So far, this languishing-on-the-back-burner blog has focused on the difficulties faced by people WITHOUT freedom of choice. But that is about to change. Because we CAN choose to do so, Jay and I are setting out to spend three weeks in Ghana, visiting our son Mike and his girlfriend Hannah. We embark on this adventure tomorrow.
So I thought I`d record some of it, at least, here.
Getting ready to go has been challenging. We obtained our shots for hepatitis A & B, meningitis, tetanus, yellow fever, typhoid. Took an oral vaccine to protect against cholera and have started our anti-malarial medications. I’ve packed a small pharmacy: insecticide, sunscreen, iodine, Imodium, gravol, ibuprofen, first aid kit, eye drops (lots of pinkeye in Ghana, I hear!) We’re also taking supplies that would be unnecessary in developed countries: soap, towels, mosquito nets, toilet paper. Apparently even good hotels may not supply towels, soap or even top sheets – and practically nowhere has toilet paper.
We have our visas and passports and yellow fever immunization certificate (without which we’d be refused entry.) Mike has supplied us with all the details about how to negotiate our way through the airport, purchase cell phones, exchange money. Practically no one takes credit or debit cards in Ghana so it’s all cash – though we can get money from ATMs. We have a hotel booked for our arrival after 16 hours of travel (we hope the air conditioning will actually be AC rather than a fan that operates for a couple of hours a day, as is often the case.) We know it will be hot hot hot – average of 40 degrees C, going down to 28 or 30 at night.
And we have presents for Mike’s Muslim family up in the north: games and puzzles and laminated pictures and swiss army knives and lots of CANDY. Not to mention things Mike himself needs (tennis rackets and shoes, books, coffee – and more candy.) And I have my Kindle.
I think we are ready. We’re thrilled and borderline terrified … heat, wild animals, snakes, vicious insects, bad roads, fantastic beaches, colourful materials, music, wild food – and from what we hear absolutely wonderful people. We go to see the life our son is living – we can’t wait!