Wednesday, January 15, 2014


In the last few weeks, I have gone from sunning myself on a beach in Africa, to bundling up in a polar vortex. I've been to Ghana five times, but the last time I was there was eight years ago. I expected to see a lot of change, but "TIA" (This Is Africa), and not much was new. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed doing a lot of nothing and eating copious amounts of fish and joloff.

Our first few days were pretty mellow which was good, since it took my luggage a few extra days to arrive. We spent some time at the Art Center, and quite a bit of time in traffic (one of the new developments is that there are a ton more cars on the roads). One of the first experiences we had was dining at La Tante. It's a restaurant near the airport that is inside of an old DC-10 plane.

I went with my usual of jollof, but guinea fowl as my protein. It was standard, but not in a bad way.

We spent Christmas afternoon away from the bustle of Accra at the Volta Hotel. The beautiful view, was unfortunately masked by some haze.

After Christmas, we drove to the village for a few days to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday. It was a great time to be with my family and the entire village came to celebrate. Getting to the village was a bit harrowing since our car broke down three times, but we were able to get there and back in one piece, even though it was a little shaky. Here is my grandmother showing everyone she's still got some moves.

This is a cocoa pod. The white part around the seeds is edible and tastes a bit like cheremoya. Don't make the same mistake I did and start chomping on the seeds.

Then we were back in the city for a few days filled with parties, mosquito bites, and visits to Makola Market and Nkrumah Park. On new years day, we jetted off to the Coconut Grove Beach Resort in Elmina for a few more days of blissful relaxation (and overeating).

The bustle of Makola Market

Nkrumah Park

Sunset on the beach in Elmina

Lizard friends

Sleeping crocodiles

Drummers and dancers

It was a great time and nice to escape the cold Chicago weather. I had a blast with family and friends, read a ton, danced a little, and I'm looking forward to the next trip.

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Angela said...

What a great time. Not many people get to celebrate their grandmother's 90th birthday, let alone go to Africa.

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love your grandmother's dress! I used to work near a Ghanaian food stall. Jollof was my lunch about once a week, with a really delicious chicken and peanut stew.

vanillasugarblog said...

I have to second that "what a great time"!
Lucky you.
The sunset pic is gorgeous.
I had no idea you've been to Ghana that many times.
I wish you'd make more Ghana-inspired dishes for us!

Joanne said...

I'm so glad to got to go back for the holidays and see your grandmother! It must have been such a fun time.

Unknown said...

Hey,Everything is possible if you believe.Never too late.I am African and will be eternally grateful to my parents for my upbringing.That is why my kids will visit Africa regularly to keep in touch with their roots and learn certain ways of life no amount of money and comfort can ever bring.Thanks to all!

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