A Travellerspoint blog

Go tell it on the mountain

This was the hardest thing I have ever done.

rain

Hello Bloggers,
Gather around the camp fire for this story. I went hiking today nit just any ole hike either. I climbed the highest mountain in Ghana today and this was truly THE hardest thing I have ever done in my life( besides Algebra)=-0 We done this hike in teams, team A and team B of course I was on team B. I knew that this was going to be a challenge, but I didn't think that I was totally prepared for the events that took place. First, I of all people told team A "hey shut up whining this ain't tea time ladies, we did that at breakfast." Why did I open my mouth like that because I just inserted my foot.

The quarter way up marker said "No turning back now," well little to my demise I should have turned around, but nooooo I couldn't right?..!.. I was determined not to let my team down so, I moved on forward. Ten minutes into the hike after that point I got breathless like it was nobody's business, but did I stop yes only to rest a minute; let me just say that our guide was every bit of sixty and he had on flip flops, which that put me to shame. Half of the way there I was really getting light headed and dizzy but my stubborn self just couldn't quit; although I said " I quit (as I was sitting on a rock heaving very hard) I am just going to go back down I can't make it." At this time I heard people from team A coming and jumped right up; people from my team burst into laughter because I got a burst of energy from I don;t know where. they said ' hmmmm that seems to be your motivation'

I kept saying I am too old I shouldn't not have tried to hang with you guys. I felt as if my heart was going to jump out of my chest and run down the side of the mountain since I didn't have that much sense. The three quarter marker the guide broke me off a stick to help me to make it and the two people from my team that cheered me on, plus the one from the other team that is just my buddy really got me through this ordeal. My heart was really pounding and I thought that I was sure to have a heart attack on the mountain; my three cheerleaders told me ' your heart pounding like that has nothing to do with age ours is beating fast and hard too.

Ten minutes from the end and I was so tired that my legs wanted to give out. When I made it to the top I cried because one I didn't die, two I was the oldest but not the last, three my whole team was happy to see me and told me they were really proud of me; their mother's would not have made it.:-) They all said your kids would be proud of you; I cried too because this was another awesome wonder of God. The sight from the mountain was soooooooo beautiful my eyes couldn't take it all in. I am afraid of heights and I have conquered this fear as well.

I did get some picture for you all and I am for ever grateful to the almighty for getting up the mountain and back down in one piece. He is mighty in power and gives strength to the weak. Yeah I beat some 19,20,21 tr olds up the mountain and back down it too, but the sight and opportunity that God has granted me is more than some old crappy race. What I learned about myself is that YES I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for and I have gain endurance in a lot of things not just mountain climbing.

P.S. this was more of a work-out than Younce Daniels the personal trainer has ever given me

Posted by Kathy Porter 11:27 Archived in Ghana Tagged region volta Comments (0)

Monkey madness

I held a monkey and no one has it on film.

Hello Bloggers,
I went to a monkey sanctuary today and this was the most amazing thing that I have experienced in my whole 43 yrs. We held bananas in our hands and the monkeys came down to either A snatch them or B sit on your arm and eat them from your hand. Yeah this was great but it was weird, awesome and cool.

These monkey are called the mona monkeys. Their little hands were cold feeling, they were so cute they look as if they were wearing little sunglasses. The leader of the group was watching this all making sure no one got hurt from his group. of course the babies were the friendliest and cutest of them all. There was this female monkey I think she was pregnant because her breast was hanging( or she just gave birth). Was I afraid? Yeah a little bit, I know you seen the movie "Outbreak," so; I do have pictures of a few people with monkeys just not me =-(

I am climbing a mountain in the morning so I need to get some rest for the journey. I promise to take some picture of this as well. I did take a few picture of some mountains , this area that we are in called Volta is a mountainous region. Oh yeah we took a walk across this suspense bridge with an amazing sight.

Posted by Kathy Porter 15:52 Comments (0)

Time is Ticking

home soon

semi-overcast

Good Morning Folks,
I will be coming home in a few short weeks and I am not sure how I feel about that.?. I was thinking to myself yes I can get away from the lizards, but in reality it is quite sad that I will be coming home. I have gotten so used to the Ghanaian life that this is now my comfort zone. When I start thinking about home, I started thinking about all the noise, the rushing around that I don't miss, and the paying of bills etc.

