Accra Ghana Temple

Accra Ghana Temple
Accra Ghana Temple

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pre-move visit to West Africa

On April 12, 2010 we boarded a Delta flight bound for our pre-move visit Accra, Ghana, Africa.  Gregg had been to Africa numerous times, but this was a first for me.  We had a vacation in Egypt in 2009, but that is not Sub-Saharan Africa.

When we landed it was hot, humid, and sweaty on the tarmac.  There was no Jetway and we hauled our carry on bags down the exterior stairs and entered a crowded hot bus.  In the terminal we stood in a long, hot line to get our passports cleared at immigration.  Gregg whispered to me, "I'm melting, I'm melting."  We headed the short distance to baggage claim (small, aging airport).  At baggage claim we witnessed our first power failure.  The entire airport went completely dark and we could hear the luggage belts come to a halt.  Everyone just stood and waited and sure enough, in about 5 minutes the lights came on and the luggage belts started up.  We retrieved our bags and walked past customs.  Apparently they were more interested in others than us because we witnessed open bags and their contents strewn across long tables.  We were happy it was not us. After clearing customs, it was so nice to be met by someone we knew. 

Upon leaving the airport we were bombarded with men very eager to carry our bags,all quite aggressive and all wanting a small fee.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn by the airport, one of the nicest hotels in Accra. 

We then saw the wonderful home we would live in.  The home is an older British style two-level home in a gated community near others we would know and work with.  The home has a gorgeous dark wood staircase ascending to the second level.  Construction here is all concrete, so getting more than one or two power outlets per room is sometimes a challenge.  The home has nice furniture, nice draperies and solid dark wood furniture.  The main level floors are mostly marble tiles. There are 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a spacious kitchen with a Western sized refrigerator, chest freezer, Whirlpool washer and dryer.  There is a separate detached maid's quarters out back, which will remain unused.  There is a huge mango tree in the back yard, which we understand was loaded with fruit this year.  There are bushes and trees all around the home in bloom with red, pink, purple and orange flowers.  This will be a wonderful place to live.
During my stay in Accra, I got to experience local shopping with other expat ladies which I will explain in a later posting.  Suffice it to say, it was quite an education.

My stay was to last 5 days and Gregg was to continue on to Ivory Coast and Nigeria.  When the volcano erupted in Iceland, my routing through Amsterdam was doomed.  Before leaving the country, Gregg rescheduled my flight through New York (the soonest available flight was 5 days later--a little more adventure than I had signed up for).  But I made it home on a direct flight from Accra to NYC.  Sadly, the flight from Accra was late departing because a man stood in the doorway and refused to let them shut the door without his friend on board.  Eventually, we left his friend at the airport bar in Accra and most of us missed our connections in NYC.  I got to overnight in New York before getting home. 

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