Uhmah Park


7. Has OJ Landed Yet?

Eight whole hours later the plane finally lands in Accra, Ghana and I step foot on African soil for the first time. I was honestly overjoyed. I didn’t kiss the ground, I didn’t cry but there was moisture on my face immediately in the form of sweat. A lot of it. I’m not sure if it’s more hot or humid but it is definitely both and it’s intense. As a native of Los Angeles I’m accustomed to experiencing absolutely no humidity for years at a time. So my version of how hot and humid it is in Ghana is far more dramatic than most people. It was humid in Cuba, but this was different. I immediately accepted this as an ongoing theme of my trip. I also immediately had to accept the consequences of my lack of preparation for this trip. I chose the path of Visa on arrival, that meant I had to see the good people at the visa on arrival station. I noticed there wasn’t a long line and there weren’t any more than 40 or so people waiting around. Not crowded at all. This shouldn’t take long. 

Cut to 4 hours later, I was super wrong, it did take super long and had to also get a yellow fever shot because it would have been too much like super smart to do before I left. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was also introduced to another ongoing theme of my trip, wait times. I assumed it was because there were a lot of people visiting and they were swamped. I did know about Ghana getting hundreds of thousand visa applications, due to the popularity of The Year of Return, before I arrived. I don’t know if it was the real reason, but that’s what I kept telling myself. I had to keep that mind set throughout the duration of my trip. I did and I’m proud of myself. Normally things go a lot differently in the United States. I had to drop that whole mindset for this trip. I was mindful to accept the way they do things. A lot of people talked about the wait times in Ghana, but that didn’t ruin my trip or anyone else’s that I know of. But it is funny that the wait times in Ghana make “Colored People’s Time” look like a single candle light in the noon’s sun

I get to my hotel. Something like a boutique hotel. I like a good boutique hotel but this wasn’t the good I was expecting for reasons that were very avoidable. So I spent one night there and luckily found the last available chalet (something like an apartment) at the Fiesta Royale hotel. It was the only place I could find with a king size bed. A necessity that made my trip a lot harder than it had to be. There were a lot of places with queen sized and full size beds. But I refuse to sleep 7 days in a queen sized bed. Nope. They also had a restaurant that was open 24 hours which was super clutch because my sleep pattern was off; by a lot. 

Every day that I was in Ghana, there were multiple parties and events to choose from during the day and night. It was a “lit-uation” all month. I hear this is normal for December in West Africa and that’s one of the reasons I was there. I didn’t want to go to see or do anything slave related. I was trying to go on a vacation from white people, not to remember why I needed a vacation from white people. 


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