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Ghana: Coconuts have turned into machine guns!

By: Egypt Today staff CAIRO-30 July 2017: Leaving Accra, the capital of Ghana, we headed north, hoping to meet some friendlier people, as we had heard that the culture there is quite different. After having passed the hills of Aburi, it finally got a little bit cooler. It started to rain and Christina put on her REV'IT! rain suit for the first time during the trip. Ah, I forgot to mention it... I had my hair cut! --via Madnomad We reached the villages east of Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world. After having passed by the town of Ho, it started to get dark, so we followed a dirt track outside some village, in order to find a campsite. While Christina was preparing dinner in the dark, she saw a man's figure approaching but as soon as he noticed us he disappeared without even saying hello. Animism in Africa is still quite popular... Healers based on ancient African traditions outnumber doctors by far in this continent. --via Madnomad After dinner, we entered inside the tent and we were about to sleep, when we saw people with flash lights coming. We greeted them but at first they didn't hear us. While they were leaving, we greeted them again and they came towards our tent. Suddenly, we found ourselves surrounded by a dozen of men pointing machine guns at us! They were yelling: "get out and leave your guns"! We got out of the tent to see that we were surrounded by a bunch of policemen. Christina was in her underwear. The Rambos were shouting at her to come out while she was trying to put on some clothes. She could not believe what else we would have to face in this country and she could not stop laughing. She was joking with the policemen, who they were surprised to see that we were just a couple of white "tourists". The villagers had informed them of the existence of some criminals in the area and that's why they called for them. So, these people would take everybody wild camping in the nature as a criminal, even if they had not exchanged a single word. How many similarities there are between the Ghanaians and the Indians? In Asia, Indians were the only inhospitable and xenophobic people I met and I had the exact same experience As you can see, Christina's suntan is almost the same with the color of some Africans! --via Madnomad So, same as that time, we packed everything, followed the officers and pitched our tent in front of the police station. They kept on telling us how dangerous it was to camp in the bush, as we could be attacked by lions. In Ghana you hardly find any lions even inside national parks but it is similar to the stories you hear in Greece about wolves and bears attacking everyone who dares to wild camp on the mountains! Christina was mocking them telling them that they were probably bored and they wanted some company, that's why they came to pick us up... We entered inside the tent and we could hear all night someone on the television preaching about Jesus in a stressful tone. People use to wash their clothes and themselves in rivers, no matter how muddy the water is. --via Madnomad Happily, this was the last bad experience we had from the Ghanaians. In the north, the majority of the people are Muslims, so they respect visitors and they are much friendlier. We would meet once more smiling people greeting us. In the city of Tamale we were hosted by Shiraz and Ahmed in a room that they rent in some farmhouse. These huge ant colonies are very common in the savannahs and the jungles of West Africa and can host more than one million termites! --via Madnomad Ahmed told us about the unbelievable adventure he had experienced when with five other companions he crossed the Sahara in an attempt to immigrate. Riding on cars and trucks, they crossed Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad and after three months they arrived to Libya. Many die during such a hard trip, while others are being robbed. On the way, they had to stop often in order to work and save some money to continue the trip. Ahmed had really only the worst of the experiences, as far as it concerned the way people in those countries treated them. It is obvious that they respect white people, as they have money to spend but that is not the case for the rest of the Africans, who immigrate there to make some money, "grab" their jobs and so on. Unfortunately, it is the same story as in the rest of the world. Money is the moving power and that's what controls people's attitude... Especially during the dry season, animals gather around waterholes searching for the priceless element of water. --via Madnomad Naturally, Ahmed and his companions were aiming to enter Europe but they were lacking both the necessary paperwork and the money. They worked in Libya as construction workers for some Turkish firm but after three years their Tunisian employer refused to pay them and handed them over to the police. Not having the proper documents, they were kept in prison for nine months, facing, of course, inhuman behavior inside the Libyan cells. Many of the locals make a living out of fishing, so waters are full of nets. --via Madnomad Feeling shocked and sad by the stories of the people we met, we headed west. We were planning to visit some villages with interesting, old mosques, built in Sudanese style using mud and sticks. They consist of many whitewashed, conical towers and they look more like weird, alien constructions. This is also the way the palaces of the tribal chiefs are built, some of which we visited at the village of Wechiau, as well as in the town of Wa The chief's palace in Wa is built in Sudanese style using mud and sticks. --via Madnomad Next to the border with Burkina Faso we enjoyed our first safari in Africa! We went down the Black Volta River inside a wooden pirogue and we were quite lucky to run into hippos that pass their time there! We were watching them from a distance. They spend the whole day inside the water to cool off. They go out only during the night to feed themselves. A beast like this weights around 3 tons (6,614 pounds), while it can eat 40 to 50 kilos (88 to 110 pounds) of grass daily. We saw some hippos on our first safari in Africa! --via Madnomad So, after almost one month, we completed our journey around Ghana, having some more pleasant experiences than the ones we had in the south of the country. Here you can watch the video about our trip in Ghana: Video This article was originally published by Madnomad

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Publication:Egypt Today
Article Type:Reprint
Date:Jul 30, 2017
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