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Travels in Ghana has received another five-star review today from E-finds, a blog about books, video and music.

If Ghana interests you, maybe a book about life in Togo would be up your alley. I’ve just published Bread From the Sky.

How many cat heads do you have to eat before you acquire the characteristics of a cat? Why do you hang a snail shell in a tree? How do you get a curse removed? And who buried a gri-gri in the yard? These and other questions are answered in Bread From the Sky.

Here’s a synopsis:

    Wanting a career change and armed with a graduate degree in international studies, a woman in her mid-40s leaves her divorce and ordinary life behind for a two-year stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. 

    She learns survival skills in order to live without electricity or plumbing like the rest of the people in her adopted village. She also gains language skills as, in addition to French, which is still the official language, there are over half a dozen local languages in common use at her village. Adjusting to a new culture, several different languages and some very old attitudes is sometimes difficult, frustrating and funny.

    There are friends to be made, foods to get used to, bureaucrats and insects to contend with, health issues to recover from and red tape to choke on. Dealing with people who want to rip her off, who harass her (sexually and otherwise) and who always want something from her isn’t easy. The challenges are offset by the warmth and friendship that was found along the way as well as some amazing experiences.

    As a wise man said to her, “Africa will change you, whether you want it to or not.”

Bread From the Sky is the true story of my two years in Togo as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

It’s now available as an e-book on Amazon, Amazon UK and Smashwords.

2010 in Review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The WordPress Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads:  This blog is on fire!

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 28 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 117 posts. There were 138 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 18mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 30th with 286 views. The most popular post that day was The Ghana Way of Death.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were lonelyplanet.com, gillispiefam.blogspot.com, gisforghana.blogspot.com, easytrackghana.com, and mail.yahoo.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ancient ghana architecture, ghana, takoradi ghana, tamale ghana, and techiman.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The Ghana Way of Death December 2009

2

The Architecture of Northern Ghana October 2009

3

Why Ghana? September 2009
1 comment

4

A Change of Plans October 2009

Behind the Adanwomase Visitor’s Center December 2009
1 comment

Juniper Grove, a book review blog, recently posted a very nice review of Travels in Ghana. That review can be seen here.

In connection with the review of Travels in Ghana, I was recently interviewed on a book reviewer’s website. Syria Says is a newly-launched website featuring indie author book reviews. The review is on the home page and is also posted on the Amazon page. The interview appears on this page.

Now available on Amazon and Smashwords, Travels in Ghana — the e-book! New material has been added that has never appeared on the website.

The website will retain the images, but most of the text that had previously been posted here will now be available in the book only.

This is a travelogue of a Ghana road trip in 2009. From Accra to the painted village of Sirigu, the people, the adventures and the sights are described. There are insights and explanations of Ghanaian customs, culture, cuisine and daily life. Among the places visited are the slave castle at Elmina, the stilt village of Nzulezu, Mole National Park, Sirigu and an unexpected find at Bolgatanga.

There are a handful of Ghanaian tour companies which have websites, from which I chose Jolinaiko Eco Tours.

I had a good experience with Jolinako Eco Tours and can recommend them without hesitation.

I’ve also heard good things about the Easy Track tour company from posters on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Ghana branch.  Easy Track also does home stays and a host of business services.  One thing that Easy Track offers that I haven’t seen any other Ghanaian tour company advertise is the ability to pay with a credit card or by PayPal, a huge convenience.

The cost for the car and driver was very reasonable.  Prices change, so check the tour company’s website.  (Don’t forget to budget a tip for your driver, as it’s not included in the price of the tour.  See Tipping in Ghana.)  Also, because I had the company of a Ghanaian driver all day long, I could ask any kind of cultural questions I wanted.  It was like having a personal cultural ambassador for the duration of the trip, a huge advantage if you travel alone like I do.

 

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