After two days of soaking up Accra and all its wonders, we set off to Ada. Ada is a town on the southeast coast of Ghana, where the Volta River meets the Atlantic Ocean. It’s known for palm-lined beaches and estuary islands. Marine turtles breed in the area. On the seafront are traces of Fort Kongenstein, built by 18th-century Danish traders. (Google Quick Facts).
While observing the scenic route, I was enamored by the number of wild goats I saw on the road. At one point, I was dozing off in the car and woke up to a baby goat on the side of the road. When we arrived in Ada, we entered the wooden gates of the Aqua Safari Resort. This ignited the island girl in me. As soon as we arrived, we were treated to a buffet of Ghanaian food!
There was almost every food you can think of: Jollof Rice, Fufu and goat light soup, Kelewele (MY FAVE), Red Red, Banku and Okoro stew, Rice and Stew, Kenkey with grilled Tilapia, etc. I tried everything and anything. One thing I did appreciate about the food at Aqua Safari Resort is that the food wasn’t dumbed down for the American/European/Westernized palette. It tasted authentic and full of flavor. Usually, when I travel, I miss out on the local food experience because resorts always try to find a happy medium in their food.
After eating, we all were invited to partake in water activities such as boat rides (my favorite part because I felt like Dj Khaled when he rolls up to Rick Ross’ house on his jet ski).
OH YEA!!! And, I rode my first jet ski!! I loved it!! Honestly, I can’t wait to hop on another one! But the best part of the day had to be when Hayet brought in two famous dancers to teach us how to get down, GHANAIAN STYLE!! I thought I knew how to dance to Afrobeats but Dancegod Lloyd and Afrobeast proved otherwise. They showed how dance Pilolo, Shoki, and more! Honestly, I had such a great time, and I can’t wait to do it again! They were amazing instructors and so encouraging!
Here’s a video of our lessons!
To finish off the day, Hayet brought us to thee best restaurant that I’ve been too in a LOOOOOOOONG TIME!! Tea Baa , located on Klannaa Street, Accra, Ghana has some of the best food in Ghana. Both times that we went, I ordered the Kelewele, Lamb (which tasted like Oxtail) and alllllll of their alcoholic drinks. I was in heaven, and I am currently drooling as I write this recap. While the food was fantastic, the nightlife vibes were even better. Slow reggae and Afrobeats were playing while all the smooth brothas are walking down the street! It felt like I was in a love story. This was the perfect ending to an amazing day!
After breakfast back at the Fiesta Hotel, we set off to Kumasi! Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti region, a very important and historical center for Ghana. Tradition is held very high in Kumasi and blends very well with modernity. There is a wide range of attractions in Kumasi. The ancient capital of the Ashanti kingdom, Kumasi is still the heart of Ashanti country and the site of West Africa’s most significant cultural center, the palace of the Ashanti king. While our tour guide showed us some of the sites on the tour bus, I was anxiously waiting to get off the bus and buy items from the birthplace of Kente cloth. Kente Cloth originated with the Ashanti people of Ghana. It dates back 375 years, conceived in a village called Bonwire. According to legend, Kurugu and Ameyaw, two brothers from the village, went hunting one afternoon and came across a spider spinning a web. Rpi.edu
When we finally exited the bus, we got to learn how to weave our own Kente Cloth and the ceremonial meanings of certain patterns as well. I also learned how to tell the difference between double weaved ($$) and single layered. To be honest, if Hayet didn’t teach us the art of negotiation, I would find myself in America buying Kente cloth yards for double the price.
Auntie Chante Burkett learning the art of negotiation in Bonwire.
After the Kente spot, we visited another craft village in the Ashanti Region called Ntonso. It was there we learned about the artistry and symbolism that goes into Adinkra printing. At first glance, I saw ink on the block and assumed it was textile ink. But there’s a long process that goes into making Adinkra printing ink. To make adinkra aduro medium (colorant), the bark and roots of the Badie (Adansonia digitata) tree are harvested, the outer layer is cut away, then the inner bark is broken into pieces and soaked in water for 24 hours. It is then pounded for about 3 hours in a wooden mortar, boiled for several hours in water over a wood fire, strained through a plastic window screen, then boiled for four more hours. Carol Ventura.
After the demonstration, we were given symbolic calabash stamps to make our own Adinkra printed cloths. Please read more about it because it’s such an enlightening process and taught me so much about ingenuity and being resourceful. At the conclusion of our time in Kumasi, we set sail back to our hotel, Golden Tulip and prepared ourselves for one of the most emotional days, Cape Coast Castle.
Come back soon as I introduce one of the most emotional moments of our trip!
Til next time, C