We said goodbye to the humid coastline and ventured north. After only a few short days with my travel companions it became evident that the world appeared differently through my eyes than it did through theirs. We were greeted by a hand-me-down fleet at the public bus station in Cape Coast. We road in pools of our own sweat and our butts were numb within the first hour of the five hour ride up Swisscheese roads to Kumasi.
Kevin, Lindsey and Julia were blown away that there was a public bus station where buses left on time! The numbness and sweating is to be expected. I strive to have patience like this when life is not perfect.
Kumasi is a fascinating city filled with rich Ashanti culture, art and delicious street foods, which if Lindsey’s mom asks we didn’t eat! In Kumasi the place to see is the market - we had heard it was intense. When we arrived we discovered the market itself had long ago graduated beyond the market confines and ballooned into the surrounding streets! The market and radiating streets all blurred together in a mosaic of yams the size of a baby, every African country’s soccer jersey, dismembered animal parts and leather sandals.
The leather sandal making was the coolest! As we walked through the narrow market alleys the landscape evolved from market to factory. Young men carved away at hunks of rubber. The rubber was then hammered on to wood and the soles took shape. The straps were fashioned and attached. The assembly line ended and sandal vendors took over. We walked 100 yards and witnessed firsthand the creation of Ghanaian sandals from creation to sale. This blew my mind and I love how simple, local and resourceful it is.
The next morning we pieced together a series of cab and tro tro rides until we eventually arrived at Abono, the closest town to Lake Bosumtwi. Our cabbie tried to rip us off so on principle we hiked the last 5km to the Rainbow Garden Village. We were the only ones there. Sweaty and tired we showered and ordered food and lots of beer.
When the sun rose, I was wide-awake. I drank two Nescafes and reflected on our journey thus far. It was so peaceful. It may have been the ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ labels on the outdoor latrines but the Rainbow Garden Village was felt like a little slice of Eden. I felt so safe and at home at this place. Runt kittens chased strange bugs, a goat bleated and a donkey brayed. Young men fished with nets off boats made of driftwood and the rest of the world disappeared.