Ada Foah

  A SUNDAY IN ADA FOAH ESTUARY AND ITS BEACHES

Ada is a town is located along the Volta River, in the estuary of the Guinea golf.
The Volta River Estuary is the place where the waters of the sea and the river join.

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The original estuary was shifted across the Volta River towards the other side by the force of the waves.

As a consequence, this original site was dredged open by the Volta River Authority to reopen the estuary and allow salt water to enter the river.

 

March, Sunday the 12th

We were invited by friends there to do  sailing with their boat.

As a sunny sunday (as usual in fact) and we drove for 1h45 to get there, going through Tema on the motorway, 70 km on the East side.
To go there, if you do not have a car, you can take also Tro-tro from Tudu Station in Accra or STC-Bus. It takes more than two hours and costs us about $3 each – a bargain to reach the dreamy coastal town.
And to get to the other side of the Volta River there is a ferry connection to and from Anyanui too, but it only operates on Wednesdays and leaves Anyanui at around 1pm and 6pm and takes about 1 1/2 hours. It departs in Ada Foah around 8am and 3pm.

Ada history :

Tradition says that people living in Ada were coming from the east in XVII century.
Afterwards, Ada became a big place thanks to its trategic positioning in the mouth of the river.
The sea traffic reached the locality of Yeji. Then Denmark occupied the territory until 1872 when the British Colony arrived and changed the political organisation of Ada to such a point that the territory did not have a leader ( the Matse) anymore. They bought their forts and trading posts to the Danish, and Ada became a major market for the salve trade until it had been abolished.
They had to wait until 1727 to see Dake II be the chief and 1977 Abram AkuakuII wich is the actual one.

Ada has no much traces of physical structures such as forts, factories and shops remaining, since large parts of the town

imagehave been eroded and washed into the sea.

In order to solve this problem, the construction of a sea defense wall is under way since 2010.

With the start of the cocoa industry, Ada lost its importance, since cocoa was transported on the road instead of the river and was harvested far away from Volta River.

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Also, the construction of the hydroelectric dam in Akosombo dried up the Volta River and ships could no longer pass…

Discovering the islands in Ada

The islands in the river and in the estuary are a wildlife paradise: marine turtles, birds, crocodiles and monkeys are some of the animals living there.
The mangrove vegetation in the salty parts of the estuary is another attraction and an important ecosystem.

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It is however endangered by human activity along with rare animals that are often hunted down.

The estuary also offers the best conditions for water sports like sailing, canoeing, fishing, water skiing, wake boarding and jet skiing.

You will also see beautiful houses from rich ghanaian people such as the brother of the president  :

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There is a ferry and boat harbor at the riverside where boats can be rented for a cruise around the islands in the river.

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The Ghana sailing club  located at the Volta River, is open to members only.

 

 

 

 

Our time in Ada:

We had prepared our lunch box to be able to stay on a quiet and lonely beach on the banks of the lake.

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We took their boat with the dog too ( the boat which is “2 in 1” being also a jetski).

The place is so beautiful, the palm trees which fall into the lake and the sand with coconut tree which have fallen down into water make it special and amazing place.

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You can observe the fisherman there : they build their traditional fishing boats which requires much work and is very expensive. The lower part of the boat is made of one big piece of wood, the upper part of planks.

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imageAll the boats are then painted in many colors with religious sayings written on it. There are many fishing villages around, the bigger ones being Akplabana and Pute.

 

And there are also different types of birds on Keta lagoon as you can see below :image

This island hosts thousands of migratory European birds wintering in Ghana.

If you look carefully to the sand, you will oberve hermit crabs

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What about crocodiles, turtles and monkeys?

There used to have many crocodiles living on one of the islands in the river. But increased human activities drove them away. All that is left nowadays are two or three crocodiles living in a small walled cage on Pediatorkope island

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There is no tour to visit them, but any boat operator will take you there if you want or just rent a canoe and paddle there yourself.

 
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We did it one time going with a fisherman boat and we saw crocodiles in a duck pond : they were given some part of chicken (if we paid for it).

 

The attraction worth it because the crocodiles open their mouth and within a second the chicken is Destroyed and nothing exceeds its mouth.

Turtles are revered to as god for the local people life in Ada and are therefore not to be touched, killed or eaten. But unfortunately, some still eat them or sell them to make money with it.
Every year from August to February the Leatherback turtle, Green turtle and Olive Ridley turtle lay their eggs at the seashore. The main nesting areas are the islands/sandspit between the two estuaries and beaches westward of the estuary. Unfortunately it was not the good period for ud this time to see them …and be there at night!

