Whilst in Abengorou, I met Leela—a friend/sister—who invited me to stay at her place in Frankadua, Ghana. I was very intrigued because Leela lives in a small village where she runs projects to help the community. I was on the third and final day of medication for malaria in Accra and I was keen to leave having stayed for much longer than planned. The fatigue from malaria made the ride really tough as my muscles felt tired when handling the bike.
Once I arrived at Leela's, I spent a few days relaxing, meeting lots of people, and exploring bits of the village. On one afternoon in mid-day heat, Leela showed me around the village. Leela's organisation -- Leela's Love Foundation -- initiates projects to build new schools and water purification systems for the community. Seeing the schools made me appreciate the difference with those I had attended. These schools provide the fundamental necessity of shelter to enable learning. The third school was near completion. There is also another project of interest to Leela that would install a water pump to draw water into a large tank near to the market. It was impressive to see the commitment and enthusiasm of Leela in pushing forward these projects.
The projects of Leela's Love Foundation are funded by products made from upcycled plastic water sachets sold at Travelling Butterfly. The water sachets are plastic bags with 500ml of water and are sold everywhere. They contribute massively to the litter problem in West Africa. Turning littered plastic water sachets into sellable items to fund community projects is a really cool idea and it was a privilege to see the litter problem, upcycled bags, and the schools!
Walking in mid-day heat develops a thirst... so we stopped for beers in some small bars. We then stumbled upon a palm wine stall! I've seen lots of such stalls in West Africa but have always been riding, thus not drinking alcohol. Sipping palm wine from bowls at the road side was very relaxing. In these photos, Leela is wearing the scarf and Emily is wearing the black top.
There were two volunteers staying with Leela whilst I was there. James was coaching the local football team and Emily was coaching the local netball team. Both knew each other from back home in York, UK. It was cool to see their interest in helping the community and commitment in doing so. They're a great laugh and we several fun nights in local bars!
I'm always keen to try local foods wherever I go. For example, the palm wine ;) In Frankadua, I found the best Waakye in Ghana! I tried Banku and Kenkey, but wasn't keen on the flavour. The fermented flavours weren't enjoyable for me, but pleased I tried it. Indomie is a brand of cooked noodles that could be bought fried with egg and vegetables. Very tasty. One morning, I ate porridge that was grey in colour, and I'm uncertain if it was from rice, millet etc. Tasted of ginger, which was gorgeous, but the amount of sugar made it too sweet for me and difficult to finish. The real highlight was Leela's home cooked one man thousand, which are tiny fish in a spicy tomato sauce with rice. The fish are so small, you could literally eat one thousand of them! So so tasty!
With my recent bout of malaria, I collected some rapid diagnostic kits for self testing for malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) in case I'm camped remotely and far from a clinic. Christine at the Frankadua clinic was incredibly kind and showed me how to use the kit. I already have Coartem to cure malaria (Plasmodium falciparu), which I purchased in Côte d’Ivoire.
I had planned to explore Northern Ghana but when approaching Accra, my motorcycle started to sputter and hesitate when using the throttle. Sometimes it was strong enough to throw me forward towards the bars when the engine's power sputtered. It only seems to happen with less than a quarter tank of fuel. I decided to head straight for the nearest decent motorcycle mechanic. This was a KTM shop in Lomé, Togo, which is an Austrian company, and they are not the same KTM seen all over West Africa with small budget motorcycles! Before departing, I changed my air filter, which was overdue, and also changed the spark plug. My intention was to eliminate the simple things I could change and test the motorcycle on the way to Lomé, Togo.
I had a fantastic time in Frankadua, but it was time to say goodbye, and head off into the heat!