TeoG meets Elephant

Our second weekend in Ghana brings with it a bit of free time fun. Since we meet parts of RG Sunyani on Friday evening and a member of RG asked us to come to an event in his math class on Monday, we decide to use Saturday and Sunday for free time. 🙂

So we start very early on Saturday. After some back and forth we finally get a seat on the bus heading north to Tamale. After a five hour ride we get off in Fufulso (also called Damongo Junction). We continue in a rickety minivan – it is our first ride in a Tro-Tro bus. In Damongo we have to change again and cover the last distance to Larabanga, which is located at the entrance to the Mole National Park, two of us on the passenger seat in a packed cab. Completely exhausted from the eternal drive in the heat, we are greeted by the friendly owner of Savannah Lodge. We move into one of the round, colorful cottages and head back into town to see the old mosque in Larabanga.

The next morning we head into the park and join a Dutch couple for a one hour jeep safari. We are lucky and see 4 elephants, some antelopes and baboons. Afterwards we go to the viewpoint of the Mole Motel, from where you can look at a waterhole. We enjoy the silence of nature, after the culture here around one can already be very noisy and exhausting. After we have refueled a bit of strength in the silence, we set off again. Hardly we want to leave the area of the motel, an elephant stands in the driveway. This one walks comfortably to the next tree to take his breakfast. This close encounter with the elephant is of course another great experience. With these memories in the luggage we start the long way home. On the whole we find our way around well. Many nice people always want to help us, but some of them ask for money directly afterwards, which was not agreed upon. A long drive, constant attention, because one is particularly conspicuous as a white person, especially in the rural regions, and the heat get to us at the end of the day. We are happy to check back into our air-conditioned hostel room in the evening and have our rest.

Anthony, the head of RG Sunyani, invited us this morning to his school, where he teaches math on a voluntary basis. Since today is the international math day, the students have prepared some small presentations on math projects and there is a quiz where four houses compete against each other. At the beginning we briefly introduce ourselves to the class of about 90 students and tell them where we need math in our studies. The level of learning here is not really comparable to the level in Europe, probably because it is not taught in the native language but in English and the classes are much too big.

Conclusion about traveling: you need time and patience. It was definitely worth it, we saw animals and also much more rural areas where people mainly live in mud huts. We got a short impression of the Ghanaian north, although a little more time for such an undertaking would not have hurt, of course. But what can you do, work calls. 🙂 We will report you next time from Techiman!