To see monkeys (Spot-Nose monkey and Green Monkey) on so called “Monkey Island”  you will have to get up early and arrive around 6.30 a.m so that you may see them because they go inside the forest during the day.

 

END of the day…

We have swim and rest under a parasol and after a while we went water skiing as you can see me below 😉

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I was a great day for all of us and we got fresh ideas to start a new week in great shape!

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Discovering my driver village: Jericho

  • COMING INTO JERICHO VILLAGE, 30mn FROM TEMA

Few weeks ago, I asked my driver how it wad in his house, how he sleeps, if he had a shower… and I asked him if one day I could see is family and their house in his village.

He was very pleased thatIasked for it and he told me that he would be very proud to show me to his neighbourg in his village : for them, it is showing that he has a good job and is liked by his boss and with “Madam” as he always call me.

Since I’m in holidays right now (french school february holidays), I decided to go there, 30 mn from Tema, about 1 hour drive from Accra.

I prepared a chocolate cake in the morning and brought fruit juices and coke to have snacks with his family after his children school.

When we arrived , I was a bit “scared” because people were looking at me, maybe wondering what I was doing here alone with only Thomas, my driver!!

I think that they can believe that I came here to see them as if it was a zoo…

Thomas spoke to each one when we walked through the village, explaining in his language called” Fanti” why I was here;

On the image above on the right, there is a small shop with some drinks and food and the yellow and green hut is in fact where they buy their tickets to bet in the bingo (loto)… to maybe become rich one day!

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Then , Thomas showed me the rice manufactory at the back of the village.

It is a big production and they sell it afterwards by 25 kg for 80 GHC (18€). It is much less than in Accra Mall!!

See underneath the man working with the machine and the woman “cleaning ” it and separating the scrambled rice, which will be used for other things such as corn flakes.

After this interesting “visit”, we went to see the cultures of wheat, bananes, rice and kasava… located just behind the rice’s manufacture.

They have water coming here to irrigate under the ground it s why it is very green because we did not have rain for 3 months…

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Inside the village, there are animals such as chickens, cows, sheaps… and everybody share their live together!

Women clean their clothes with hands of course… and take water from the back of the village in a channel. It is the same for them to take a shower putting water in a basin.

After that, we went to fetch is second son, Manuel, to the school which is private, always in the village. All students were a purple uniform. It cost 300 GHC for a semester (school fees + books). It is very expensive when you compared it to their wage which is about 450 GHC/month for a driver as Thomas (which is above most of the wages…).

They were so pleased and happy to see me! When I took my camera from my bag, they were shouting and running around me ! Some of them wanted also to touch my arm and were laughing 😉

Then, we went inside his house : there is only one room with a bed, 2 small sofas. All his family sleeps in the same bed : and they are four!!

 He has also a large tv (from 1990 I tkink ;)…) which he could afford when he started to be a taxi drinver years ago. And a frige is just before the entrance of his house.

Then they called their neighbours to share the chocolate cake I made for them. We stayed outside since it was too hot in his house.

People were coming one after the other, sharing in the same glass sometimes juices and coca cola. Some kids coming back from school  took a small piece also.

Thomas’ wife told me that she will “remember all her life this day”.

It is really strange to feel so special to them, and make them happy only to share time and talk with them. We are like them, equal,  but for them, we are different and they are proud to share time to speak with white people in their everyday life and home.

It was a great day for me too, I was happy to see how it is different from expat living conditions…

The last moment together is when I offer  Manuel a little book with stickers to learn the alphabet and they went inside daddy’s car of course 🙂 🙂 🙂

Before driving home, I bought two coconuts (1,5 GHC each : 0,40 €).

Hope you enjoyed visiting their village and “meet” Thomas’ family with me, leave me a comment if you feel like to!

Being volunteer in an orphanage

Let’s help those in needs in Africa! 

Since I did not work all day, I had time to give to an association …

I decided to help in an orphenage since I like being with children, playing with them and teaching them things .

