Last full night in Ghana. The plan is to head down to the coast, find someplace to grab a bite, and meet Annie at Bywel's, the same place we heard some high life music when we were here a few weeks back.
That's not at all how the night went down.
While walking through something of a beach town slum, I hear some drumming. Crossing a makeshift bridge, I see some dancing. Surprisingly enough, Accra's oceanside coast is not home to international hotel chains or posh pool bars. Instead, it's a 15 year old corrugated steel Hooverville that sits peacefully, waiting as the tide laps up, just feet away. Just beyond this interconnected maze of propped up housing stands the presidential palace, looking like a fort on a cliff from behind.
The music and dancing that I'm slowly stumbling into is part of a royal drumming school, and 30 or so people are digging into the sound as the sun goes down. I stand, noticed, but untouched, and start passing by the group's concrete stage. Rounding the circular building, I found the head drummers, who invited me in and introduced themselves and their resident white guy, Claas (Klaus).
|Gettin' down in the back...|
I'm excitedly pulled into one of the corrugated houses, and I find myself standing in front of a full bar. The English Premier League is playing on a TV set. Everything short of darts. Claas orders a Star beer, asks if I'm interested. No, haven't eaten dinner yet! I change my mind when I see the tasty beverage in front of me. He also gets a "Striker" - about 2 shots of gin in a plastic, sealed pouch. The 'tender has to find the scissors to clip off a corner and fill a glass, along with some lime juice. "Claas, that's my summer drink of choice right there, a gimlet!" He's surprised and gets excited. Later in the night, I have one of my own and we toast my lost wanderings while sitting in a shack/bar looking over the coast.
|Claas and Senegal, chillin' hard. Yes, that is the ocean in the background on the right.|
|Lessons from royalty.|
Delta, in trying to keep us "safe," took us through 18 checkpoints and consumed the 3 hours that we spent in the airport (good thing we were early!). They let us on, found a place for the kora, and plopped us in our spots. Bam, going home. Two movies, a book, and some TV later, we were in Atlanta.
I finished "On the Road" just as we came home. Felt right.
|The drumming and dance school.|