Wild life

5 02 2008

BaboonI will admit that I bunked off work Friday. On Thursday night I went to a football match with Fred (a VSO from Kenya), Sarah from Bolga (who blogs), Sarah’s daughter Jes and Agnieszka from Navrongo. After the match Sarah insisted we all went to Mole on Friday and who was I to argue? So last weekend I finally got around to visiting what ought to be one of Ghana’s top tourist attractions – Molé National Park (pronounced mole-ay).

After two weeks without seeing any other volunteers, and not much of my work colleagues the last nine days has been a volunteer packed time. The weekend before last was spent back in Navrongo, and included a dinner party for 8, last week I watched football most evenings, either on TV or live and always with other volunteers, many of them visiting Tamale specifically for the football and then last weekend in Mole.

Hopefully the photos I took (now on Flickr) will do Mole better justice than words, but lets just say I had breakfast with elephants and supper with baboons. The accommodation is perched on the edge of an escarpment overlooking an artificial watering hole that is kept full, which makes it one of the few in the area during the dry season so wildlife is almost guaranteed. Sadly, although luckily for me in some ways, they aren’t making as much of it as they could. If they were I couldn’t afford it and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to phone up the day before and book Friday and Saturday night accommodation for 5 people. I won’t mention that the only public transport back to Tamale leaves at 4am. But it is most definitely worth a visit when you bring your tourist dollars to Ghana.

One of the nicest things was the completely unexpected arrival on Saturday of Ruth and Katherine – two fellow volunteers and two of the nicest people you’d want to meet (Ruth’s parents were there as well and they seemed lovely too). Sadly circumstances prevented me seeing as much of them as I’d have liked to.

The good thing about the early return was that I was able to watch Ghana scrape a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the noisy spot opposite my house Sunday evening. Each time Ghana scored the 20 or so Ghanaians crowded around the small TV went wild and created a truly incredible amount of noise. I went to sleep Sunday night to the sounds of Ghana celebrating a victory over their nemesis, think England beating Argentina in the quarter finals of the world cup in 2002 and add some. Nigeria has regularly put Ghana out of competitions so there is little love lost. The rumours are that Nigeria has taken it badly with attacks on Ghanaians in Nigeria. I’m not sure how to convey how important football (soccer) is to readers in non-soccer nations but wars have been started in South America over world cup matches. The best I can do is quote one of the great English football managers “Football isn’t a matter of life and death, it’s much more important than that”.




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