A friend of mine was already a nurse in Beacon House orphenage…

So one day, I followed her in this orphanage and I started a “love and helping” adventure.

beacon house orphanage

 

  • What I do in Beacon House as a volonteer :

My friend who introduce me had to moove out  from Africa… so my first mission in the orphenage was to prepare the medecines for those kids who have VIH (25% of the orphans in this orphenage). She explained me and since then I do it all wednesday for the whole week. I also go to hospital with them once a monthe to see the doctor who take car of the one with VIH.

But after this, I started to find games such as puzzle, and also dancing on zumba style!

Volunteers can help with school (homework, tutoring, reading ), they can propose arts and crafts, organizing a game, sports and other projects per their skills. If you have other hobbies (such as me music and danse) you can propose it to the orphanage director for approval and just start !

I already started to have idea to collect some clothes, toys, shoes, and medecines because they were in needs og basic ones.

I send a letter to Accra to be publish on their own website and I had so many respond after that at school! And by word of mouse, I get even more that I could imagine!

After this, I put  an album on my facebook page for sharing photos of kids playing with toys and wearing clothes they gave me for them.

Many friends from France also answered my call by sending me medecines, clothes, toys…so that I can return it when i will be in France ( in the end of  April for holidays ).

It is wonderful to see their smiles, energy!

  • How is everdyday life in Beacon House orphenage ?

They are 23 lovely children there : the smallest baby  is 6 months and the oldest child is 21.

Most of them are about 5 to  7 years old.

I also learned their everyday life such as duty :

Each day, 2 or 3  kids have to clean different parts of the house inside and outside. So there is a planning sticked on the wall to kwnow who do what and when ! Good organization! However, sometimes, one kid refuse to do it, since this is the way, the director of the orphenage give a punition : he will be forbidden to go to school the day after and he will have to clean even more!

Morevover, after school both girls and boys have to  wash with hands their clothes since they do not have a washing machine here.

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One lady prepare food for dinner for the 23 children. Most of the time they eat rice with something else like chicken, eggs.

Their plates are filled very well!   However, they ask donors  to give fruits and vegetables for having vitamins since it is expansive here.

They have a land 35 minutes from Accra (where they will moove on in few months) where they already try to become self- sufficient and they have built a chicken coop  (thanks to american donors) : they produce eggs for them to give protein for energy  and even to sell now to get an income for them to spend in other food expenses ! Other projects such as producing  their own food are in progress :they have already  planted orange, lemon, avocado, and mango trees to provide fruits for the home. A great idea !

They all go to the ghanaian school wich is not far  and they go there by walking. They start at 8am and finish around 3pm. They both learn english and french (since Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso,  are close to Ghana).

  • Rules for adoption and link to help all around the world

Adoption is limited in Ghana right now. An american lady asked for adopting th 6 months baby (Matthew) but governement refused. It is so sad for him to miss to have parents and better condition of living , education and hobbies…

  • Changing myself, and being aware of reality 

This experience makes me grow and gives me a great joy, each time I enter the orphanage, a little boy or girl is running to kiss me and giving a big hug, and the others are following with their “mumies”working there with big great smile.

It is like if I was a Mrs Santa Claus giving love, hugs, cuddles and bringing  fruits, toys, clothes..

Helping the most disavantaged is really a self-fulfilment for me. I feel like growing into a better person, and changing my point of view of the world, being more aware of the opposed lives on earth.

Poverty or / and being an orphan is hard to see but their everyday smile gives me a beautiful lesson of life!! How wonderful they are inside and their courage, strenght to struggle.

I you feel like being to be a volunteer, here is a link of a website to  know and find how  to be a volunteer in all the world:   workaway.

It is really wonderful to see how love is strong from them to you and the from you to them !!

“LOVE IS EVERYWHERE “

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TK BEADS

In Accra, not far from the center, you can visit a manufacture of ghanaian beads which exist since 1989. It is called  TK BEADS INDUSTRY.

It is really interesting to see how they do it from the beggining with bottles in glass to the necklaces ! They manufacture glass beads of high quality using the rich African processes; everything is handmade from molding to painting !

I went there with Accra Accueil, it is 15 mn far from Accra, on the road to Madina.

  • BEADS MANUFACTURING STEPS AND EXPLANATIONS

Here are the steps in photos for getting beads :

First, all the  all manufacturing takes place outside, only a small shop  with beads and necklace, bracelets has a room.

They have divided the place according to the activity and steps :

First, the collection part where thousands of glass bottles are piled up. These bottles are collected or given by people.

verre pile

Here you can see that  glasses are  broken and crumbled.

