Monday, June 11, 2007

Sunday in Ghana

Tales of a Private Island

For most of us Westerners, the dream of having our own tropical island is just that - a dream.

Oh but to be a Lebanese family in West Africa...

This weekend we were invited to a farewell party for one of the Ambassadors to Ghana, on a friend's friends' island. Yes, not their house but their island.

We drove from the city along the one highway (read stretch of tarred road without numerous potholes) in Ghana, in a cavalcade of Diplomatic vehicles, out to the village of Ada. Here we found local boys waiting with the family's fleet of little boats, and the lot of us were taxied in groups along the coast of small basic fishing villages (in photo 1), out to the island. It is a gorgeous sandy place, with the river on one side and the ocean on the other... the only building is the family's gorgeous modern house, with windows everywhere and broken tiles in mosaics around the outdoor bar and patio and even in the washroom where an 8ft high Adam and Eve with the snake and apple are expertly created in a mural of broken mirror and colourful tiles...

We arrived on the little peer and were met by our generous hosts, and ushered up to the party which populated their yard - the majority of the island. The kids quickly headed off to join the others being pulled along by speedboats on the floating yellow donuts.

We spent the afternoon casually hobnobbing with the various Ambassadors and their wives, and other people of importance... until it was time for lunch and we were all led into the lounge where a massive buffet awaited the crowd. The 100 or so people barely made a dint in the offerings. The bar men floated among us, filling wine glasses and taking orders... all they needed were white gloves to evoke a movie scene in my mind.

I think of how we have been toying with the idea of leaving Ghana - moving back to 'civilized countries' where the electricity works and the water flows... then I realize there are just so many interesting aspects to our lives here... Where in Mississauga or Houston or London England would we enjoy a day at our friend's private island, complete with palm trees and cocktails and the warm sun above us? Sometimes it's fun to indulge, not to judge, to throw away the PC questions about what is fair and what is right and just join the priveleged few who really know how to enjoy.

I think we'll stay put a while longer and observe the many facets of life that are Ghana.
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