A private tour of Accra

May 20th, 2012 by becky

We were a bit more adventurous today. We were reminded of our friends in Turkey who once told us “if you don’t ask us for what you want, we will think you do not like us.” It reminded us that what we consider “polite” in Canada may not be considered polite elsewhere. We also realized that we had no idea what is polite in Ghanaian culture. Unlike other countries we visited, our tourist books and other reading did not tell us much about the culture here. We still don’t feel like we understand, but after talking to Aba for a while we at least feel a little less confused.

We asked Aba about hiring a taxi for a few hours to drive us and show us around Accra. Aba’s brother Kweku volunteered to be our tour-guide for the afternoon. He spent several hours of his afternoon graciously showing us all different areas of Accra. We learned that the different neighbourhoods change very quickly. There are many places where there is a poor neighbourhood right next to a more expensive one.

We are very glad we did not explore on our own. We are way beyond our comfort zone in some areas here. Things change very quickly from nice to not-nice without a lot of warning. We got out and walked a couple of places with Kweku, where it would not have been safe for us to walk without a local guide. We also saw some very nice areas, like the university and the more touristy area Osu. We are staying in a neighbourhood called Dansoman, which is an estate neighbourhood (middle class).

Today is Sunday which meant that many of the shops where closed. As a result, the streets were pretty empty. We were able to drive through the market area today, where we walked yesterday. It was so packed yesterday that it would have taken a long time to drive through the crowds of people.

Tomorrow morning we leave Aba’s at about 5am in order to be at the bus station for 5:30 am. Our bus leaves at 6:30, or at least that is what we’ve been told!

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Aba in front of her house in Dansoman neighbourhood.

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Fisherman at Jamestown (used to be the old port in Accra). It is not too safe of an area for foreigners to wonder without a guide.

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Also in Jamestown – There were a lot of people, enjoying a warm Sunday afternoon. A bit of a football match was happening on the beach. Scott got caught by a wave and his feet were soaked. The lady in the foreground of the picture said that he was blessed. Kweku tells us that the women from that tribe are good at saying things to make people feel equal – so because we were not wet, Scott received the blessing.

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The train tracks in the middle of a poorer part of town. There are many people on the streets here – many sit in front of their shacks or stores because they have no where else to sit. The density of people in the poorer areas is much greater than in the more affluent areas – you could use population density as a measure of the expense of the neighbourhood.

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A hand cart used to bring goods to the market.

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