Rollerblading at Cowbell Skate Ramp

Getting airborne in Accra

I am often surprised at the odd mixes of Western and African I see on my travels. One day it’s the Togolese’s National Run to the Border Day and the next, it’s a skateboard park in Accra where Rollerbladers rule.

As it often happens, I was not looking for the Cowbell Skate Ramp when I found it. I was expecting to go from one business meeting to the next, but when you’re offered the chance to explore Ghana with a local, you always accept the ride. But when Denise pulled into the International Trade Fair Centre, I was first somewhat disappointed. I’d been there before, and it wasn’t much. Then I saw the skate park.

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A CityLink Flight to Kumasi, Ghana

Your CityLink to flying Ghanaian skies

I love me some propeller planes. Unlike big jet aircraft that feel like they are shoved into the sky, prop airplanes feel like they glide into the heavens. As my CityLink flight to Kumasi, Ghana took off from Kotoka International Airport, I sat back and relaxed, free of my usual fear of flying.

Yes, you read that right, world-traveling Wayan is scared of flying. In fact, I hate the whole concept of flight, from hurtling through too-thin-to-breathe air inside a metal tube to the horrid nightmare of it falling from the sky to certain death. I only do it, as it’s the only way to get from one continent to another. Past that, I’ll take the train, thanks.

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Dry Cleaning Adventures in Africa

Morton Dry Cleaning

When I could not get though to confirm my next appointment, I decided it was time to dry clean my pants. After two weeks in Africa, these dress pants had become, well, not so clean, and so I headed back to Asylum Down, the neighbourhood where I was staying in Accra.

The day before, I had asked around at Busy Internet, and heard of a reputable dry cleaner, Morton Dry Cleaning. Yet on Friday, when I asked to go there, the taxi driver didn’t know where the dry cleaner was – he didn’t even know what dry cleaning is! He kept offering to have his wife wash my pants, so when I got to Asylum Down, I started walking, looking for Morton’s by asking people as I went.

It turns out that few Ghanaians know about dry cleaning.

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African Go Slow Gifts

Wait till you see the video

While trapped in an African Go Slow, you have the opportunity to see many things. Besides the colorful scenery of cars stuck in traffic, there are waves of street hawkers trying to sell all manner of consumer goods.

Everything from drinks and snacks to bathroom fixtures and even condoms and porn. But I’ve never seen this odd little thing I bought in an Accra Go Slow:

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Running For Barack Obama Across Africa

All of Africa loves Obama

Now you could imagine that the US presidential race is of interest to Africans. Maybe more than Americans, Africans look to our democratic process as hope and validation of the possible – benevolent leadership that is responsive to its electorate.

And it’s no secret that Africans loved Bill Clinton. As President, he put Africa on the political map and was deeply concerned with the continent. Bush on the other hand has mixed reviews.

Yes, he seems to push for more US government support, like President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment ever by any nation for an international health initiative, yet wars in Iraq and Afghanistan do nothing to ender Africa’s Muslims.

The candidacy of Barack Obama is a whole other scene.

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