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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Lake Bosomtwe near Kumasi

imageMarch, from the 5th to 7th Independance day ‘s long week-end

Continue reading “Lake Bosomtwe near Kumasi”

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!

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 €.
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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 !

Ghanaian fabrics : batik, wax and kente

GHANAIAN DIFFERENT TYPES OF FABRICS: BATIK, KENTE AND WAX.

 

Ghanaian women wear typical fabrics which are beautiful to see in streets.

They are wearing well cut dresses with lively colours and complex patterns.

It is an essential part of the landscape in Accra.

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JOSEPHINE  wearing colorful dress with ghanaian fabric

Wildly patterned wax-printed batik clothes are extremely egalitarian in Accra since both street vendors and socialites wear it.

In streets, you can see gorgeous synthesis of traditional and modern fashion.

Let me show you the different fabrics which exist here in Ghana:

  • BATIK

One of the homemade fabrics is called BATIK:

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Esther is known to have the best batiks in Accra. She uses beautiful colours and patterns in her handmade batik prints.

She also propose to expat women to batik workshops with Esther at her home in Madina. Accra Accueil propose this activity with both mother and children. I did it and it takes about 3 hours to create your own batik to take it home !

As you can se below, you choose your  shapes of the different patterns you want to put on your fabric. After, the fabric is flooding to be dyed  into a barrel :

shapes for batiksbatik colourbatik homemade accra

At the end, you just have to wait that it is dried to take it home!

It is such a typical activity to discover !

  • WAX

In the late XIX , Wax was copied by english and dutch settlers in Indonesia from Java Island wax. They learned and reproduced  wax process and changed with vibrant colours. Then  it is said that ghanian soldiers working in Indonesia brought wax back to Ghana.

“African wax prints” are omnipresent and common materials for clothing in Africa and Ghana since 70’s. In Togo, this business done by women in the 70’s called “Nanas Benz” (because they had Mercedes Benz car), was very successful  .

They are industrially produced with  colorful cotton cloths with batik printing. Unfortunately, more and more chinese fabrics kills the original and local african market…

Normally, the fabrics are sold in 12 yards as “full piece” or 6 yards as “half piece”. The colors comply with the local preferences of the costumers. Mainly clothing for celebrations is made out of these.

Here is a shop selling wax, in a market such as Makola in Accra :

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  • KENTE

Kente is one of the most typical symbol . It is an Asante ceremonial cloth, representing numerous aspects of Ghanaian ethical, philosophical, social and religious heritage through variations in colour and pattern.

Although machine made kente is now widely available, it is still reserved for formal occasions. The dramatic colour and texture in kente is echoed in wax-printed fabric. Kente are sold in malls and in markets.

I also discovered the procesing steps with Accra Accueil activity :

First , they have to prepare the fabric thread :

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Then, they have to woven the fabrics all handmade:

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How Ghanaian women get dressed is essential for funerals, weddings and engagements which all require specific dresses.

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Thomas whith its typical ghanaian costume (for “friday wear”)

Most women employ a seamstress and choose a style from a ‘calendar,’ a poster showing photographs of models in outfits. These designs are usually variations of the kaba (blouse) and slit (long skirt), a common ensemble.

Yvonne koné

There is no lake of design in Accra. More and more people design exciting wax print garments.

At the moment, western silhouettes in traditional fabrics are very much in vogue.

Europeans expat are more an more wearing also these beaytiful fabrics and they make different as a  pure, shoes, and even earings!

Sewing is a lucrative business so you’ll find a seamstress operating an old-fashioned foot-operated Singer sewing machine in any busy area.

Here is one I saw in Madina market :

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Seamstresses tend to be very talented and they can interpret a western design or copy an existing dress. If the customer provides her own cloth, her dress usually costs between  8 GHC (2€) and 10GHC.

For expatriates, the prices are not the same but still very cheap .

First you have to buy the fabric (wax)  you love :

  • Woodin shop in Accra Mall is my best place because it guarantee a great value for money (100GHC -23 €-for 6 yards).
  • Vlisco is also another dutch company (created in 1846) but with higher prices (60 € for 6 yards).

