When you travel to spots a good portion of the way around the globe, the jangly, sleep deprived thinness starts in your first layover, usually 9 – 12 hours out, depending which way you are heading. On this trip to Ghana, it hit me in Amsterdam where I had a 5 hour wait from my flight to Accra and so saw the very efficient and very Dutch (Servers / attendants looking like so many blond, sensible middle school teachers) place through that jangly eye.
Straight South across Europe, the Mediterranean, Morocco, the Sahara, sub Saharan countries with Islamist- induced instabilities into Accra, on the Atlantic coast of Africa. Process through customs and baggage was a blur, with the soft, warm tropical air hitting me as I exited the Airport. Emmanuel Kitcher, Stanford Seed’s Executive Director met me and got me to my apartment. Emmanuel is a warm, generous and highly accomplished Ghanaian who has a passion for seeing his company develop.
2019 was the “Year of Return” for the African diaspora to Ghana (A brilliant idea for building tourism and connections), with > 500,000 folks from the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean and South America (Beyonce visited) coming to discover their ancestors’ pre-slavery past; I hope to get to Cape Coast where there are dozens of “slave castles” (Prisons to process African slaves on their way to the Americas), run were run by just about every country you can imagine. Historically, Slavery has been endemic in most societies (The early middle age Britons enslaved their fellow countrymen) but the West applied an efficiency, scale and brutality to the process not previously seen.
I have two fellow volunteer coaches, Erika – Ghanaian American from Phoenix, and Raja, French National from Lebanon. Both have global-ish backgrounds, have been very welcoming and are going to be great partners.
We are housed in a snappy executive apartment complex with a gym, pool, cafe, air conditioning and convenience store, appropriately gated and guarded by friendly, sleepy fellows who offer a kind greeting when I am coming or going.
It is Harmattan, the season when dry dusty air from the Sahara makes the sky grey with dust, things warm, and drier than normal (Still at 75% humidity).
It is a privilege and a treat to be here and to have the support of family and friends (Like you!).