Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sure is hot out here....I'VE BEEN ROBBED!

Well.....what an adventure yesterday was!
I hadn’t slept very well again. I still can’t tell if its due to the lack of fan, the lack of breeze with the mosquito net, the not so comfy mattress, the pillows that feel like they were filled with sand or just a combination of it all. Either way, I was up at 6:30am and happy it was bright out so I could get up. I threw on my bikini and went for a morning seashell hunt on the ocean side.
Having learned that if I give the guys on the beach the slightest bit of attention that I can’t get them away from me, I put in my headphones and walked with my gaze on the ground…I was looking for seashells… so it just looked like I was really into it. I found some fantastic shells again. I think my suitcase will consist of wood, fabric and shells.

After collecting so many shells I couldn’t fit any more into the bag I brought along, I went to have breakfast… same old two omelets and bread. They ran out of coffee so I had tea. It’s so interesting. A lot of the time, just because it says something on the menu does not mean they actually have it. That doesn’t only happen in secluded places like this resort but also in the middle of Accra.
I spent the rest of the morning sketching and tanning. I actually think I finally got my feet (which were mostly covered by sneakers or sandals) caught up with the rest of my body color. I didn’t have any observers today but the manager did stop by. He was taking a group of Obrunis from the other resort out on a boat trip to see the rum factory.
I decided I’d rather lie in the hammock. Around lunchtime, I went and sat on the deck where food was served. Usually the two girls working there would then come ask me if I wanted lunch. They did do that this time however some fruit sellers stopped by and they asked if I wanted to buy something. I told them I would have to run to my bungalow quick to get some cash. I went and took 20 cedis out of my wallet (as you will see later in this post, I’m glad I took so much more than the 1 Cedi I needed to pay for the bananas and peanuts.) A bit later, the little kids that had been selling me mangos the last two days stopped by again. It breaks my heart that they have to go around carrying these big trays of fruit on their heads so I give them more than they ask for and usually a few Cedis each that I tell them is just for them to use as they please. I bought another mango and since they didn’t have change for my 5, I took a few wafers as well and told them the change was for them. After another little chill session in the hammock, I decided to go back to my room and get ready for a bit of tanning.

I unlocked my bungalow and entered and sat on the bed. I was confused as to why my shirt and pants were on the floor, and then I noticed my contact lenses case and toothpaste had “fallen” off of the table as well. Only then did I realize that the pillow on my bed was out of place and then my glance drew up to the window. Shock. The net had been cut and two windowpanes broken. I immediately shot my attention to my wallet. It was luckily still lying on my bed but all my cash, all 300 Cedis, were gone!! I was shocked! Luckily, they left the wallet with my credit cards and ID still in there and I had my electronics all with my in my big purse. I ran to the girls to tell them what had happened. They looked equally shocked and came back to my bungalow with me. I could tell they didn’t know what to say to me. I told them it was a situation that we couldn’t change now but that we needed to get in touch with the manager because I would be leaving for Accra that same night. No point in hanging around with no money and a bed I can’t sleep in since I was planning on leaving in the morning anyways. They went to look around the premises and came back with a wallet. They said they found it near the tent of the people camping near my bungalow. If there had been Cedis in there, they were gone but the thief left about 100 US Dollars behind. This very much surprised me since that is a lot of money. Whoever the thief was must have really only been on the look out for Cedis which makes me believe it was a local who didn’t know what to do with credit cards and either didn’t know the worth of US Dollars or didn’t know where to exchange them.

I packed up all my things and went to wait for the manager at the main building. I had informed all my friends back in Accra what had happened. They were all very supportive and some sprung into action to help me. Felix organized a money transfer. He had been at the neighboring resort the week before and had the manager’s number. He made a deal with him that if the manager loaned my 40 Cedis, Felix would send 50 Cedis with the next group of tourists coming to his place. Pablo helped my plan my journey back home. My phone was at about 3% so I really needed the manager to turn on the generator as soon as he got back. It took a while but eventually he did return. The girls had already called him and told him of the incident. He felt really bad about the whole thing. I told him it wasn’t his fault and when he started accusing the girls (I assume, it was in their native language) I sprung to their defense. I had been outside closer even to the bungalow than they had been so we all should have seen it equally. There was just a regular passing of people between the river-ocean junction and our place. Besides, the thief easily could have come around on the ocean side, not being seen due to the huge sand mountain separating the ocean side from the river side, snuck around behind the bungalow and tent and then crawled away again the way he came.
I had him throw on the generator so I could charge my phone. I wanted to get to about 50% before leaving for Accra. David, the manager from Maranatha, the resort next door, came over and gave me the 40 Cedis. All in all I had 55 Cedis to my name. My phone only made it to 30% before the generator started giving up. Just my luck. We got ready to depart for Ada Foah. Well, I got ready and was sitting in the boat but then the two Germans from the tent came back. I asked the guy if they had left any Cedis in the tent and he said they had all their Cedis with them. Good. So no loss. So I thought. The manager went to the tent with them. I was getting annoyed at this point. I wanted to leave. I wanted to be on my way to Accra before it got dark. Let’s go!