Both patterns and prints  inherit from the African culture. Loincloth wax is also a means of communication to show political or social value.

Know that if you see one day the fabric you like, you should buy it right now because next time it will be finish ! Collections are renew very often!

Afterwards, ou have to find your seamstress to create for exemple 6 pillows for 10 GHC each (2,5€) , a dress for 40 GHC (10€), a short shirt sleeves for 30 GHC.

It was fantastic and well done !   Here is one of my skirt below :

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Hope you will enjoy coming to Accra and buy some fabrics from GHANA MARKETS !

 

First steps at arrival : registrations, associations, mobile…

 

AT LAST!! YOU LANDED IN GHANA !! 

 

plane ghana

HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR BEGINNING A NEW EXPAT LIFE 😉

 

 

tips k

 

WHICH STEPS FOR REGISTERING IN YOUR NEW COUNTRY ?

Foreign Bureaucracy are often the Devil !! (Although we are not very good at it in France  neither, you may be thinking …. !!!  ).

Apartment, check. Now that you have the basics down, keep in mind that there are many countries whose government offices move at a slower pace. This is when you learn patience !

Keep these tips in mind as you traverse your new home and go to your embassy as the French Ghana Ambassy :

Be sure to have your visa in order. Know where the government offices are and know how long a wait each appointment requires. Most importantly though, bring a book, try not to get frustrated at all the red tape!

The french ambassy address: 12th road off Liberation Avenue, PO Box 187, Accra
Tel: (00) 233 (0) 302.21.45.50

Why register to the ambassy?

In order to benefit from all ambassy services and to be secured during your expatriation here. It is free and it will facilitate administration formalites (such as having a new passport, identity cad, driven license). You will receive by email important information (such as staying home because of a big storm !! ).  You can also be on the electoral list.

How to register?

2 options are possible according to your stay lenght

1st, less than 6 months :  you can tell the ambassy you’re here and give them contacts where you stay and the one to call in France if there is a problem

2nd, more than 6 months : you have to show your ID, your french nationality and where you live now in Ghana. You will then get a card which prooves you live here now. It will be indispensable if you need to be repatriated for illness for exemple.

How to register for citizen a Non -citizen resident ID?

You have to go to register for your Non-citizen ID to have your permit to stay in Ghana if you are a foreign national permanently resident in the country.

You can find infomation in foreigner identification website. It cost about 100€ and a scratch card must first be bought from any Cal Bank branch then the registration process start with a registration form about your personal information and biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) are then taken. Applicant is then instantly issued a Non-citizen card which signifies the completion of the registration process.

It takes me about 15 mn if there is no waiting queue.

 

tips k

 

HOW AND WHERE TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS DURING EXPATRIATION?

 

Now that you have a nice apartment, you’re starting to want someone to share your adventures!!The problem is, you don’t have the smallest idea where to make new friends!!
During your time in high school and college, having a group of friends was relatively easy. You were all the same age, participated in the same activities, and grew up in the same area.

When you are expatriate, this is different.

You’re out in the real world and meeting people in a new city and country means taking on a whole new approach to friend making. If you’re working at a company or school, then your friends will likely be your new coworkers.

If not, then the whole “friend thing” becomes a lot more complicated. You don’t want to live in your Facebook past but you’re unsure of how to continue in your overseas future.

Before you retreat into a cavern of loneliness and despair, give these following tips a try:

  • Join an expat organization

Give online friends a whirl. Bloggers are great people to know and tend to be in touch with their community. I advice you to join an online expat organization such as Accra expat and Internations organization. Do a quick search for people writing about your area and see if you can arrange to meet for coffee. Check for local meetups, expat get-togethers, or Couchsurfing events. Of course, make sure to meet up in public areas the first couple or times.
There is comfort in familiarity and while you’re on a grand overseas adventure, it can be wonderful to talk with a group of people from your home country.  

Before I left France, I had already searched on internet some expat and french organisation. I had found “Accra Accueil” which deals with meeting others, doing activities and sharing passions, discovering the city… It was perfect for the beginnings.

