We had a second Christmas tree for our secret Santa out at the beach (the gifts included an Obama apron from classic Ghana cloth and some Kasapreko Alomo Bitters (a tonic to make men 'strong and virile')!
On the way out to the beach we had the pleasure of the Ghana Christmas traffic, and all it's sights:
Hemasie!!! (No clue whether this is spelled correctly) These are the traditional ghouls of the holiday season in Accra. They've been invading compounds and traffic lights since I can remember, scaring the children and extorting money, while entertaining all. The public seems to have a love hate relationship with them. As for me - I'm not a fan:
The hemasie outfits have always been pretty similar - bright clown type costumes, with creepy painted brown masks like this:
But it seems the modern world has infiltrated even this tradition in Ghana - since now they are using rubber Halloween masks instead. What a sight at your car window!
Then we saw a young girl, literally wobbling under the weight and mass of her wares:
And right after her, followed other members of the family:
In front of us at quite a few traffic lights was a pick-up truck (that's a bakkie to JW), full to capacity with bags and a bunch of young girls, excited and giggling. I used to love sitting in the back of a truck. But when they kept up along side us on the highway, I couldn't help think how dangerous it is... The funny thing is that the police have started to pull us over checking for seatbelts while trucks like this zoom past... sigh...
We came up beside a fancy Ghana hearse all decked out, and cracked up when some very alive inhabitants peered out and waved...
The long drives are just never boring. There was the bread seller:
and the tiger nut seller who was doing a booming trade with the tro-tros...
And the last minute gift idea - the massive clock!
We had some non-vehicular traffic to deal with along the way as well - a shepherd and his flock (and some resulting dust!)
Eventually we did arrive at the beach, and proceeded to vegitate. Amongst lots of eating, drinking and some sailing. At night, we shared our little rooms with a din of mosquitos, held back by our enveloping netting, the muggy heat, and the throbbing sounds from the nearby spot, who celebrated into the wee hours, with a 5 song repertoire...
On Christmas day, a sail up to the mouth of the river, opening into the ocean, we came across supper in the form of four massive fresh cassava fish, caught by a lovely couple in their canoe, and all for under $15.
Boxing Day's supper arrived at first as a visitor. A sheep who spent the night in our midst, bleating randomly, and found to be alert and pacing on my midnight trip to the loo... In the morning he watched the sun come up, but before 9am the deed was done. Soon he was marinating in garlic and spices, and then onto the coals of the barbeque... The executioner and his mates enjoyed the full head and various entrails, while a gang of other expats descended on the club and devoured the rest. A true feast was had by all.
We made it through a Christmas without snow, mistletoe, turkey or stuffing. Ghana gave us her best - sunshine, fresh fish, warm river water for swimming.
She offered up a sheep and entertained us through the night, whether it was wanted or not. Ghana gave us her sights and sounds and shared the holiday with us.
The police graced each roadblock with a smile and a hand reached out - it's Christmas oh!
Afehyia Paa everyone! Ghana-style.