Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ghana Recap - Days One & Two

To label this post Ghana recap is a bit misleading, as day one found us nowhere near Ghana. Monday morning began with me checking our flight status online shortly before I was set to leave the house, and discovering that our flight out of Chicago was cancelled, and eventually discovering that we were rebooked to depart at 4:20pm (rather than 11:30am) and go through Cincinnati then Amsterdam (rather than NYC to Ghana). We phoned Delta and got nowhere, but under considerable pressure from the rest of the group that we were supposed to meet in NYC, we headed to the airport anyway.

We got through ticketing and security okay and were booked standby on an earlier Cincinnati flight. When we walked up to our gate we did a double take as there was the rest of the group who were supposed to already be on their way to NYC. They had been put the plane, sat for 2 hours, then got taken off. We didn't get to talk long though before we were called for standby on an even earlier Cincinnati flight than the one we thought we were standby on. Unsure of what the future held as far as meeting up again with the rest of the group, we got on the Cincinnati flight. The flight was brief and full of anxious people afraid of missing their connections because apparently that flight was getting out late. Upon arrival, a fight almost broke out getting off the plane when someone was blocking the exit, talking to the pilot or flight attendant.

We had a long time in Cincinnati and lingered over a late lunch, looked through shops, had a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. I called Linnea to say goodbye, she just went on an on about some coupon they had for pizza they were getting that night. Often on the phone all she does is describe what she is doing at that exact moment. She did ask if we could walk to Africa.

The flight to Amsterdam was long, but relatively comfortable and uneventful. Twice I tried watching Iron Man on the personal video system, but became too tired and turned it off. I did manage to watch an episode of 30 Rock I'd never seen.

Day Two:

We arrived in mid-morning in rainy Amsterdam. We had to visit the ticketing desk where we were attended to by the most stereotypical looking gorgeous Nordic blondes, who told us we weren't actually booked on the flight to Ghana. They got us on no problem, but this was a bit of a letdown as Delta had told us we were booked in business class. A few moments later the rest of the group arrived, having ended up flying directly from Chicago.

After a few hours in Amsterdam, pretty much sitting doing nothing, we had to go through a long security line to get on the flight. AC and I were seated next to each other in the last row of the plane. I had the aisle seat which had a large metal box attached to the floor in my legroom under the seat in front of me. I was miserable. I don't even understand how they can sell that seat. I asked the flight attendant if there was anywhere I could move to and she thought not. Sometime later she came back and told me there was one aisle seat farther up in the plane. I sat next to a Ghanian woman who sang quietly for much of the trip. I managed to watch all of Dan in Real Life which was okay, and dozed on and off, listening to some music. I had a headache most of the trip due to dehydration and too much air conditioning.

We arrived in Accra, Ghana and exited the plane onto the tarmac, which was a little humid, but not too hot. Katie's luggage did not arrive, so we were there quite some time trying to work that out. Next was a fairly long bus ride to our hotel, on which I quietly took in the sights for awhile before falling asleep. We didn't get a very good sense of the city in the dark that night.

Our hotel is amazing and completely unexpected. It's kind of a closed in compound. There are a variety of rooms with most of us having 2 people in a room with 2 beds and a private bath. Some have air conditioning, but ours does not and is plenty cool with a ceiling fan. We pretty much have the place taken over and the "restaurant" is more or less our personal chefs. We ate dinner that first night before heading off to bed. Dinner consisted of some Uncle Ben's type long grain rice with some onions and seasonings, fried chicken, some kind of beef with onions and gravy, salad, and delicious fried plantains. Other lunches and dinners here have been slight variations on those dishes. It's all fairly good.

No comments: