MARK'S (NOT SO) DAILY BLOG

Mark Pilgrim Kia Sandton

TRAVEL BLOG: Ghana, the friendly country

I travel a lot to African countries for business. In the last 2 months alone I've been to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Nigeria. This week it was Ghana.

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Of all the places, this has to be one of the happiest nations on the African continent. I went with a camera crew to film Standard Bank Ghana receiving an award. Jubilation was so infectious that at every branch we went to celebrations spilled over into adjacent shops and everyone just sang and danced!

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Ghana itself is a lot calmer than a country like Nigeria, partly because there are much fewer bodies per square metre. English is the primary language and most people in Accra are exuberantly Christian, remnant of Baptist congregations in Missisippi. During moments of celebration they traditionally wear white clothing (like in pic above), and at weddings are known to anoint guests with white powder to symbolise happiness and praise to God. I got powder placed on my bald head during one of the events!

Road infrastructure is quite advanced and moving around is a lot less congested than some other African countries.

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A lot of the big South African brands are here such as Shoprite and Mr Price. We traveled around in a huge Ford van that resembled a combination of the one used in the A-Team and Scooby Doo!

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Ghanaians are very proud and unified with their culture.

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Wherever we went we were showered with Ghanaian paraphernalia. On the first night I got a scarf, tie and bangle from different people:

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The airport is large and seemingly organised, and unlike the DRC, Angola or even Swaziland, there is nobody trying to fleece you as you leave. The only downside to travelling back to SA is that you leave Accra at 12.30am SA time and get back about 6am. After being served dinner at 1.30am and them switching the lights off around 2.30am, you'll be lucky to get 2 hours sleep before they switch the lights on again as they prepare for landing.

Thank you for the hospitality Ghana! I look forward to the next visit!



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