I applied for a Ghana visa in Abidjan and spent a few days relaxing with my friend Ron who also applied for the same visa. Abidjan is more developed than other cities I've seen so far in West Africa. Accommodation in Abidjan is expensive, so I stayed in Grand-Bassam, which is about 20 miles away. In one day riding from Grand-Bassam to Abidjan and back, I saw three vehicle accidents.
I met the owner of the hotel, a guy called Bassman, who very soon passed me his phone with an Irish lady on the phone. This lovely lady was Chloe Grant who invited me to stay with her in Abengourou, which I accepted. I stayed there multiple days, and this is one of several posts.
It was great to spend time with Chloe and she's good fun! Turns out she founded an NGO called Centre de Reinsertion et d'Education pour les Enfants de la Rue (CREER). They help trafficked children by providing refuge, education, and repatriation where possible.
In my first few days, we visited the Cour Royal where the King of the Indénié resides. We saw the museum and the grounds, and Chloe very kindly translated. This is where they hold ceremonies and events.
In the museum, I was allowed to sit in a seat of someone important! They person working for the King made it clear that I couldn't site in the King's seat. They actually passed me a machete to hold as well!
Back at the centre, I helped Francine draw water from the well. This was great fun! I've really started to think about my water usage on this trip, because I have to do physical work to get water, whether that is drawing from a well or using my water purifier pump.
Chloe was incredibly hospitable and also introduced me to her friends. Many Ivorians refer to good friends as brothers and sisters. One of Chloe's brothers was a policeman called Ameliorer. Ameliorer kindly gave me a ride home from a restaurant on his Haojin 150cc motorcycle, which are popular motorcycles out here.
© 2018-2019 Stephen Matthews