On July 2, 2019, I posted a blog titled Africa is Calling. I followed that up with one titled We’re going to Africa. And on January 13, 2020, I posted another blog titled I’m visiting my ancestral home. With several unforeseen circumstances, the most prominent of them being Covid-19, my trip to Africa was disappointingly delayed. However, good fortune smiled on Chris, my daughter Felicia and my cousin Hansel and his wife Martha; we made the trip Ghana, West Africa over the holiday season. We left the U. S. on December 24th and returned on January 5th. We spent 10 activity-packed days in Ghana, which included four days in Accra the nation’s capital, and the surrounding area; three days in Kumasi (The Ashanti Region); and three days in Elmina and the Cape Coast Central Region.
Our tour guide told us that the population of Accra and Kumasi probably far exceed the Wikipedia numbers of 2,557,000 and 3,490,000, respectively. The population of the country is well over 31,000,000. I share these numbers with you, because I want to make the case for why we went to Ghana during the pandemic. Consider this: my home state Arkansas, has a population of 3 million. As of January 8, Arkansas has 249,239 confirmed cases of covid-19, 3,926 deaths and 218,386 recovered. Compare those alarming statistics with the entire nation of Ghana, with a population of 31,000,000, 55,461 confirmed cases, 337 deaths and 54,164 recovered.
My primary care physician expressed more than a little concern about this trip. She told me about malaria, yellow fever and a host of other communicable diseases generally associated with Africa. Of course, much of her concerned was because I have Multiple Myeloma, a serious underlying heath condition that could cause significant problems for me should I contract covid-19. I can’t take the yellow fever vaccine. The only medicine I could take was malaria pills. My response to my primary care physician was that I had more concern about getting to Ghana than being there for a 10-day tour. When we got there, my concerns for areas in the West were amplified with the emergence of the new strain on Covid-19 and the surge of the virus in the U.S. Ghana was quite uneventful Covid-19 wise. We dined in restaurants, attended public areas, and had little fear of Covid-19. There were no unreasonable protests on the part of members of the public to wearing masks when required and, to be honest, there was no huge display of people wearing masks anywhere. We had to have a Covid-19 PCR test to get on the plane to Ghana, and another test upon arrival. On the return, a Covid-19 test was also required to board the plane coming back to the U.S.
Now that I’ve mentioned a few challenges we faced getting to Ghana, I’ll be sharing stories and images of our glorious journey. Please stay tuned. Oh, by the way, we all made it back okay, and we’re cocooned, as before to keep ourselves from the monster called Covid-19.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.