Mole National Park, Ghana
It took two miserable days of travel to get to Mole: an 8 hour bus ride from Kumasi to Tamale arriving at 5:30 pm, a 4 am wake-up call to buy a Tamale-Mole ticket at the station after every local I encountered told me they’d sell out (they didn’t, and the bus wasn’t full), and a 2 pm departure that ended up being at 5:45 instead, on the dustiest road known to man in a bus with open windows. At least Jessica, Felix (both rejoining me direct from Accra), and I entertained ourselves during the long wait for the bus by chatting with children (after school, selling sachets of water, ginger, toothpaste, candy… anything their parents sold) who taught us some words in Dagbani and Twi. My poor attempts certainly got the other locals laughing. At least know I know how to say things like “good afternoon” (Dagbani: antsere), “what is your name” (ayuli), “ginger” (kakadro), and “is your mother in the house?” (Twi: u maame wo fie?) And of course, “thank you” (Dagbani: nan desugu, Twi: medaase), which always brought pleasantly surprised responses without fail whenever I used it.
We arrived in Mole around 10 pm, sweaty and covered in red dust. We all looked like we changed ethnicities and dyed our hair. All of this trouble is definitely worth it.