Category: Ghana, Botswana 2018


April 10. When you take a long trip encompassing multiple countries and large distances, you need to expect some “travel days,” days on which little will be done but get from one place to the next. Today is a travel day for us.

Our stay in Ghana has met or exceeded our very high expectations. What we’ve done and seen has been terrific, but the key to our enjoyment has been the people—first, being with Phoebe, second, having Daniel as our guide and shepherd and, third, all of the old friends we’ve been able to visit. All of these make for a truly distinctive and wonderful travel experience. Botswana will be totally different, but I’m expecting that it will prove equally engaging.

We arrive at the Accra Airport, and after enduring frustrating, but not disruptive, delays due to incompetence, checking out at the hotel and checking in at the airport, and spending a bit of time in the Business Class Lounge, we board our six-hour flight to Johannesburg (Joburg for short) on South African Airways. Flight schedules do not permit us to get from Accra to Botswana in one day, so we overnight in Joburg. Our landing is a bit more exciting than necessary, as the first attempt is aborted because of rain and wind conditions. Second time was a charm, though.

Our travel agents have arranged for us to get a VIP service in Joburg, so we are met at the plane and escorted through the baggage and immigration process expeditiously. As we emerge, we are met by our travel agent’s representative, Freedom Dube, who Carol and I know from prior trips. Freedom escorts us to our hotel, The Peermont D’Orleale Grand. There’s a casino here, but not sure we’ll make it there..

Because of restrictions on the type of luggage we can take on small planes in Botswana (no hard luggage or wheels), we were going to repack in Joburg and leave our non-qualifying luggage with Freedom to be delivered to us on the way back. A couple days ago, though, it occurred to me that we might be able to store luggage near the airport in Maun, Botswana, which would be more convenient, so our travel agents arrange for us to do that.

Before leaving Ghana, we discovered that the FASUL employee who headed the team making arrangements for us in the villages in Ghana, Frank Bannor, would be in Joburg, so we arranged with him to have dinner together at the hotel tonight. Frank has come to South Africa in order to get a PhD in economics. He’s 33 years old and married with a one-year old daughter, Audrey, back in Ghana with his wife. Great to talk to Frank about his PhD, which will consist of three papers on aspects of the impact of climate change on farming in South Africa. Though the program is generally four years, he hopes to complete it in three. Not only was the conversation interesting, the food was excellent (I had a fillet in peppercorn sauce that was delicious.

After dinner, we took a walk over to the casino, where Phoebe made a killing. She’s still down at the casino, trying to add to her winnings.

Upstairs to pack and get organized for tomorrow.

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