Afterwards, they need to make it a ball and they bake it in an oven outside for many hours:

When it is done, and after the ball glass are cooled, they can put cooling agents :

couleur verre TK beads

The final step is to paint each bead with hands of course, it is a  work of precision and it takes a long long time!

painting beads

An at last, they can make nice necklaces homemade with good quality beads!

Many expat go there and buy some beads to make their own necklace in the shop next to the fabrication.

shop beads

It is a very good activity for mothers and children!

  • KOLI OR NAMING BEADS

  • Beads in Africa have different  utilities, meanings and significations.

Ghanaian babies are born with soul name, which is the name of the day on which they are born. (for ex monday name = Adjoa for girl ; and Kojo for Boy).

ceremony name beads

But when they are 7 days, the naming ceremony takes place and a formal name is given.

Then , they are presented to “the sun and earth” and given water, alcohol and salt to taste.

The ceremony includes the grandmother bestowing blue Koli or plain white beads on the child, by tying them on a cotton thread on the joints (waist, neck, ankles).

beads children neck

There is language of beads : for example if the child is a member of a royal family, a gold nugget, yellow beads or coral may be added to the Koli beads. As babies grow, the tightness of the string of beads indicates whether they are growing at a healthy rate so that their mother are awared if their baby is under or overweight. And moreover, the string of beads is also used to attach nappied!!

  • WAIST BEADS

African women  wear waist beads for different reasons.

The strands of small, glass beads are often bestowed upon young girls who start to wear in the run up to puberty.

As the girls grow, so the tightness of the waist beads indicates whether they are growing at a healthy rate. As well as weight control, they are also worn for spiritual reasons, chastity and to document pertinent stages of a woman’s life.

waist beads

Beads colours are symbolic as well :

Yellow means royalty, white purity…. :

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Traditionally waist beads are a very private body ornament with only the wearer deciding what she wears, and are hidden under their clothes.

Nowadays, they are being appropriated by women all over the world, wearing beads in necklaces like a fashion accessories.

This is causing an offense among those with a traditionalist perspective.

 

Bojo Beach -40 mn drive from Accra-

WEEK END IS STARTING AT LAST  😉 !!!

It is time to rest out of Accra!!

Enjoy Bojo Beach !

 

At 40 minute drive from Accra,  just past krokobite beach and you get to is this little piece of paradise to escape at last from the crowded and noisy Accra.

Here is the nearest beach from Accra : BOJO BEACH !

Entry fee is Ghc 15 but be aware that  you are not allowed to take your own food or drink.

You will walk on a stone trail to a large canoe-type boat which will takes you across the lagoon to the white sand of Bojo beach.

Then it is time to rest and enjoy the sea with a wind …If you want , you can ask a table 10 meters from the sea, without nobody in front of you ! Just amazing 🙂

 

You can order food such as  tilapia, chicken, jollof, yam chips, but also french fries, octopus,  etc. Smoothie, Pizzas are also available. Prices are correst (around 35 GHC the chicken /french fries meal and 2 GHC the bottle of water).You should try to order as soon as you arrived so that you will get your meal for lunch -and not for dinner-     😉

You can also have fresh coconuts  for 2 GHC to quench your thirst after swimming or having a walk along the beach.

The sea is quite clean, the beach all around the restaurant also, but all garbage are hidden in holes under the sand…… you can see in front of you the man “cleaning” by digging a hole and put all the litter inside….

The “attraction” here is to see the fishermen firing their nets in front of you. They are about 20 men doing this :

 

 

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Small fishes to sale

You can talk to them and they will love to explain their work.

Today, I met Francis a ghanaian from accra, who come every week-end to Bojo Beach to go fishing from 6 am to 11 am. During the week , he works as a security guard in Accra Mall.

They sell their frying of fished on markets or to you if you want of course.

==>But what I saw is so so so small fishes ….

The waves tends to be strong and you have to swim well and dive under each wave coming to you … it can be quite difficult to stay along inside because of it. The sea is hot and you feel good inside!

Some people also play in the volley ball court but it is so hot that I did not even tried once!

Be awared also that music start from 2 pm from the restaurant : so if you feel like dancing, and love music,  it is perfect !! But if you want to rest in a quiet place,  it is no more possible. So you should choose to come early  and leave early !

On the afternoon, you can have a walk and discover all the colored fishing boat in wood, and meet ghanaian tidying up and folding fishing nets,  and also children collecting crabs to cook ! Since it can be far, I had the security guard following me.