  • Take a class in something you’re passionate about!!

i loveWhether it’s cooking, sewing, dancing, painting, yoga, or language you’re sure to meet people who have similar interests as you.

In accra there are yoga lessons, zumba, pilate, massage….

I will give you the internet adresses in  my blog  expat activities  part.

tips k

FINDING MOBILE TELEPHONE AND INTERNET ACCESS AT HOME

 

 

Internet access 

You can register like me to  Vodafone and get internet in one day. You need your telephone number (of the last owner of your appartment) and your ID.

In February 2016, for 85 GHC (21€) you get 20 GB and for 125 GHC  you get 40 GB. I got my new internet box and they came to install it in 10 minutes at home free. It is the first internet access but if for downloader it will be 250 GHC and for an office access 400GHC).

See below the internet penetration and use in Ghana, Africa and in all over the world… interesting, no?

2000px-MobileBroadbandInternetPenetrationWorldMap.svg

internet

Mobile 

Due to the unreliability of fixed-line infrastructure in Ghana, mobile phones are more widely used. The poor call quality of mobile phones, however, means that more people hold more than one mobile phone, usually with two or more different carriers. The various mobile carriers in Ghana have each been assigned a network code.

I ‘ve chosen Vodafone, I bought a new sim car for 5 cedis (1 €) and get a new samsung phone for 400 cedis (100€). Here are the other operators and emergency tel numbers.

For 10 cedis (2,5€) I can recharge it. Calling France is very cheap : with 10 cedis I can call at least 40 mn!!

Mobile Carrier Network Code(s)
Globacom (023)
MTN (024), (054), (055)
Tigo (027), (057)(029)
Expresso (028)
Vodafone (020), (050)
Airtel (026), (056)

Emergency Numbers

Institution Emergency code
Police 191
Fire Service 192
Ambulance 193

 

world-of-mobile-phones
“Green part” in Africa => population with no mobile
shops in Ghana.
We found 132 companies

Airtel Ghana (Head Office)

Bharti Airtel, No. 30 Independence Avenue, GNAT Heights, North Ridge, Accra
Airtel Ghana We are more than a communication network (of voice and data services); we are a life-enriching network. Airtel Ghana had about 1.76 million customers at the end of 2010.

Company Location

2 Reviews

Web Mall GH

Mango Tree Avenue, Asylum Down, Accra
Web Mall GH is a Virtual Mall hosting sellers across Ghana that have thousands of items. Just like a Mall with the largest selection of electronics, home furnishings, video games, baby gear and more

Company Location

KAB-FAM GHANA LIMITED

#15/17 Otaten-Darkuman Junction, Off the Kaneshie-Odorkor Highway (Near MTN), Accra. P. O. Box MP 4080, Mamprobi-Accra., Accra
KAB-FAM GHANA LIMITED is an Electronics and Home Appliances trading company incorporated in Ghana in May 2013. We are Authorised Partners of quality brands such as Samsung, Midea, and Nasco. We are pr…

Company Location

iSHOP Ghana

34 Off Pigfarm Accra Newtown Road, Accra
At iSHOP Ghana, we’re passionate about Quality. That’s why you’ll find some of world’s most quality products on our page. Since the inception, we’ve built our reputation on devoting our efforts to bri…

Company Location

Franko Phones

Franko Trading Ent, Behind Costa Forex Bureau Adabraka, Accra
FrankoTrading Enterprise is a private company dedicated to providing high quality Mobile phones, Phone accessories, Laptops, Scanners, and Digital Cameras etc. Exceeding customer’s expectation as well…
1 Reviews

APPLE HOME COMMUNICATION

ELAJO, Accra
GIVING A PERFECT SERVICE ANYWHERE IN GHANA. WE HAVE WHAT IT TAKE TO BE A MOBILE PROVIDER, WE PROVIDE YOU WITH ANY KIND OF MOBILE PHONE ANY WHERE IN GHANA. CALL US NOW AND EXPERIENCE OUR ORIGINAL PRODU…

