There were just three weeks left for my sign-off from work and return back to my home country India. And there was a strong desire in me to go visit a village which was kind of far from where I live. My friend told me about this place whose family happens to live there. I called up a few friends of mine who’d be interested to join me and as a result of this desire, on 9th July’2016 we set out for Jethzongo in Kumasi.
We left out to catch a tro tro (tro tros are privately owned minibuses mostly found in Ghana) and around 1:30 pm we reached the VIP Bus Station at Accra Circle. Unfortunately, we had to wait till 4:30 pm waiting for all the seats to be filled and set out for Kumasi.
It started to rain pretty hard, when we reached Kumasi at 11:30 pm. It was getting dark so we hurried off to catch the next tro tro to Atebubu. Three seats were left to be filled and we were told that they wouldn’t leave until every seat is filled. It was already late and we couldn’t wait that long, so I paid for the remaining three seats and asked them to leave as fast as possible. It turned out to be a long journey and we were literally traveling through a dark and lonely forest in the middle of the night. And gradually found out that a lot of people have been looted here and is quite dangerous to travel at this time of the hour. Honestly speaking, we were rather tensed and hoped that nothing would happen. We finally reached Jethzongo at 2:30am.
We called up my friend’s relative and started walking to our destination in a dark and rainy night. At 3 in the morning we reached their house, tired. My friend’s family warmly welcomed us by preparing Jollof (a dish famous in West African countries) with egg and under the night sky we sat on a wooden bench and ate to our hearts content. Their house was a small hut and the whole village had no access to electricity. They prepared a bed for me at one corner and we all slept in that tiny hut. After a peaceful sleep, I woke up at 7am and drank a cup of tea offered to me.
I stepped out of the hut and a huge crowd were outside staring at me, waiting for me. It was quite startling but welcoming. As there was a language barrier, I introduced myself in English and my friend translated it to the eagerly waiting crowd.
I had brought some food along with me for them, as I knew the villagers here had barely enough food or water for consumption. We distributed it around and everyone ate it together and a lovely old lady kept everyone entertained with her jokes.
It was really hot out there and so I was offered a half bucket of water to take a bath, considering the fact that they barely have enough water to even drink, this was very generous of them. It was funny how I had a hard time taking a bath because a lot of people were around me. After it all, a sweet cup of tea was provided and we sipped it under the scorching sun.
By then, it was time for us to return. After bidding goodbyes to everyone, at 12:30 pm we went back in a tro tro and reached Accra at 11:30 pm and from there we all dispersed and I went back to my place, Tema. Each of us carrying a whole lot of memories with us.
This journey was very special for me as it was the first time I had visited a remote place, a beautiful place filled with warm people. But the poor condition they were in, distressed me a lot and I wanted to help them in a way I can. And that prompted me to go a second time to Jethzongo along with my wife on 16th September’2016.