At the end of the day, you can take advantage of the light turning down with the silver reflections of the sea…

Colored fishing boats along the coast are particularly wonderful at sunset.

Do not hesitate to  go to Bojo Beach !

Leave me me comment if you have liked this article ! Thank you !!

What about Expat Women career and work?

What is hiding behind an “expat woman”…

When you decide to follow your husband or boyfriend for expatriation, you know your life is going to be radically different and you will be called an “expat woman”.

I prefer saying ” women follow men” because it is primiraly the case for 90% according to a survey.

What about working abroad although you are in Africa?

 

  • First of all : working abroad will teach you to become adaptable and creative!

If you want to be more “creative”, work on the other side of the world :

I really think that discovering another way to work – with so many differences such as language, culture, time notions, space notions, way of thinking, understanding and realising staff/things –  is the best way to adapt yourself, developping an open minded and high capacity of understanding other people.

No matter the nationalities and the countries, you will always have to adapt to them by understanding  their cultural background and being creative to make business or anything else together. And you will start from the beggining when you will change from world’s region : Asia, America, Europe and Africa have all different ways to behave in business job.

“Cultures come with new norms and values and ways of looking at things, immersing yourself in a culture gives you proxies for biculturalism. Juxtaposing these two different worldviews lets you come up with new possibilities.” Adam Grant

  • Do women really need to work here?

You will have the first chance (at last !!) in your life to stop working ! Or even at least for a while until………… So if you choose to take advantage of the life without working you can feel like being in holidays, being finally able to see your children, taking time to cook more for your family, and above all looking after yourself for the first time since ages 😉

You have followed your husband because  he is supposed to have a better job (I’m only talking about €, £, ¥, $ !!!) , and your apartment and car will also be paid  by the company…..

Moreover, if you finally find a local work paid in GHC be aware that it would be useless for getting more money. At the same time, if the reason why you want to work is to have an activity, just do it !

But afterall you will have to find some activities (or at least one) to have something to do in order to avoid loneliness & a boring life !

However, according to my experience here (but I’m speaking personally), to stop working -because you are abroad- can be also very difficult to survive after a while. You will no more get up every morning thinking how to dress and make up to meet your collegues at 8 o clock and have a working purpose and activities everyday…

  • Is it difficult to get a job in Ghana ?

West African countries like Ghana and Senegal are said to be welcoming….. but…………

The problem is that you should have already moved there to have a chance to get a job. Employers receive so many false assurances from expats pledging to be on the next flight out that preference is usually given to people they meet in person.

Another drawback is that some West African nations may have quotas for issuing work visas to foreigners, with some smaller companies only being allowed one at a time.

On the other hand, reports suggest that anyone with technical skills such as engineering can expect the bureaucratic mist to miraculously lift : the oil and gas sector offers rick pickings, particularly in established countries such as Nigeria and Algeria…

But isn’t it mainly job for men ?!?!?!

==> Consequently, you can now understand that for women, it is not easy to find a work in Africa, except if you work for the embassy (few offers), school (be a teacher) or if you are for your account (psychologist, physiotherapist…)  and that you want to open your  cabinet/ office here. That is possible.

And above all, you have to check if you are allowed or not to work in the hosting country. It is stuck in your Visa passeport Permit. 

My Personnal experience in Ghana…

A SINGLE QUESTION :

Who was I  before being an expat woman …? ” 

Well, FIRST OF ALL I used to be INDEPENDENT !!!!

I was working in Paris, France for a famous natural cosmetic brand called L’Occitane en Provence in the center of this beautiful city which I love so much…

I had responsabilities being a District Manager in the city center of Paris : I was “the boss” of  more than 15 salespersons and 3 shops managers.

So when I choose to quit my job, I was on the one hand happy to be free for the first time of my life and on the other hand  I was scared that I miss my work, colleagues, and stop being proud of myself.

“Will it be worth it …or not…? ”

Nobody could answer that question at that time…

 

MAY 2014… my arrival in Accra

skydiving

BUT WHAT CAN I DO HERE NOW ?????

At my arrival in Accra, I started quicky to be ALONE in my “lovely” house, knowing noone, being LOST in the crowded and noisy capital of Ghana, Accra.

My boyfriend was working from 7 am to 7 pm  so I had yo find out what to make with my two hands and head!