While being away from home my dog ran away from home, I guess he was looking for his mama. I am sad about that fact that he ran away he has never gotten out of the fence ever in all the seven years that I have had him. When I came to Ghana I was told that it may be a culture shock for me, well it wasn't. I think the culture shock will be when I get to the states. I am going to need some help adjusting to home I think, that is the weird part that I am going to need help being back at home. Elizabeth Jean-Baptiste, I will need you really bad then just so I can talk Africa with you. It is very ironic that she will be my professor for the coming semester this school year, which she is a bowlful of awesomeness and can really help me to sort through it all; I think she will get sick of seeing my face in her office.

I will defiantly be in prayer more when I get back home, one thanking God for this opportunity for being in Ghana, two for making it back home safetly, three for all the many blessing that he has in store for me. Now that I have study abroad I can see myself doing it again, where I would go I am not sure . Would I come back to Africa of course I will, if the Lord is willing and the creek don't rise. This trip has opened up my mind and my heart to the world. There are so many things that are waiting for me somewhere else. I am very glad that I got out of my little American box. This country has helped me to develop in ways that I never have imagined that I would grow. No one is ever to old to learn and we all need room for improvement, there is another little life lesson some where hidden in the blanket of today's lesson plan that I am sure I will get today. With that said I am on the way to the basic school to see all my children, all 73 of them and to take pictures. When I get back to the states I am going to develop those pictures and make something with their picture on it and send it back to them; from Auntie Kathy to you with love little ones.
Ghana Girl gone!!

Posted by Kathy Porter 01:24 Archived in Ghana Comments (0)

Kumasi

From the palace to the Ashanti village

all seasons in one day

Hi Blog Readers,
I am sorry this blog is just now getting up here but I had a mid-term this week, a paper to analyze; back to back stuff. Any who this week end really wore me out although it was very busy it was very fun. we went ot different craft shops in theAshanti villages which was so much stuff to learn about and to see. the first stop was the Bonwire where they make the Kente cloth. Then on to Ntonso we got a chance to see how they make ink, and we got to take a stamp to make a pattern on some cloth. The Ashanti's first take a bark from a tree(not just any ole tree) and they let it soak for days till it is soft than they take it and pound it out like they do the fufu. after that they take it and boil it over a fire , than they pour it and strain it, then it is boiled some more. As they boil it it changes color and the consistency of the liquid changes( this process takes days to do), they most amazing thing is that this bark changes from wood to liquid- from red, brown, and black. I got to make my own scarf and I also got a chance to pound out the bark ( now I can make fufu).

You are probably asking what the heck is fufu.?.!!??.. Fufu is a dough like substance that Ghanaian's eat with Palmnut soup, it like a Ghanaian thing ( like having a cracker with your soup). Any way we saw how they weave the kente' cloth which was really a chore. It take days to make a one strand small cloth and weeks to make a three strand small cloth. It is done on a loom type thing( I was seriously thinking about Rumplestilskin when I saw this thingy). Some how you are working with your hands and your feet to make this thing. One of the guys in the group he got his hands and his feet wet and tried the apparatus out, and I always tease and tell him he has monkey feet; yeah yeah yeah I know that is mean but we laugh about it so its great. After that it was on to Ahwiaa were the wood carvers were and on to Asafo this is were the largest open market in West Africa was. all of this took place on Saturday. I know I am all over the place but bear-with me, but that is what happens when you have seen a lot of stuff and I keep looking around for the dumb lizard that is somewhere in my room.

On Friday we went to the place of the King Pompeii and Queen mum Nana, this was such a history lesson and I can't remember it all ( i kept think about my Father), I just kept remembering hear my dad telling my brother that he was king Pompeii. Learning about the royal stool and how they are made of Gold, the guns that were hand made by the Dutch (out of gold and silver) it was sooooo much that it was hard to retain; especially since i couldn't take picture in there. I do remember how the Portuguese came and tried to take over and there was a fight, somebody got beat up, new Ashanti king took over more wars, trading and more trading of Gold. The relics and artifacts in this palace was way cool and I was really wanting to take a picture because these things dated back to the 1700's. Oh yeah they had wood figures that looked so life like I expected the king to tell me to bow down or I wanted to kiss his ring.

