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Mail call

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

We’ve been in Accra for just about a month. Weeks before moving, we sent out change of address notices to our banks and other companies with whom we do business. However, till yesterday, we had not received a single piece of mail. What did we get yesterday, you ask? After a friend accompanied me to the mailroom, the mail guy looked around and found the package we mailed to ourselves on September 24. Nothing else, just the package, but we were really glad to see it.

We couldn’t remember what exactly we sent, so it was a surprise to find out. It was just the leftover stuff that was still in our apartment after the movers had taken everything else away. Among the stuff was oreo-type cookies (yay!), Teva sandals that Dan thought he had lost, and the cord that connects the camera to the computer. Finally, I was able to upload some photos to a few back posts of this blog. If you already read them, look again.

Shai Hills Wildlife Reserve

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Shai Hills Wildlife Reserve lies between Akosombo and Accra.  It was neither the best time of day (mid-afternoon) nor the best time of year for a visit, but hey, we were passing by, so why not stop?

Our group of 7 consolidated into 2 cars along with the mandatory guide, named Simon. As we drove along, he told us about the animals and answered our questions. The first animals we saw were a troop of baboons, perched on and about a building that looked new but unused. Simon said it would eventually be a museum, but for now the baboon troop lived around it.

baboon in tree

This troop is one of about 15 troops living on the reserve. The staff tries to keep this troop near the museum for tourists to see. They keep them there by feeding them things like bananas and biscuits. (“Biscuits” in Ghana are cookies.) Simon said we could feed them if we wanted, but we didn’t feel right doing that.

baboon walking

The path (not a road) through the reserve required a high-clearance vehicle, and Dan enjoyed driving our friend’s Jeep on the uneven surface. High grasses were all around us, with an occasional tree here and there, or in some parts, a small grove of trees. After a while of driving, we realized that we lost the other vehicle, containing half our group. We went back and discovered that they had stopped to look at a group of kob, a type of antelope. We caught sight of the kob and gawked till they bounded away into the distance.

Further up the path, we stopped for a short hike to a cave full of bats. This cave, according to Simon, used to be the dwelling place for the chief of the Shai people, for which the reserve is named. It was pleasantly cool but smelled unpleasantly of guano.

Millipedes live there, too.


Other than some hornbills (birds) and more kob, we didn’t see any more wildlife there. Still, it was enjoyable and interesting. Simon recommended visiting Mole National Park in the north. He used to work there. It’s much bigger that Shai Hills and contains more species, including elephants! We look forward to seeing that sometime within the next 2 years. I hope they don’t feed the elephants biscuits.

On the way back, we saw 2 signs for separate but related businesses:

oddly co-placed signs

Aluminum Man

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

well dressed canoe passengers

We had the opportunity to see a little bit more of Ghana over the weekend. We headed up to Akosombo, where a couple of Dan's colleagues organized a mini-triathlon. We were ... [Continue reading this entry]

What were we thinking?

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Our UAB (unaccompanied air baggage) arrived last week. That's a shipment of stuff we thought we'd like to have before the bulk of our belongings arrive in the "household effects" shipment in a few months. My initial thought ... [Continue reading this entry]

Resist that wax

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Last week we went to see a local cloth dyeing operation, where they use the wax-resist process. (I was under the impression this process is known as batik, but someone told me that batik is different, so I'll just ... [Continue reading this entry]

Yes and no

Friday, October 13th, 2006
Before we came to Accra, we were told that English is Ghana's official language. However, there are some differences between U.S. English and Ghanaian English. For example, a plastic bag that you might get when you buy something at ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Donald and the Daniel

Monday, October 9th, 2006

Actually, if you had asked me last October I would have had no idea of the dramatic changes heading my way in the coming months. Since we left on our trip to Tierra del Fuego it has been a ... [Continue reading this entry]


Friday, October 6th, 2006

Akwaaba means welcome, and that's how we feel in Accra, Ghana.  We don't have home internet access yet, so we haven't been able to update the blog till now.  I'll catch you up by reporting on the past week in ... [Continue reading this entry]