theresa and i arrived in accra last night after a longish flight from london. there were no jetways getting off the airplane, so i got a strong whiff of the air, which is warm and smokey, almost pungent. i spent most of the flight with a drippy nose and an occasional sneeze—spreading some awful pestilence around the globe. i slept some during the beginning of the flight and burned through half of the book i brought, hackers and painters, during the latter.
just as we exited the airport, things got crazy, lots of ghanaians waiting around for returning friends and family and lots and lots of official and not so official people who want to “help” you with your bags and drive you where to want to go. being swarmed by three or four people asking “where you want to go?” and grabbing at your luggage—trying to pick it up out of your hands—can be a little unnerving.
rather than stay at the super nice/gawdy hotel called La Palm Royal Beach with the “largest swimming pool in ghana”, theresa wanted to stay at a more modest guesthouse recommended by one of our colleagues who had recently traveled to ghana. (i didn’t complain–life’s an adventure, right?) they were supposed to pick us up, but our flight was about a half hour late, so it was 9pm when we exited the airport looking for a sign that said “eastoment” or our names. of course we saw nothing as we walked around, spending most of our time fending off constant requests for rides and people grabbing at our suitcases.
after a somewhat tense and unsuccessful search for our driver (or a taxi driver who actually knew where the eastoment was) we headed back into the airport to call the guesthouse when i made one more pass at the signs and saw a barely visible “theresah” written in ball point pen and yellow highlighter. hallejuyah! we were saved.
we made it to the guesthouse after a short drive and collapsed.