Friday, July 17, 2009

Accra is awesome!

Greetings from Accra! At some point I will have to write a post (and put up photos!) from our girls' camp last week (it was fantastic -- the best thing I have done in Peace Corps thus far), but while I have the chance I wanted to post a few lines about our trek to Ghana.

We arrived on Wednesday afternoon after a long but not-too-unpleasant day of traveling. We made it through all the borders without a hitch, and since we rented taxis at each junction we never had to wait around for anyone.

When we pulled into Accra, you would have thought that none of us had seen a city before -- we were pointing left and right, jaws dropping at the sight of manicured lawns and highway dividers, shopping centres and traffic lights. The streets of Accra are lined with "Akwaaba Obama!" posters from the President's visit last week; we're sad we missed him, but it's definitely cool to see the city decked out in Americana.

After we found our hotel, got cleaned up and changed some money, we went out for delicious Mexican food at a sports bar around the corner. We told the waiter it was my birthday (it almost is!), which earned us a free round of drinks from a creepy old guy and cake from a real birthday party nearby. Several pitchers of Star later, we went out dancing at a club and then somehow found our way to a reggae party on the beach -- an excellent start to our vacation!

The next morning, we meandered our way to the Ghana Peace Corps bureau (definitely not as nice as ours!) and then bee-lined over to the Accra Mall for a little taste of home. It was like stepping into another world -- beautiful clothes, expensive electronics, a food court, a book store...we didn't know what to do with ourselves. Again, I found myself feeling incredibly villageoise and out of place -- I felt like people must know that I didn't belong in this clean, air-conditioned paradise. I had to stifle the urge to greet everyone I met (in French, of course) and to discuter for prices. It was very bizarre.

But the best was yet to come. Walking through the mall, I had seen several movie posters; it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, there was a movie theatre in the mall. I asked around and sure enough, tucked away on the second floor there was a cinema and it was playing the new Harry Potter movie! I couldn't have been more excited -- I immediately ran crazily around the mall telling the girls that we would get to see Harry Potter just days after it had come out in the States. We saw the movie (and met several Ghana PCVs in the theatre) later that afternoon. It was fantastic-- and such an amazing surprise!

Then, last night we treated ourselves to a fabulous sushi dinner at a nice restaurant downtown. Afterward, we made our way to a fun reggae bar, and then a few of us called it a night while others continued the party at a swanky nightclub. We really do love Accra!

Today we head to Krokrobite for some beachside R&R. This really is quite the vacation! More to come soon...


loehrke said...

One of my former residents is from Accra and I really need to visit there someday. It sounds amazing!!!
I've gotta admit; I am a LITTLE jealous and surprised that YOU have seen the new Harry Potter movie BEFORE me!!!
Well played.....maybe I'll catch up this week!!
Enjoy your time there; it is VERY well deserved!!!
Best, Mark Loehrke (Carly's dad)

Kimberly said...

naima! post on your blog! ah!