David and the manager went to the tent and did god knows what for about half an hour if not longer. I was getting so extremely frustrated. David gave me a little update from afar saying her diary and flashlight were missing. SO! Its not like we can change it now and I WANT TO LEAVE! I was feeling very German at this point with my impatience but lets look at the facts: whatever is gone is gone, its starting to get dark, they can look and make a comprehensive list of all things missing while I am being taken to Ada Foah and I can get on my way. The standing around discussing whatever and delaying my departure was doing nobody any good and just worsening my blood pressure. I was close to punching the boat. Eventually the two guys strolled back to the boat and mumbled something about asking other guys to take me to Ada Foah but then luckily got into the boat and we started. The second we started heading towards Ada Foah my mood was back to normal as well as my blood pressure. I just really despise wasting time.

The boat ride back gave me a really weird feeling. I felt like I was in some history channel documentary about indigenous tribes. The ride to Ada Foah started off with the resort I stayed at and the Maranatha resort next to it. The scene quickly transitioned into a lake from view of houses built from palm leaves and any other natural building material around. The sun was setting and it was getting dark and I saw no electrical light anywhere. People were strolling along the water. Boys were playing in the water. Mothers were hanging up laundry. It gave me a feeling as though time had stood still in this part. The scene moved on to what looked like more of the meeting center of the villages with the big colorful fishing boats. The laundry hung from the ropes and boys were playing in the water. So many boys around, I wonder were all the girls are. The next part along the river becomes a huge contrast. One second you see colorful wooden boats and housed made of palm tree leaves and the next you think you have been transported to the waterfront in Miami with huge houses, lights, gazebos and landscaping. It is the weirdest thing but those houses really make you want to be friends with who ever own them. The scene then goes back to a more basic one before turning into somewhat of a harbor with a few huge metal ships. This is where we stopped to get off. I thanked the manager for his help and David walked me into town. Again, I felt like all I saw was boys. I asked David about it and he said I was very observant. “We have so many boys and not a lot of girls so the boys have no girls to play with.” I thought maybe the girls were forced to do house chores while the boys played soccer.

My journey back to Accra was a lovely chain of helpful people. The manager had taken me on his boat to Ada Foah, David walked me into town and made sure I got a Taxi to Ada Junction. The taxi driver was going to help me flag down a trotro that drove by but I ended up getting that done myself before he could park his car. The last lady to get off the trotro in Accra told the trotro driver and his money collector to take me to Kaneshie market and make sure I got a taxi to Korle Bu. At Kaneshie, the money collector got out, hailed a cab for me and told the driver where I needed to go. The taxi drove me to Pablo’s house. Its nice to know how helpful the people can be here.

The journey took about 3 hours. I was the only white person on the whole trip. It was also dark so most people, myself included, tried to nap. I couldn’t use my phone because I was conserving the battery incase I needed it and my iPad was basically drained as well. This led to me having an about 3 hour-long inner monologue. It was rather entertaining and I wish I could have recorded it. The topics of my conversation included basically anything. I analyzed my current situation, my current relationships, relationships I have recently lost, the work coming my way as soon as I land in Germany, what presents I want to get people for their birthdays, future business endeavors, recipes I want to start making for breakfast and so on.
At Pablo’s, I made myself some spaghetti with ketchup (my comfort food) and watched while the others got professional salsa lessons from Pablo’s salsa teacher. I was too hungry to join in and the steps they were working on were natural to me. Pablo gave me a ride home a bit later and I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. Even if it meant knowing I would probably be awake by 5:30am due to noise.


And so it was, this morning my roommate was up and at it at 5:30. I didn’t really pay attention to what exactly she was doing but it was a combination of showering, organizing and talking on the phone. She left by 8 and since I wasn’t falling asleep anymore, I packed. My suitcase will probably be overweight and I already removed all the fabric to be put in my carry on. We will see what happens Saturday. Erica and I plan to hit up the Unique Palace pool today. I would have gone into town and did some shopping but after having 300 Cedis stolen and realizing my suitcase is filled to the brim, I opted out of that. Erica did the night shift in OBGYN so she is taking a nap and then we are off to chill together. I’m excited for the few days I have here in Accra with my great friends and have plans for every night but a part of my is also excited to be going home. But I will miss it here once I’m gone.

1 comment:

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