On Sunday was a boat ride to Lake Bosumtwi, this lake was an amazing thing. I am not trying to change any one's mind to believe in God , but it is a gawd awful that you don't because this natural lake is the most awesome thing I have every heard of. First, a meteor fell to the ground and made the lake. Second this lake is the cleanest and purest lake on earth, why? Because it cleanses its self, the water is so clean you can drink it with out it being boiled( they don't drink it cause people bathe in it). Third, it heats and cools its self when it feel the need to, which seem to be part of the purification process. This is not done or caused by man. I was in such awww that i couldn't close my mouth.

The week end I am going to the tallest mountain in Ghana; yeah I am hiking it. I will make sure to take plenty of picture on the way up the mountain and when I get to the top; there is a water fall somewhere on the way up there. This should be lots of fun and very adventurous, we are to visit some other stuff that I will wait to talk about in my next blog.

Sorry that I had to rush through this blog but I do have homework and I am going to upload picture for you. Oh yeah we passed Rita Marley's house on the way there I didn't get a picture we were going to fast, nor did I get a picture of the hotel that Obama slept in either. Ok Ghana girl is going for the homework. Ensha Aliah( if I spelled any of it right) Closing my blue eye til next time; night folks!!!!!

Posted by Kathy Porter 13:14 Archived in Ghana Comments (0)

Making do

survival skills

overcast

I have been in Ghana now three weeks and my survival skills have kicked into overtime. I have learned that eating out all the time will put excessive weight on you no matter what country you are in; even though going out to eat here is on a different level than in the States. The restaurants here are like having home cooked meal Ghanaian style.

Some of the little things mean a lot to mean now; like cheese. Cheese is not so readily accessible here in Ghana and oh how I miss it. Delivery of pizza is a thing of the past, besides I don't really care for the pizza here either. Well I said pizza delivery but what I really meant was any delivery of food is not happening here in Ghana.

I was given a stove thingy and it has been my best friend for the past week. I realize that eating out can be expensive even in a third world country. My survival skills have kicked into high gear at this point, and I know that I have three weeks left for my funds to last me. I have been cooking a few things that give me some comfort like: black-eyed peas, tuna casserole, and porridge( that is not American); hot cereal is hot cereal.

I am really missing vegetables. First, they are more expensive than back at home and I refuse to pay the high price. Second, you don't always get them when eating out. Today I found a little stand that sells fresh greens, eggplant, and carrots; I almost did a dance until I remembered that I got a warning about cholera being high during the rainy season. Well those survival skills kicked into high gear and I had to think like my parents; wash the veggies with soap and rinse well.

Look out veggie lady because here I come. These people don't know me I will build a fire and bar-be-que, have greens cooking, and mac & cheese brewing in a New York min. I am glad I have a dad that can really cook some food and he taught me a lot about survival.

I was not raised rich nor was I given things on a silver platter, or any platter for that matter. In Ghana you begin to realize how spoiled you are as an American period bottom line. The poorest American got it real good compared to Ghanaian life. I have learned to make do when there is no water and seem to adjust to it really well. I think when you don't take a bath and days of deet is built-up on your skin, the mosquito don't seem to bother you. Yeah, I am saying I don't get bitten when I don't bathe, and I rather enjoy it. This lessen my chances of contracting malaria. I have learned to go draw water from outside and take a bucket bath, or not to bathe at all; just hit the hot spots.

Being in Ghana makes me appreciate the former life that I had in the USA. Although there are things that I enjoy about being in Africa like: when you need antibiotics you just go to the pharmacy and get them no prescription needed; this will make doctor's in the U.S. cringe. I really like the friendliness of every one here. You can bargain prices on thing here and no coupons needed, nor there is no sales tax on items. I have learned the way of the natives very quickly.

I want to thank Rev. Julian L. Allen(daddy) for all that he is, also my deceased mother Alma M. Allen for all that I am not. You see with out these two very important people in my life I would have never made it this far in Ghana. A girl that is in the USAC group said the other day " it takes a certain kind of person to make it in Ghana," and I would have to totally agree with her on that one. I guess my father has passed on some of those military skills to me and my siblings; also growing up in the hood has somewhat primed me for all of these experiences. My mother has passed on the adjusting behavior to me( what every situation she was in she could adapt to it), change her colors like a chameleon.

Posted by Kathy Porter 16:12 Archived in Ghana Tagged room 1 ish #81 Comments (0)

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