Company Location

Glo Mobile Ghana Ltd

No. 4, Adjumah Crescent, South Industrial Area, Kaneshie, Accra
At Globacom we esteem our vision. It is our vision which keeps us moving forward. Our vision which pushes us to be the best we can. And our vision which propels us into the future, ahead of our compet…

Company Location

2 Reviews

Telefonika Ghana Limited

P.O.Box AC 697 Art Center , Accra
Telefonika is a telecommunications company, trading in mobile phones and accessories, telecommunication equipment, electronic products, gadgets and general goods. We pride ourselves to our attention t…

Company Location

Freddies Corner

Behind Holy Gardens Police Station, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, 15229, Accra
Freddies Corner. A Local Retail & Wholesaler of Mobile Phones, Computers & Accessories. We also offer Phone Repairs, Decoding, Unlocking & Flashing, Sale of Local CDs & VCDs as well as Laptop Software…
1 Reviews

Commtech Solutions Ltd.

Haatso, Accra
Home to unique IT/Telecommunication products & e services.

Company Location

Vodafone Ghana Head Office

Vodafone Ghana Head Office is located near the Ariport Round-about., Accra
Vodafone in Ghana is one of the latest additions to Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s leading mobile telecommunications company. This follows the successful acquisition of 70% shares in Ghana Telecommun…

Checklist before leaving your country… some hints and tips

Here is my checklist before expatriation :

First of all :” check your mind !!”

BE OPEN TO NEW ADVENTURES AND GO FOR IT NOW

CHECKLIST 2 MONTHS BEFORE :

  • Make sure you and your family have valid passports and get your VISA ( through your Diplomatic government)!

visa passport

  • Find out about international driving licenses ( register ont public french service. Most countries will not accept your home country’s license (or for the 3 first months as in Ghana). In ghana, you will have to go to your ambassy (French Ambassy for me) to register and pay about 35 cedis to get a formality paper prooving your frenchdriving license and then you will get it.vaccin
  • Find out if you need vaccinations because you also may need it to enter the country at the airport. Find out in the  Pasteur Institute which vaccinations you need. => For Ghana, yellow fever vaccine is required to enter the country, hepatitis A and B, Meningitis with meningococcirabies are recommended too. There is Malaria also but if you stay in Ghana for expatriation, it is useless to take medecines before leaving doctors will told you. You cant’s take it all over the year so you may get Malaria anyway… Fortunately, few expat get it.

 

CHECKLIST 1,5 MONTH BEFORE

  • Ask your doctors, vet and dentist for copies of yours, your families and your pets’ medical records. While you are at the surgeries, organise a final check up for you, your family and your pets if your employers do not ask it. Don’t forget the vaccination (for me, yellow fever) . Maybe you need to buy 6 months treatment before leaving because you can’t find it in Africa for exemple. So you have to ask the french social security for agreement to deliver. Of course, you will no more belong to it 6 months after your arrival in your host country.To enter with your 6 months medecine, you may be asked to give proof of your need for the medication fohealth carer customs
  • Check all insurance policies and organise your visas if you need to. In my case, my boyfriend’s company did everything for both of us, and now we belong to : an international healthcare insurance card for expatriates called Previnter to have our money back AND “West African Rescue Association” (WARA) which gives 24/7 medical access assistance center. Prices for medical care is very very expensive here.
  • attorneyPrepare a power of attorney (see more on solicitor for french expatriate )Make sure you have certified copies of all important documents ready to hand over to the person you will be leaving in charge of your affairs while you are away. I gave it to my parents for banks and the rent of my apartment.
  • Organise the cancellation of all magazine/newspaper subscriptions or regular deliveries you receive on the day you will be leaving.

 

CHECKLIST 1 MONTH BEFORE

My first Expatriation in Africa in Ghana

Departure…..

May, 4th, 2014 

 

After an 8 hours KLM flight with a 3 hours stop in Amsterdam, we arrived at 9 pm in Kotoka Airport in Accra, the capital of Ghana.

My first impression was it was so hot and humid that we felt like being in holidays 🙂

The airport was crowded even outside and many ghanaian asked us to get into their taxi. We were driven to our hotel before having our own house the day after.