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Red and white lighthouse in Jamestown Accra

A walking tour of Jamestown, Accra – a place of resilience and beauty

A year ago when my mom came to visit us, we first discovered Jamestown. Along with Usshertown these are the oldest districts of Accra. With its iconic bright red and white lighthouse and vibrant colourful buildings, this fishing town is an enlivening place to walk through, and although the extreme poverty will likely leaving you heartbroken and humbled, it is the overwhelming sense of resilience of its people that makes the biggest impression, and this strength pulses through the town like a heart pounding after a strenuous run.

The peculiar Posuban shrines and fanciful flags of the Fante people of Ghana

It is the delightful mix of bright red, yellow and turquoise colours, shapes and patterns that look like those on playing cards, hearts dangling off balconies that remind me of traditional Scandinavian Christmas ornaments and a blonde man sitting drinking tea at a table with an African man that could be a comic block from a Tin Tin adventure book - these things have me somewhat mesmerized at the photo on my screen. Am I looking at a beautifully illustrated page of a children’s story book or an actual place in Ghana? And how on earth does such an eccentric looking place fit into the culture and history of this country?

Kayayei – the carrier girls of Ghana who bear the load of goods that they will likely never be able to afford

We reach the end of the narrow fabric alleyway of Makola market where we have given into ‘just one more piece’ after spotting a unique African wax print of elegant swallows mid flight. The bird prints are quite rare and we don’t see them very often. We are hot and experiencing what I've termed ‘fabric…

Man wearing mask to prevent Corona, Accra Ghana

The smiling eyes I see on a walk in Accra post lockdown

“Good morning Madames! It’s nice to see you, do you have face masks?” I ask as I approach the group of ladies patiently sorting through large silver trays of ground nuts, most of whom aren’t wearing masks. I want to give them some of the ones I have sewn if they don’t.   “Yes, we…

The Magical Madness of Makola Market

Makola market is one of those places that expats here seem to love, hate or tolerate for a once off touristy outing. I fall into the first category and this doesn’t surprise me when I think back to how much I used to enjoy trips with my mom to the Durban fleamarkets. Did you know…

Ghana Independence Day Wanderings

63 years ago Ghana gained its independence from the British and its name changed from the Gold Coast to Ghana, with Dr Kwame Nkrumah sworn in as Ghana's first president. To commemorate this important day we enjoyed a public holiday a month ago on Friday 6 March. As it was the last Independence Day we…

An Ode to my Road – a tribute to my neighbourhood streets in Accra Ghana

Oh prettiest road we have ever lived on, as we turn into you we are met with such a exquisite tunnel of green and home is where all the light is at the end. Thank you for your trees that have sheltered me from the Ghana sun as I have exited our compound on my…

Much Needed Mosque Meditation at the Accra Central Mosque

We arrive back in Accra at the beginning of January from our wonderful, busy Christmas trip to Durban. Read about the time we spent in the bush on safari here and about the South African home comforts and things we bring back with us here.   In the three weeks that we have been out…

A new family member lying in the suitcase and the stupid price of that red pepper

9 suitcases are on the trolleys. We are almost there now. I watch the carousel closely for the last red one to makes its appearance. Suitcases on an airport carousel never seem particularly cheerful to greet their owners as they wearily trudge along the conveyor that reminds me of Jack’s first Thomas Train track and…

The Lion that almost got away! – a trip to the Imfolozi-Hluhluwe game reserve in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

The van pulls up to the bush on the side of the road. In the thick stillness of the misty morning we can hear the gravel crunching under its tyres as the ranger breaks and switches off the engine. Bird tweets aplenty fill the air and our hearts beat faster with the anticipation of seeing…