First, I really had difficulties to adapt: I MISSED France, family, friends, colleagues, Paris, my appartment, my dance lessons, my “own” bars of preference , restaurants, Zara and FNAC shops, theatres, Opera Garnier, cinemas and all what Paris could offer… EVERYTHING in fact! And what about here??? Well………. φ φ φ φ φ…….

HOW could I make to go out of this mess ?

==> I HAD to find  a WORK and other  daily ACTIVITIES to integrate and spend time.

July… hummm… no french expat is here … no activities neither … OK, it is summer holidays… well… one solution… (you are following me?!?!!!)  BECAUSE I do not want to commit suicide alone here.

So  I “cried” to my boyfriend :

-“please, my lover, I am sorry but I beg you, can I go back to France for the summer  and I will come back in September ? ……” 

…….

“one angel is very very slowly passing” we would say in french which means “There is a hushed silence “

-OK then… you are sure? You don’t want to stay with me?

-Well………

September 2014, 3 months later…

french parachute

3 months after my arrival, (yes, you know now that all expat women are going back for the whole summer holidays to their country, but I understand why now…). and with good new motivation and a parachute this time , I landed in Accra happy to find my boyfrien again .

I first tried to help in organizing “Accra Accueil” activities and visits with the french association. I met french expat girls and start to discover with them the city, the culture and typical things of Ghana.

So yet, it was a good beggining afterall…  but after 6 months…. the same questions… were coming back to my mind….

I was missing something only given by work : the  Pride to be active and independent.

“WHAT ABOUT GOING BACK TO SCHOOL ? 

BUT THIS TIME FOR HELPING AND  TEACHING CHILDREN ?”

“WHAT ABOUT BEING A VOLUNTEER IN AN ORPHENAGE?”

….

 

Contrary to all expectations, the life changed for me from that moment.

At last, I felt like waking up again …!

 

namaste

Africa X the rest of the planet

When you are starting to be an expat in  AFRICA (in one of the most developed African countries such as Ghana), you will discover some nice sides which will make you thanks “god” to be there… or wondering how to escape !!!!

 

THE GOODS SIDES OF BEING AN EXPAT IN AFRICA…

On the one hand…. 

  • You are used to eat cheap lobsters with french fries under an umbrella on the beach every week ends.

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  • You are given the chance to teach many thingsyou want (even sometimes without a diploma ): french lessons, zumba, aqua gym,sewing lessons… (see activities categories on the page”my french teacher part”)
  • You never do cleaning except if you feel like doing it… which happens one day a year, no?
  • You have people who help you for everything: cooking, taking care of children, driving, ironing, cleaning… seems like you live like a star, or a princess doesn’ t it?
  • And yet, you do not have to wear as a princess: you take 5mn in front of you dressing cupboard to take a short or coton dress and not even necessary to put make up and steels here ! It is so hot that it will not last anyway during whole day long and roads are often with dust and sand…!  you do not use pull over, gloves….whateer the season!!
  • You realize that you conduct like african people now… and you’re no more wondering how to cross the traffic circle of the Place de l’Étoile in Paris !
  • Ghanaian people are helpful and very nice
  • Children go sleeping very early and so you do since it’s night at 6 pm till 5 am.

AND THE BADS SIDES …

On the other hand……

Weather, water and light …

  • You would like to be cold and put the AC at 10 ° one day to wear some pull over and put a big quilt on your bed …
  • When you realize that you forgot to put on your shoes -because you do not really need at home- but you have black feet because it s always dirty with the Harmattan wind and pollution even if your house is cleaned everyday.
  • Power outage happens everydays and if you don not have a generator you have no more light and air conditioning…
  • You wake up and have no water to take your shower and so you use 10 bottles of mineral water to wash yourself and kids…

Foods and shops

  • You are happy to go to the supermarkets as Marina mall and Shoprite because you can meet other women expat (since there is no much more shopping to do here…)
  • You dream to do shopping in ZARA and FNAC even if it was in “the Halles” in Paris on a saturday crowded afternoon.
  • You are happy that Nespresso came in your town even if one capsule cost 1 €.
nespresso marina mall
Nespresso counter in Accra
  • You pay an average 50 dollars the kilo for french cheese.
  • You try to make libanese friends (who have mostly all the supermarkets and gaz station) in order to have fuel or water just in case of shortage

shortage fuel

 

Diseases  😦 

  • Most african people with VIH , rabies, polio …are not under treatment
  • Mosquitoes spread malaria, from infected to healthy people  :

     

     

     

     

  • You pay 400 dollars for a dental treatment
  • There is malnutrition and people beg for 20 cents to drink and eat at traffic light and you can’t help everybody and change the world…

Roads…

  • In Africa,  (ghanaian) like driving on the left side of the motorway you do not know why… and pass that car on the right….ok lets do the same…
  • They drive on the 2 sides of the road in one direction and do not care if you can not take the road in the other side… and you get mad!

