I left Amedzofe sans one pair of underwear and various other conveniences, and headed back to Ho to get some money and use the internet. From Ho, I had to go back towards Amedzofe to the town of Fume. From Fume, I would walk the few kilometers to the Mountain Paradise Lodge. I hadn't planned on staying at the lodge when I read about it in the guidebook, but after passing through on my hike the previous day, it looked so nice that I just had to stay for the weekend. I paid Wisdom, my guide from the day before, for two nights, and settled into my tiny room. As I had already walked all the trails and roads in the surrounding area, there wasn't much to do but sit back and relax. As I was doing some crossword puzzles on the porch overlooking the forested valley below, I got to talking with two Holes (Poland > Poles, Holland > Holes). Eva and Reneke were two eccentric older women who were just spending a few weeks traveling around Ghana as well. There wasn't much else going on, so the three of us played poker using leaves and berries and a few other games that the lodge had available.
During my second day at the lodge, I decided to walk the 6km to the town of Vane. The bumpy dirt road going towards town took me past patches of farmland and through the small town of Biakpa. Everyone I passed greeted me with a pleasant "you're welcome." It was a bit strange at first, but it really does make you feel, well...welcome! Also, the children playing in the street or at nearby houses all run out to wave and say hello when you pass. Usually what will happen is that I will hear a 'hello' or 'good afternoon' and wave at some little kid somewhere. They will then yell something in Ewe (the language of eastern Ghana), and I'll hear the slapping of many little flip-flop wearing feet and come around a corner to find a small crowd of kids waving and yelling "you're welcome." While it does get somewhat tiring to have to wave and smile every time I pass someone, I suppose it's kind of my duty as an obruni.
Anyway, the weekend at the lodge flew by, and before I knew it, I was on a tro-tro heading to the town of Kpando. I'd decided that it would be a shame to visit Ghana and not spend some time on the world's largest artificial lake (Lake Volta), and figured that the best way to see the lake and not lose too much time was to take a ferry across and make my way to the eastern part of the country via a little used road heading to Kumasi. This also allowed me to bypass going through Accra again. Not that I didn't like Accra, but I hate to have to backtrack too much, so it worked out well. I arrived in Kpando and made my way to Catherine's Guesthouse, where the caretaker immediately took me back into town to eat at some restaurant. He seemed to be only slightly delusional, and completely harmless. He seemed to think he was an 'elder' of sorts, and kept telling me how he was a leader and how it was his job to solve problems for people. It's possible that he actually was, but would have preferred to explore the town on my own. He wasn't having it, however, and insisted that I follow him around for the evening. I finally managed to get away, but later passed him on the road where he told me to wait for him. I waited for almost 30 minutes until I finally gave up and ran into a Peace Corps volunteer named Tim. He took me to a stall where we got good, greasy egg sandwiches and then to a nearby bar. We had a few drinks and met up with a few of the other volunteers and expats living and working in Kpando. I hadn't planned on staying out so late, but by the time I left the bar, it was close to ten and very dark. It was a moonless night, and trying to find the side road that led to my guesthouse in the dark didn't go so well for me. Kpando only has electricity until around 6pm, and without any light (my flashlight was stolen), it was pretty much hands-out-in-front-so-you-don't-hit-anything all the way. Of course, I got semi lost, and was helped by some random kid. Don't worry, it really wasn't as dangerous as it sounds.
I'm slowly catching up in my blog entries. My time has run out here, but I hope I'll be up to date soon. I'm still about a week behind, but I'm getting there. Take care out there.