All good things must come to an end, and today we left Ada Foah after breakfast to make the journey back to Frankadua. I felt so refreshed after relaxing all day yesterday, and I actually really enjoyed the ride back.

Fernanda enjoying the boat ride

Step one was another boat ride with our friend Fred. This one went without a hitch, and he promised to come visit us in Frankadua. This happens pretty much everywhere we go… it’s kind of funny. It’s a good thing though that we all have Ghana SIM cards, so our phone numbers will disappear once we leave. This way we can give them to people without worrying about getting random calls from Ghana after we’re gone.

Tro #1. This was a pretty big one.. There isn’t always this much space

Step two was another tro ride. We had to walk from the dock to the station in town, and when we found it (after asking a bunch of people for directions), there was no one there. Great. Time to ask more people for help! We walked out to the street and started asking around until we finally found someone who directed us down the road because apparently tros don’t run all the way to the station on Sundays.Of course. Because why would they? *internet sarcasm*

Some scenery from the ride home

We found a tro, and I got a prime seat – back row by the window. That meant that I didn’t have to move for anyone, and I got an awesome breeze. I’m telling you, those things get HOT, and today was very sunny which doesn’t help at all. Everyone else slept, but I was happy to just sit and enjoy the ride.

Step three was the tro change at Tema roundabout. We thought that we would be able to get a tro direct to Frankadua from there, but everyone we talked to kept telling us that there was no such thing and that we had to take a cab to some other station to get one from there. It’s so hard to tell when people are being helpful or if they’re trying to take advantage of our ignorance (since we’re so obviously not from here). Who knows what the truth was in this case, but we decided to assume they were being helpful and took a cab to some random station.

Step four was a tro from the random station to Frankadua (FINALLY!). I lucked out again on my seat and was in the front next to the driver which means 1. more leg room and 2. a window AND the windshield. A breeze and a view. What more could you want? Well, for one thing, a seatbelt would be nice, but that’s always a long shot. I’ve been working on not having an anxiety attack every time I get in a vehicle without one.

Two hours later, we were home! Quite the trek, but we made it! The Cape Coast crew got back maybe 20 minutes after us, and the rest of the night was spent exchanging stories and getting ready for school tomorrow. Last week of summer school… eek!

​Sometimes you don’t realize how in need of a break you are until you get one and are reminded of what it feels like to be relaxed. That’s exactly where I was, and today has been the most perfect, relaxing day.

Fernanda with our hut

We took our time getting up this morning (YAY for sleeping in!), ate a leisurely breakfast, and got changed into our bathing suits to go to the beach – 10 feet from our huts.

Huts everywhere!

Oh yeah, did I talk yesterday about where we’re staying? The “hotel” is a collection of little huts, so we have a three person room with a sand floor (aka no floor… just a hut sitting on the sand) and a two person room with a floor (a luxurious concrete floor). I think they’re hilarious. I also have to comment on the electrical situation… There are lights in both rooms, but only one has a switch. In the other, we’re supposed to just pop the light bulb in and out to turn it on and off. The “fixture” is literally just a bulb hanging from the ceiling, supported only by its wires. Where two wires are connected to each other, they’re just twisted together and the connection is exposed. To get the power from hut to hut, there are just wires running underneath the sand without any protection beyond the normal plastic insulation (at home they would have to be in a pipe). I could keep ranting about the lights in pretty much the whole country, but I’ll spare you. Maybe another time.

The river side

ANYWAY, we decided to go for a walk to explore, starting on the river side of the peninsula and walking around to the gulf side. It is beautiful here. It’s also pretty cool to see the difference between the river water and the gulf water, and you can clearly see the place where they mix with each other.

Me on a rock. Obviously.

The rest of the day was equally uneventful. We played some volleyball, went in the river and played monkey in the middle, and laid on the beach. I made a sand sculpture and took a nap on a hammock and lost to Nico in chess. We watched the sunset and ate dinner, and after everyone else went to bed, Fernanda and I sat on the beach, looked at the stars, and talked. On a clear night, the sky here is always incredible because there are barely any lights around to interfere with the dark sky.

Sand sculpting

I’m really bummed that Fernanda is leaving next week… I think I’m still in denial a little bit. We get along so well and have a lot in common. But Mexico City isn’t TOO far from Philly, and she’s promised me a piñata if I come to visit, so it looks like it’s time for me to start planning a trip to Mexico!

Sunset!
Our journey.. From Frankadua (red) to Accra (light blue) to Tema (green) to Ada Foah (dark blue)
The place we are staying is in the red circle.. literally right at the point where the river meets the gulf 

Fernanda leaves us at the end of next week, so she got to pick the location for our weekend travels. She hadn’t been to Ada Foah yet, so that’s where we are now! It’s a town in southeast Ghana, next to where the Volta River flows into the Gulf of Guinea (that’s the same river as the one near where we live in Frankadua). It used to be a big town for trade, but that’s a thing of the past and a lot of the buildings that used to be here have washed away due to erosion. Now, there are mostly just beaches and big vacation houses.

Party car!

The trek to Ada Foah from our village is a bit of an adventure (just like the trek to pretty much anywhere), and ours ended up being even more interesting than anticipated. A normal trip from Frankadua would involve probably two tro tros and one boat ride, but we had an extra stop to make in Accra because Nico had to extend his visa. So our plan was to kill time at the Accra Mall until he was finished and go from there.
When we were trying to get a tro from Frankadua to the mall/immigration office, the mayor drove by and offered to take us in his car… so we all squeezed in, and off we went! He said that he was headed to Accra anyway, but I’m not sure that was true. I think he might have gone just because of us. After two squished hours (and a few traffic stops where he had to “encourage” the cops to let us go even though there were too many people in the car), we made it to the mall, and Avy, Fernanda, and I went snack shopping (my favorite thing) until Nico and Amber finished at immigration and met us for lunch.

Us with our new best friend, Fred the boat driver. Not sure why Fernanda and Amber are making those faces…

The next part of our journey didn’t go quite as planned… We thought that we would be able to get a tro from the mall to a transfer point (Tema Roundabout), but everyone we talked to said there weren’t any. Hm… so what now? We were wandering aimlessly through the parking lot with no plan for what to do next when someone yelled Nico’s name. It turned out to be some guy that Nico and Amber met a couple weeks ago in Frankadua, Rudolph, and when they told him about our situation, he said he could give us a ride because he was headed that direction anyway (I don’t think he was telling the truth either). So the five of us squeezed into Rudolph’s car, and we were off again! The ride was cramped but seriously luxurious because he had air conditioning!!! I don’t think I’ve experienced functional AC since I’ve been here. It was amazing.

Some of the vacation homes along the river

When we got to the transfer point, Rudolph walked with us and helped us find the right tro to take to Ada, where we then took a boat to Ada Foah. You’re probably thinking that this MUST be the end of the story… but alas, it is not. We got probably 95% of the way there, anddd the boat stalled. The driver started using some questionable methods to try to start it up again, and we were so close to land that someone from the hotel started walking through the water to us with the intention of pulling the boat in. He was probably 20 meters away (sorry… I’m starting to think in metric now. 65 feet or so) when the boat finally started up again, and we cruised into shore.

We were welcomed into shore by this hideous sunset

Yay!! We finally made it! By the time we landed, it was past dinnertime and no one was hungry anyway, so we just dropped our stuff in our rooms and hung out/played cards. Now it’s time for bed! Tomorrow the relaxing begins!