Monastery: or how 7 Americans got stranded and pissed off
So, we were told at the beginning of training and on our schedule that we would be staying at the monastery while in Techiman. We were told a lot of wrong things during training. It all started at PEPFAR. We were told over the phone that the Peace Corps bus was going to drive us back to Techiman from Tamale, especially since the other group was just north of Tamale and we were half the group. So, the Peace Corps land rover comes to pick us up from the volunteer’s site we were staying at – it was really remote, so they wanted to drive us there. We go back to the Tamale sub office (TSO) and surprise! No peace corps bus is taking us anywhere. So, we all got pissed and angry because that road + tro-tros sucks. We ended up waiting an hour at the TSO and then another volunteer helped us get a tro in town. It was lunch time though and we were all hungry. No time for lunch though, so we didn’t get to really eat anything. We hoped on a cramped tro, I would love to find an tro that has space for you to actually move your legs. I am holding out for that tro. Once I find it, I will pay the driver to move to my site and be my personal tro-tro driver. Until then… Anyway, so we settled in for the 4+ hour drive. The drive really isn’t that bad until you get near Techiman and the road goes straight to hell. Imagine the worst roads you have ever been on in your entire life in America. Now imagine having to drive on something 10x worse. Now imagine pot holes the size of small children. Now imagine no air conditioning and bad exhaust fumes. Now imagine awesomeness and happiness. Okay, just wanted to bring you back to my blog post. Glad you are back. So, we get past Kintampo and the driver pulls over near this dirt road and tells us American’s this is our stop and to get off. The volunteer told the driver where to drop us off, so we assumed this is the right place. Everyone told us the monastery was about 1-2km down the road from the main street. Little did we know…
So, most people took off down the road with their bags. I wanted to wait with Richie though because his bags were big and the rolly kind. A tro had come by and told us it would be back for us. So we waited, and waited…no tro, no taxis, we didn’t see the other Americans anymore. It was starting to get hairy. So we decided to walk down the road. We got about ¾ a mile when we see a tro headed toward us. I see in the front seat a white person. Uh oh.
All the other americans are sitting in the tro going the wrong way down the street. They tell us to get in. We sit down and they inform us that we are not staying at the monastery, but a hotel in Techiman. Why no one decided to pass that information along, is beyond me. So, now we are super pissed. No lunch, dropped off in the middle of nowhere, walked up a road to nowhere, and no we are on a crazy tro from hell going to who knows where, because our tro sure didn’t know. I am glad I had my tetanus shots, because I am pretty sure that tro was crawling with tetanus. Every bump I went from the sharp rusting door to the sharp rusting seat, back and forth. We all sat there and just kept our heads down and silently prayed, please [insert religion here] let me get where I need to go without dying in a fiery crash. Pretty please? We finally make it into Techiman, go to the wrong hotel, tro breaks down, restart tro, start heading out of town, pull over and ask for directions, no one knows where the hotel is, keep going, keep going some more, stumble upon hotel, tear out of the tro. At this point, I am covered in dirt, I am filthy, hungry, pissed, and my blood sugar is rock bottom. Needless to say, I had better days. The other Americans greet us all upbeat and chipper. They all look clean and refreshed. I snapped at them and sulked off to my room. After dinner I felt a little better, especially since I had packages waiting for me. Once I opened up the package from my mom that had a TOWEL in it, I started to have a better day.
So that’s how I managed to almost get stranded, lost, and close to tro death in Ghana!