A Journey Home is the story of my mother’s experiences working as a nurse in a health clinic for the under served in Ghana, West Africa. Her journals, newsletters, and letters to me provide these snapshots of her life in Kumasi. Click here to begin with the first entry of “The Journey Home”
(Words in italics are my commentary.)
Tuesday, October 3, 1989
We needed to return to Accra, the capital city, for several errands, so this afternoon we packed. These are items are essential for any trip in Ghana:
- toilet tissue
in that order! For food we took boiled eggs, roasted peanuts, raisins, tangerines, and tootsie rolls. We will not find any places to stop for supplies or with restroom facilities on this four hour trip..
We were able to leave by 2:00 P.M. The traffic was heavy, but we arrived at 6:30 at Dan and Brenda’s house (They graciously provide housing for all the overseas workers as they pass through on their way to Kumasi.). Kyle is their three and a half year old. We all went out for supper at a Chinese restaurant.
Wednesday morning, Oct. 4, 1989
My body asked this morning “Was this trip really necessary?” The ride yesterday was so rough! We drove the air conditioned truck which really helps eliminate diesel fumes and dirt, but it rides like a wagon.
Brenda, Beth, and I walked about 10 blocks to market and back. Didn’t buy much since I needed to exchange my American money. Everything is so high! A dish drainer is $8 and a teakettle is $16. We discussed an air conditioner which would probably cost $1000. I hope the one at the compound can be repaired. A dear couple from our years in Michigan, Noah and Johnnie, gave me $500 for one.
Brenda prepared a pot of pinto beans, cornbread and leaf lettuce salad for lunch — a feast!! I took a nap in the afternoon and then we drove out the coast 20 miles to Tema, Ghana’s seaport, a small, clean, pretty town with an Alcoa Aluminum plant. We visited Josiah and Bonnie Tilton who are in Ghana to drill wells for water — IF he can ever get his equipment out of the harbor. The shipper has fouled up the paper work making it a real hardship. That evening in Accra we stopped for pizza at the Shangri-la restaurant. It was so good!
Thursday, Oct. 5, 1989
We spent the next day traveling to Takoradi, 175 miles southwest of Accra, to deliver clothing to the church there. It took us all day, even though the road was blacktop, the ridges and holes were so deep and numerous that we had to constantly slow down.
We returned to home (Kumasi) the morning of October 6, 1989. I’m learning that every trip in Ghana turns into an adventure of challenges, but we traveled safely on this trip and that is the most important thing.
Anytime we travel with Ghanians, each trip begins with a prayer asking for travel mercies, and upon arrival at the destination, a prayer of thanksgiving is offered. Considering the hazards of the roads, these prayers are sincere and necessary!
When I visited Ghana in 1994 I traveled those same roads and experienced the hazards of those deep holes. Major roads have been improved in the last 20 years, but side streets and roads to villages are frequently just hard-packed dirt.
We travel so often in America that we seldom think to be thankful for a safe trip until we see a tragic accident or face hazardous driving conditions. I am thankful today for safer cars and safer road conditions than ever before. Even though our HHR has been recalled this week for a problem with power steering, I am thankful we are aware of this possible problem and can have it repaired.