 

  • You would like to walk in a street without sand, dust and mud on your feet, garbage and plastic bags scattered all over the ground…

     

  • You dream to go to Sao Tomé, a wonderful amazing small island for 3 days but there is only one not secured flight company which goes there 2 times a week only…

 

TO CONCLUDE :

BAD SIDES SEEMS TO BE ENORMOUS COMPARED TO GOOD SIDES…. BUT IT IS NOT BIG DEALS WHAT YOU’VE  READEN !

There are much more to enjoy in African everyday life! 

Be happy and enjoy to be an expatriate in Africa !

Shops and food prices in Accra

When you arrive in a new country, you have to find out the shops according to what you want to eat and above all depending on the money you want to spend for it!

Starting eating local food? Go on eating western meals?

There are several types of shops and places to go for it and of course big differences in prices…

  • AT ROUNDABOUT OR TRAFFIC LIGHT

Ghanaian are walking next to traffic light where cars stop with fruits, chips, water, bread but also electronic, telephone card, even paintings!! in order to sell it. They mostly carry it above their head which is particular from Africa!

We really wonder how they manage to carry such heavy things on their head!! Their prices are quite low and you can negociate.

vodafone men accra
Mobile recharge salesmen in Accra on the road

Unfortunately, it is not allowed by ghanaian government (except for telephone card because it’s their job for a mobile company).

I saw police coming and running after them in order to take all their goods so that they can’t sell it anymore. It is really difficult as my driver told me, because these ghanaians have nothing and only try to eat everyday with selling this type of product.  I was really angry and found it incomprehensible.

  • SHOPS IN STREETS

Ghanaian who can afford it have small shops (one room) where they sell vegetable, fruits and other things to eat. Their prices are quite low to and you can sometimes negociate. Moreover, I think it’s better to keep Ghanaian their business going than making the rich distribution group richer……….

  • MARKET SUCH AS MAKOLA OR MADINA MARKET

 

In these typical and dynamic markets, it is always very hot, noisy and crowded! The smell is sometimes very awful because of dried fishes… Bands play music. You will find food (big snails also!!)

snails makola market accra ghana
Snails in Makola market

, kithenware, fabrics, shoes, jewels, beads…….. and you can negociate prices of course! It is both in open air and in old buildings all around. There is a parking too.

 

You should not take photo. I tried one day but they wre angry about that.I will be better to enjoy the flow and enjoy and speak to them with smile. – a colourful open-air department store spread over several blocks.

  • SUPERMARKETS

palace supermarket accraKoala is a lebanese supermaket (in both Aiport or Osu area) where you can find easily food from everywhere and freezing things too. Prices are high but there is a free card with 5 % discount. It also offers you basic foodstuffs, bakery (french bread for 3,5 GHC). The Koala in Osu is bigger than in airport.

Palace is also a bigger supermaket on spintex road.

  • BAKERY FOR FRENCHIES!

Bread and Wine bakery and Delicatessen is located in OSU. It imports all his equipment and grain from France ! Bread and patisserie is baked each day and you will be like in France with your French baguettes your  brioche, raisin bread… There is also very expensive french cheese, pizzas…  I really like the outdoor and indoor setting . What’s more it is simple with nice classy decoration and you can rest easily next to the swimming pool since it is not noisy. Waiters are great and the strawberry cheesecake is heavenly !

D Café is also delivering good french bread and bakery in Airport next to Koala supermarket. One baguete is about 7 GHC so 2 times more than in France! Many expatriates and business man take a sit to drink coffee and eat a french croissant outside but it’s in front of the road so quite noisy…

  • MALLS

There are several malls where you can find supermarkets, pharmacy, electronic and phone shop, clothes shops, beauty shop, cinema…

It is Marina Mall in airport side, Accra Mall in Spintex road,  Maxt Mart 37 in Liberation Road and in East Legon, AC Mall in East Legon…

Marina Mall (airport area)

The newest and most popular shopping centre in Ghana is Marina Mall (in Airport). The supermarket in on the ground floor selling many expensive foreign goods but also good and cheap meat, fresh fishes and Deli counter. There are three floors of shops (expansive clothes, watches, computers, pharmacy), and a food court (KFC, DeliFrance). Well known french brands such as Benetton, Clarins, and Façonnable are here too.  You can also find to take you ID photos on the 3rd floor.

