teachers of the class,  was very patient with me while teaching me how to apply the symbols.

3.  We went to the +233 Jazz Club.  It was the perfect way to end the week.  We heard live jazz from saxophonist Stephen Bedi,  who was featuring his debut cd.  It was great – kind of like being home at Friday’s at Sunset, since we were seated outside under the stars.

2.  I walked across seven bridges 40 meters in the air at Kakum National Park.  I am afraid of heights so to do this was a great feat in my life and one that I will never forget.  It was very exciting and from what I could see from my peripheral vision, very beautiful.  I could only look out over the horizon – I could not look down (even when I got to the platforms); I kept my eyes on the back of Freddie and said every scripture, hymn and prayer that I knew.  It worked!!  God lead me safely over and I’m very thankful for the experience.

1.     The number one reason my trip to Ghana was the best vacation ever was because I got to experience it with friends.  This was the first international trip for me and others, so it was a very new experience.    The trip was put together by friends, who did their very best to make it as easy as possible.  From start to finish, this trip was blessed by God.  I could tell there was a lot of thought and time put into all the places I visited and the comforts I had along the way to ensure I had the best time I could have.  Many thanks go to Sionne and Mantse, “the crew” they pulled together to help us,   and to Robin and Dea. Carter for making my dream vacation a reality. I can’t wait to visit again.

Andrea Crump, Richmond (VA)

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