Thursday, July 8, 2010

Internet access has never been so lovely

I have a little bit of catching up to do. Not last saturday, but the Saturday before was the big Ghana vs USA soccer game! It was sooooo awesome. Becky and Hridi came to Accra to visit, but unfortunately Becky’s body decided it didn’t want anything inside of it, so she couldn’t come with us to watch the game. Me and Hridi went to a bar/club thing where MTN (a phone company) had set up 2 big white screens to project the game onto. There were sooo many people, and of course every other person had those stupid plastic horns that they somehow managed to constantly blow for the entire game. Anyways, after the 90 minutes of normal play time, it was a tie game. After asking the people around us, we were convinced that there was no tie-breaker and decided to walk our friend so she could catch a cab home. As we were leaving, pretty much everyone else at the bar stayed. As we were walking we saw on one TV that the Ghana team was still huddling, the lady we asked told us the team was praying. I didn’t really remember the team praying after the other matches, but we kept walking. As we were walking, the chicken restaurant infront of us erupted into cheers. After rushing into the celebrating air conditioned chicken restaurant, we found out that the game had gone into overtime and the score was now 2-1 for Ghana. The party gods were listening to our prayers. When we finally won the game, I got picked up and put on some random guys shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Me and Hridi went to the main road where there was a huge parade going on. People were holding “OBAMA WE ARE SORRY” signs, blowing more horns, and crowding into cars and trucks. We decided since the trucks weren’t actually moving because of traffic, it would be a good idea to get on the back of one to cheer. We got off pretty quickly, but all the high fives, cheering, blowing a horn, being stopped by ladies who decided to sing, dance, and beat a drum, and being able to see everyone in the streets was pretty cool. Then we found a table that had shots of gin for about 15 cents! So, the night ended up being pretty good.
The next day we went to a beach where you have to boat to this little strip of sand. It was a “cold” day for Ghana, so there weren’t too many people, it was beautiful. Definitely the warmest ocean/lake water I’ve ever been in. Plus Becky got to join us, so it was a lot better.
This past weekend, me, Becky, and Hridi went to a city called Cape Coast. It was Republican Day (or something that sounds like that) on Thursday, so we took Friday off and made it a 4 day trip. The 2 of them came down Wednesday night and we went to the Canadian Embassy for a Canada celebration where they had free beer AND veggie burgers. It couldn’t have been any better. In Cape Coast, we stayed at Oasis Hotel (pronounced oh-ah-sis) then on Friday we went to Cape Coast Castle (pronounced cast-el). It’s one of the 32 forts/castles that were built during the colonial days of Ghana for the purpose of trading slaves. It was depressing, but kind of cool, because they still use parts of it for offices. Oasis hotel was really neat because you stayed in little concrete huts. Ours was divided in 2, so the 3 of us squished onto a double bed, but it was cheap and right on the beach, so definitely worth it. In the mornings we got to watch the fisher men bring their nets out in these big canoe things, then people go into the ocean and swim it back while other people are on land pulling it in as well. It was really cool.
Friday night we went to watch the Ghana vs Uruguay game at a place similar to the Ghana vs US game with MTN setting up screens to watch on. Definitely my saddest night in Ghana. Before coming to Ghana, I’d never watched a soccer game on tv in my whole life, but here, you cant avoid it. Every game is on every TV, and the games with Ghana in the are a big event. Having Ghana in the World Cup for so long had everyone in such a good mood. When we lost on friday night after half an hour of overtime and all the penalty kicks and got kicked out of the tournament, everyone just kind of sat around and we didn’t know what to do. After sulking and kicking the air a couple of times, we eventually went out, but all the soccer games since mostly make me miss the Ghana hype. But I guess we did do pretty well. Top 8 and last African country in the running.
Then on Saturday we went walking on this rope/ladder thing that was above the trees, very cool. We also went to pet crocodiles. The lady showed us this one fat lazy one and told us to touch it then she left. For some reason we all touched this crocodile and smiled for the camera trusting that it wasn’t hungry or for some reason a vegetarian. It was really cool.
Then on Sunday I moved! Finally out of the hotel and into my own place, very close to work and in a residential area, appropriately called Airport Residential Area. I have a room and a bathroom all to myself inside of this compound where at least 20 other people live, all of which wake up by at least 6am and make sure I know about it. It’s good. Everyone is nice and after I got a lock on my door I feel pretty safe (the first night I slept with my bed against the door). The only thing so far is the Egyptian man who hacks up a lung every morning. AND I HAVE A DOG! Well its a dog that just kind of wonders around and people get angry at, but whitey is pretty much mine. There are also 3 chickens, but thats not as exciting because I don’t think they’re going to be living on the compound for very long.
Tomorrow I'm off to Kumasi to visit Hridi!