To me the phrase “mid term” brings exams to mind. Maybe I’ve watched too much american tv, or perhaps its because I am half American myself. Alternatively it could be nothing to do with either of those reasons and I’m just being an idiot. I mean, why is the term “half term” necessarily any better?
But that’s what it is. Ghana has a week long school break splitting the term in two.
And until yesterday I had no idea it was coming.
So ok, that’s not quite true. Someone did mention something about it a week back but either they explained it badly, I mis-understood or cultural use of words strikes again, but I thought the students had just one extra day off work. Turns out I way way out.
This sudden (for me) change in events is a bit of a mixed blessing. On the one hand I don’t need to wait until Christmas to do so traversing and exploring, but on the other hand I’ve been looking at the syllabus I need to complete by the end of the year and I was already worried I was going to struggle to complete it. Now, I admit I don’t know how having mid terms will change tidings, but seeing how other things have effected the school calender I’m not too hopeful but we’ll see.
Having spoke about the issue of finishing the Syllabus before the end of the year with another teacher I got the grudging admission that no, I probably won’t be able to finish everything so I’ll need to start making choices about what I’ll skip.
This is not something I am looking forward to having to do.
So for now i won’t and until I do, I have an unexpected week to do with as I want! Well, not quite true. I get fed every day by the kitchen here who provide food every day for the boarding students. As most of the students are going home for the week, the headmaster called me to his house to check what my plans were as they won’t be able to feed me if I stay.
So I’m being forced to leave for a week huh? Such. A. Shame…. 😉
After much deliberation in the one day warning I had I’ve decided I’m going to head to Kumasi.
Kumasi is the capital of both the modern Ashanti region (like English county only bigger) and the historic royal capital of the Ashanti kingdom before its decline in the 19th century. This decline was due to two factors, first was the end in the global slave trade. Driven by European greed, the Ashanti kingdom had turned into one of the often unmentioned African nations that had given up other means of economic growth, such as gold mining, to become involved with the far more lucrative trade of capturing and selling of their own kinsmen (of other tribes) as slaves
Even worse, often this ‘selling’ took the form of trade for more and better guns to help raid deeper into Africa to capture more slaves and had no long term positive impact as it stripped Africa of it own knowledge of mining, smelting techniques etc as whole regions were stripped of their human based wealth and knowledge over the years.
Not the proudest moment for anyone involved really.
Anyway… oh no, wait!
The SECOND reason was the English occupation and annexation of Ghana. Which the Ashanti fought against (or similar reasons and with similar effects to the maasi’s or the zulu’s) but ultimately lost. Although who knows why the Ashanti are so relatively unknown in comparison now. Yes, the history of Ghana is interesting and varied, but I digress (or atleast let me visit the coastal forts left by the Europeans before I continue with the history lesson).
Kumasi is also the second largest city after the capital Accra. I’m not too sure how much there is to do there or what its like as the whole of Ghana is much less set up for tourists, but if there is no good no where else is likely to be any better.
Hmmm… All that talk of the slave trade has made me a too bit morose – I’m pretty sure there will be lots of good stuff, in fact, I’m making a list so I know there is!
Transport in Ghana is interesting to say the least. I’m actually thinking about getting my own motorbike, but that isn’t here or there as it won’t be in time for this trip. Instead I’m catching a taxi to Wenchi, then a bus to Techiman and finally a bus to Kumasi. I’ve been told it will take the most part of a day so I’m leaving early tomorrow.
To continue with the theme of people wanting to care for me to the point of exasperation, two students that are also going to Kumasi have delayed their trip to go with me. Kind and sweat, but ultimately; What the Hell?
Anyway, the company will be welcome at least, now I’ve just got to pack.
Questions, questions, questions…. Do I take my mosquito net and sheet also? I think yes.