I was not prepared for my arrival in Zambia. I was there to visit the magnificent Victoria Falls, but I knew that the country was landlocked and I was prepared for a typical dusty, hot African town. Nothing could have been further from the truth. When we landed, I felt like we had arrived on a small Caribbean island. I could have been in St. Kitts, St. Vincent or Grenada. The air was fresh and clean and I relished this, taking in several large gulps of air. Continue reading →
Yesterday, as I was considering the water and electricity situation in Ghana, I realised that I had never written about the Akosombo Dam, the hypdro-electric plant in the Eastern Region of Ghana. This dam, which I have visited on many occasions and which I will describe shortly, provides electricity to Ghana and to neighboring countries, Togo and Benin. Unfortunately, this plant has been unable to meet the ever increasing demand for electricity here. Many rural areas of Ghana do not have electricity at all. The Ministry of Energy website reports that only 30% of households in the northern regions have access to electricity. Those areas, rural and urban that do have electricity supply from the government, experience frequent “light out” as it is called here because the equipment is old and obsolete. Continue reading →
My children’s school spent a week focusing on learning about Ghana. Class groups were assigned to regions in Ghana and at the end of the week, each group made a presentation. My daughter’s group focused on the Western Region. She was given a piece to say on stage and it was about Nzuelzo (say “IN-SOO-LIN-ZOO”, the village on stilts. When she said those words, she perfectly mimicked the Ghanaian accent and since then, none of us can refer to Nzuelzo without using the same intonation and adding “the village on stilts.” Continue reading →
Oddly enough, I visited not one, but two villages on stilts in 2011, one in Benin and one in Ghana. My experiences were vastly different and both affected me deeply.
My first visit to a village on stilts was in Benin. I imagine that each person to visit Ganvié comes away with different impressions, however, one thing that seems to be constant is the view that words and photos are not sufficient, Ganvié has to be experienced to be understood. Continue reading →
I wrote a little about Benin in a previous post when we encountered a particularly kind soul on the road. Here are some of the other adventures we had in Benin.
We visited Ouidah, a small town in Benin and the center of the Voudoun religion. We encountered the sacred forest and held snakes around our necks at the Temple of Pythons. Note that the pythons are allowed to roam freely at night. Continue reading →