12.08.2010 30 °C
On the Street
In Ghana there was such a great atmosphere everywhere you were. Houses tend to be very basic for the majority of people, usually just bare concrete walls and floors, and very little time is actually spent indoors, so most of life is spent outside. This means that even a very small village in Ghana seems very busy.
The place that we were staying, Denu, lies in the south of the Volta Region along the stretch of coast between the capital city, Accra, to the border of Togo, and it is the area of Ghana least visited by tourists. This means that people are surprised to see a white person, making it very hard to take pictures of the towns and people going about their daily lives without many people staring at you.
I did manage to take some very sneaky pictures though:
A very bad picture of a tro-tro.
Tro-tro's are the main form of transport in Ghana. It is basically a small minivan with as many rows of seats squeezed in as possible. On one trip there was even a person on the roof, which was brilliant, and sometimes we would get inside to find that there was a live chicken by our feet.
You can either go to the station, where people will frantically shout "Where you go?" and then take you to their waiting Tro-tro, to sit in until it is full, or you can sometimes flag them down in the street.
The prices are always very reasonable though, for a 5 hour drive we each paid about £3, and a journey from one side of Accra to the other is about 20p each. Bargain.
People carrying food on their heads.
It is very nice that you can just walk down the street and buy many different kinds of foods.
I have never been anywhere with such a high proportion of taxis. You can tell that they are taxis because the front and rear wings (the bits above the wheels) are painted orange.
There are 2 types of taxi rides in Ghana:
Shared taxis drive back and forth along the main road picking up anybody that is going in the right direction, so it is normal to share your taxi with as many people as can possibly be squeezed in. I once saw a small taxi (an Opel Astra) with 5 people in the back, 3 on the front passenger seat, and the driver.
Most taxis are old Opel (Vauxhall) Astras or Cavaliers, apparently because it is easy to buy parts to repair them. Obviously not windscreens though, because most of them were broken.
The other type of taxi is a "dropping" or "chartered" taxi, which is basically the same as you would get in Europe. You get in, and it doesn't pick up anybody else along the way, and drops you off where you want to go.
In Ghana the people are very honest. In a tro-tro we were always given the same price as the locals, even though they could have easily ripped us off. The only time I ever felt like people were trying to take advantage of you is when taxi drivers wanted to take you somewhere, and would ask for wildly high prices, because you are yavoo. When I say wildly high, I mean about £2, but that is still 10x as much as you would pay for a shared taxi.
A family that we were talking to, some of which were from Ghana and some of which were from over the border in Togo.
This is usually what happens when somebody else uses my camera.