AfricaGhanaBusua

Weekend trip: Ankasa Nature Reserve, Busua Beach, Stilt village

Busua Travel Blog

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The beach at our hotel

Day 4, Saturday 10-13-07

Yesterday and today were LONG! But a much better idea of the true and real Africa. There are so many things popping up that show so many lessons.

Yesterday was my first full day of school. I rode with the Aboagyes (my host family) because I had my box of supplies to bring with me and those aren’t allowed on the tro tros. The car consisted of Mr and Mrs Aboagye, their grandson, sweet twins named Edwin and Edwina, and six other children from school. Mind you this was a 5 seater car. But that’s how travel is everyday here.

The school is how I suspected it to be. There are two buildings facing each other with a large dirt area in between them. The classrooms are one of two kinds; a small room with a door or an open room (only two real walls) with a short wall dividing into two rooms.

The view from our canoe
There are no decorations. Only desks and a chalkboard. They had the opening of the computer lab and received a sign for the school courtesy of a local company. The children adore us white folks or "obrunis" as we’re called. You usually have 1-6 kids holding onto your hand at a time. A small boy named Benny apparently fancied me as he held my hand and followed me around almost the entire day. Christobelle, a gorgeous little tiny girl was attached to David, the other volunteer. Mr. Aboagye and I spoke a lot about scholarships and funding for the school which is lacking significantly. The teachers havent’ been paid for almost two months now because the children have not paid their fees.

We packed overnight bags so we could go straight from the school to Grundyism’s (my project coordinator).

Looking sexy after hours on the back of a truck, sunburnt and in a canoe haha
I met the other volunteer Brent for the first time.

We left at 4 pm for Takoradi, the third largest city in Ghana. We packed into a cab to the tro tro station and rode in the most comfortable tro tro I will likely ride on to this day. After 4.5 hours we were dropped in Takoradi and walked to their tro tro station where we then rode a not so comfortable one another 1.5 hours. We were dropped at a junciton in the middle of nowhere with no lights. Thank goodness for some flashlight I bought that doubles as a small lantern. We waited there in the dark for 20 minutes for a driver from the hotel to come get us.

The hotel was in the middle of nowhere and seems to have more "modern" facilities compared to Ghana.

The stilt village!
This included: 2 single beds WITH SHEETS (Rare), ceiling fan, 24/7 electricity, bathrooms (with flushing toilets AND toilet paper), running water from faucets and showers (though the water was ice cold), an eating facility with a bar (outdoor, only we were there) and a gift shop. It’s nice for the standards here. We sleep with a mozzy net (aka mosquito net) which is funny because in the US we see that as a decoration for girls’ beds. Here it’s a necessity. The difference is you have to tuck them under your mattress so mosquitoes sneak in.

This morning we woke at 6 AM, showered (2 min literally in the icy water), ate breakfast and left for the nature reserve. Our truck broke down so we stopped at a random house. After 30 minutes we were back on the road again only to break down again and this time for almost 2 hours.

Random rural road where we hung out while our truck was fixed. Thought it was somehow magical.
The boys began a game of soccer which started with a guava fruit and then someone brought a ball out. The locals love their soccer aka football and it was really fun! The thing that was so crazy is their goals are about a foot and a half wide haha. Of course we took photos.

Photos. Wow. Everyone either wants their picture taken with you and then they tell you to give them a copy or send it with someone to give to them later or they yell don’t take their picture or you give them one. The kids at school push and fight over it (as with many other things).

Finally the truck began again and after 3 hours or so we made it to the reserve. My butt was sore from sitting 4 people to the backseat and some very bumpy roads. Most roads are dirt with LARGE potholes everywhere.

The bamboo forest! This place was huge and absolutely magnificent! See the other volunteers compared to the size!
I don’t believe I’ll ever complain about a pothole in LA again.

The forest was great! True rainforest complete with slippery leaves, biting ants and rotting bridges haha but so cool! It was really beautiful and everyone got a good laugh when I almost fell in the mud. My flip flops (exceptionally great for hiking….NOT!) slipped and I did one of those feet in the air above my waist deals…literally. It was quite a good laugh. No animals though =( we got there too late but some amazing sights including a bamboo forest which was truly a magical sight. There is also some cool plants that close their leaves when touched.

