Goodbye, dear Ghana.

Our final night in Ghana was a Friday, and we’d originally planned to spend it in Accra. But when we left Somanya, we knew we wanted to come back to spend our last night with our friends.

I’m not really sure where this belongs, but it is- obviously- one of Matt’s favorite places in Somanya. At least in name.

Going back to peaceful Somanya felt like coming home, especially as we walked down the road to Yikrosec. We were even able to stay at the Practice House again. Auntie KB sent over some jollof and Jay made us banku and goat stew for dinner. We were stuffed. Auntie KB, Jay, and Gabby took such excellent, excellent care of us.

Things did get a little bit tense at dinner, even though Gabby was plying us with this sweet brandy that was 30% ABV (!!!). He is the Boys’ Headmaster (Auntie KB is the Girls’ Headmaster), which means he is in charge of the boarding students. The school is strict with the students- they are supposed to obtain written permission to go into town, and Gabby discovered that a number of them had been sneaking out. He was especially pissed because the only students at the school at that time were Form 4s, the eldest in the school and the ones with imminent exams, so they should have been doubly responsible. There always seemed to be two or three or four students hanging out and helping at Jay and Gabby’s, and the one male student there at dinner got an earful from Gabby, mostly in Twi, some in English. Enough in English for us to understand that he was really angry with them.

Gabby then instructed the student to gather everyone on campus in the assembly hall. He also called Auntie KB and she came over to pow-wow. We found out from her that she’d experienced three recent break-ins to her home on campus, during which she’d lost her TV, money, and a laptop. The culprits were either students or people close to students because all of them happened while she was away. She suspected one student who, at the time, was staying with the Headmaster, but she said that because he hides all of his stuff in an off-campus cemetery, they’d been unable to pin anything on him. I felt bad for her. The students we met were so kind and helpful, but I guess there are a-holes everywhere. Gabby sent us home with the brandy while he went to lay the smackdown on the misbehaving kids.

Sleeping that night was incredible. I expected crazy humidity, but it was surprisingly dry and “cool” (80ish). So I slept well and woke early. Matt was up even earlier than I was: he’d already checked us in via iPhone and discovered that we’d been upgraded to first class on our short flight from JFK to MSP. (Flying with Matt has serious perks.) We spent the morning talking a little more about Ender’s Game, which we’d both just finished, and making the rounds to say goodbye to the kitchen ladies and Celestine. We also stopped by Auntie KB’s house. She served us Ghanaian ginger bread, which was the final practical exam for her students and also so, so delicious. Spicy, with pieces of real ginger baked in.

At dinner the night before, Matt mentioned that my favorite meal in Ghana was red-red, so of course Jay immediately offered to make it for us before we left. Between goodbyes and red-red, we had a little time, so we wandered down to Somanya’s weekly market.




Ghanaian ginger. 🙂
Just some raw meat getting ready for taxi-trunk transport.

Our red-red (second) breakfast was fantastic. A perfect send-off. Jay is such an excellent cook. The plantains were sweet and soft and the beans were mashed just enough. I had to make myself stop eating because it was so delicious and I didn’t want to lose it all on the tro-tro ride back to Accra. The brutal heat was back by the time we finished, so Gabby and Auntie KB offered to drive us the 1k into town. When they dropped us off, we hugged and shook hands and snapped and when they drove away, I cried a little bit. They were so good to us. We are so lucky to have our Ghanaian friends.

We had to wait a little bit for the tro-tro to fill. We were fortunate to get the front seat, but we stood outside while we waited for more travelers to buy tickets. Several small kids walked by, waving and saying, “Goodbye, brofuna! Goodbye!” And it felt like such a perfect ending to our travels. I took their pictures and sucked down a FanIce- my last in Ghana, at least for now.


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