Accra Mall (Spintex road)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Game supermarket in Accra Mall

In this mall there are clothing boutiques (african fabrics such as Woodin and Vlisco, or famous brands like Levis, Puma, Swatch). Shoprite is a food shop and Game has food, electronic,  fitness and cooking equipment, but also tools, bedroom, kids and bathroom staff…. You can have lunch in a fastfood or restaurant there). On the first floor,  book and music store are next to the cinema, showing current blockbusters, Nollywood and Ghanaian films.

Concerning Shoprite, it  is Africa’s largest food retailer and has a  wide selection of foods including imported meats from South Africa. There’s also a deli counter, and large selections of wines as well as household goods. Prices are cheaper compared to Marina Mall and Maxmart.

A&C MALL (East Legon area) 

You will find  A&C Square offering clothing shops (Woodin), coffee shops, entertainment ( a modern health club), Vodafone, food retailer,  and also health clinics and a vegetable/fruit ghanain shop next to a children’s play area.

Maxt Mart 37 (in Liberation road)

This three-storey supermarket has a good bakery and a large deli counter (with cold meats, cheeses). On the 1st floor, there are brands such as Clarins, Mont Blanc and Lancel ! On the second floor, there is a large selection of homeware such as bedding, glassware, candles and picture frames.

 

  • PRICES:

Now, lets see the prices of goods in Malls or supermarkets.

Some products are coming from South Africa such as meat. It is  really a good one and it’s very cheap! It is abour 30 GHC for 1kg of steak! So inviting friends for big barbecues here are cheap !! 🙂

Local fishes are also very good and is not expensive.

Chicken is known to come from Bresil and people say it is not good one but personnaly, I eat chicken very often and I never got sick ( 30GHC for 1kg)!

On the other hand, fresh vegetables are more expensive. For tomatoes, you will have to pay 6 GHC for 6 very small ones. A small salad (for only 2 people) is about 3,5 GHC. Some are only available frozen such as beans, broccolis and spinach (25GHC for 500g) and it’s very difficult to find. There are often out of stock…so when there are available, you buy a lot to fill your freezer!

Yogurt are really unaffordable in my view : one solutionis to make it home! Many expat women bought a yogurt maker (as I did) and it’s very easy and quick to do!

500g pasta are about 10 GHC.

Chocolates (often delivered by the industrial Leader Price) is about 15 to 25 GHC for 100g…

Cheese (french always eat that!) do not come cheap neither : at least 100 GHC for 1kg.

Wines are also expensive and moreover the quality is quite bad for not saying very bad… The less expensive one is about 15 GHC (for cooking one). Mostly it is around 40 GHC the first level.

So be prepared to get used to life here or bring back products from France ! (I never had problem at the airport, even if my suitcase was smelling like feet!!!!

Here, you will see that women expat buy their food in different shops because prices are sometimes twice more from one to the other and some products have a better quality too. It makes shopping a bit complicated but you know women expat have time.

  • Recommended Minimum Amount of Money for food (Western food types)

For two people we spend about 3000 GHC eating western food (with cheese, bacon, ham… which are expensive). Underneath, you can see the prices for each basic product to make your own average.

Milk (regular), (0.25 liter) 0.61 €
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (125.00 g) 0.52 €
Rice (white), (0.10 kg) 0.38 €
Eggs (2.40) 0.46 €
Local Cheese (0.10 kg) 1.57 €
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (0.15 kg) 1.13 €
Beef Round (0.15 kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 0.91 €
Apples (0.30 kg) 0.87 €
Banana (0.25 kg) 0.51 €
Oranges (0.30 kg) 0.72 €
Tomato (0.20 kg) 0.47 €
Potato (0.20 kg) 0.56 €
Onion (0.10 kg) 0.28 €
Lettuce (0.20 head) 0.37 €
Daily  minimum amount of money for food per person eating at home 9.35 € (40 GHC)
Monthly recommended minimum amount of money for food per person
(assuming 31 days per month)
289.80 € (1200 GHC)