We rode in the back of the truck on the way to the stilt village which was nice at first but proved to be a mistake. Our butts hurt so bad! You really don’t realize how bad these roads are! Eventually we stood up holding onto a rail which proved to be the best method.

Brent climbing a vine in the rainforest. They were so thick you really could climb them!
After an hour down a bumpy dirt road (literally going 3-5 mph) we arrived at a beach resort. We paid for our tour to the stilt village and found out it was a one hour boat ride. Ok, that’s nice, should be fun. HA! Until we realized WE had to paddle the whole way hahaha.

We took two canoes, inches above the water and paddled down a stream through marsh and forest, to a larger river or lake and arrived. The village was a wonder but these people rubbed me the wrong way a bit. The whole village is built on the water with bridges connecting everything. There was a pet monkey tied to a string only 8 inches or so long. It was sad! The children practically ripped things from your hands. We had snacks and random people were like "Give me one." I went to take a photo of a view that was near a little girl and she yelled at me snapping "Don’t take my picture.

Butterfly
You give it to me now!" Even though I wasn’t. I think most photos will be of the school children as most people demand copies of photos.

Then we met with the brother of the town’s leader. The first words out of his mouth was "You have money for our school." As if demanding. We all donated. He gave the history of the town and then said he charges 6 cedi ($6 about) for the history lesson of three minutes. Gunadiish explained to him we had made a large donation for the school and that was enough. We then rowed back the one hour.

We ate dinner at the resort on the beach. The beaches here are strange and break 4-6 times and often the water is brown or green/blue (yucky colored) due to the types of clay here. We saw 7 white people at the reserve and a bunch at the restaurant because it’s run by a british lady but other than that I haven’t really seen any at all, even in the city.

Flower

The one hour ride down the bumpy road consisted of moans, groans, politics and national anthems. And the continuation of the bruising to my butt hip and ribs as I was at the window. We would’ve rode in the back but it was 8:30 pm by then and lots of mozzies. We stopped for gas and Rachel and I attempted the bathroom but decided to wait due to the lack of facilities (no toilet paper and the bathroom was a hole in the ground you had to squat over and hope you make it. This is a common form of toilet).

It’s now raining with thunder and lightning. The lightning is often here because of the heat and moisture and it lights up the sky rather than individual bolts.

Being in the rural area like today was so much fun. You got to see the REAL Africa. When driving by everyone generally smiles and waves and yell things that generally mean "white person" like "obruni, obruni!" especially the children.

Froggie!
They get especially excited when you wave at them because they aren’t used to seeing white people. It’s as if we’re celebrities. Womenw ith large, heavy loads on their heads will turn and spare a hand.

Funny quote of the day: David-"What kind of fish is it?" Waiter-"From the sea." DUH!

yheleen says:
hahahaha.. now that was really funny if you were in the ocean :)
Posted on: Aug 21, 2008
sassicassi says:
Well we were eating on the ocean practically though...but maybe! haha. It was all we could do to contain our laughter though!
Posted on: Aug 21, 2008
yheleen says:
hmm maybe because he was thinking about fishes from freshwater ;)
Posted on: Aug 21, 2008
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The beach at our hotel
The beach at our hotel
The view from our canoe
The view from our canoe
Looking sexy after hours on the ba…
Looking sexy after hours on the b…
The stilt village!
The stilt village!
Random rural road where we hung ou…
Random rural road where we hung o…
The bamboo forest!  This place was…
The bamboo forest! This place wa…
Brent climbing a vine in the rainf…
Brent climbing a vine in the rain…
Butterfly
Butterfly
Flower
Flower
Froggie!
Froggie!
All the volunteers (all but Brent …
All the volunteers (all but Brent…
The other canoe on our trip.
The other canoe on our trip.
Paddling through the forest and ma…
Paddling through the forest and m…
Busua
photo by: qophys