My Hotel Was Cancelled in Ghana and It Was the Best Thing That Happened to Me...
Accra, Ghana: Week 1
There’s this AfroBeats song that goes, “party after party” that’s really famous. I know why now- Ghana during the holidays does not sleep. But you know who does? Krista and I.
Let’s start with why I’m even in Ghana in the first place. In early 2019, Ghana, with the help of some American celebrities, deemed that 2019 would be called the Year of Return. They invited descendants of the continent to return to the motherland to experience a heritage and culture that was stripped from them. I knew I had to go.
As you all know, I travel often and on a whim. My coworker, Krista, voiced to me that she’d be down to go to Ghana. She had a chance to visit while she was in college, but unfortunately was unable to go.
So in good ole Alexa fashion, we bought our plane tickets in July, and set off to plan the ultimate return.
We arrived to Accra on January 27th. When we landed, I could just feel a shift in the atmosphere. I felt at home. I was excited but I was feeling worried about our hotel accommodation. I have really good intuition, and something was just poking me in the pit of my stomach.
When we got to the hotel, we checked in and the man working the front desk immediately ran to the back of the hotel. Like, Usain Bolt dashed to a manager. I knew something was up. He shyly walked back and informed us that the hotel emailed us (they did not) and our reservation was never confirmed by them (it was).
So here we are, sweaty as all hell, several suitcases in hand, and homeless during one of the busiest weeks in Accra. Booking.com’s policy is for the hotel to help us get accommodations elsewhere. I told the receptionist this, and he looked at us and said “Everything is booked so… not sure what to do.”
It was one of those “God I can only laugh and pray right now” moments. I sighed, accepted my mini defeat, and launched into problem solving mode.
Our Ghanaian-American friend, Kwamina, was luckily staying down the street from us. He sat there with us for hours until we had a confirmed place to stay. It wasn’t in the happening areas of Accra, but it was a studio apartment just minutes away from East Legon.
Little did we know, not staying there was the best decision we ever made.
Our realtors, Musah and Gilbert, turned out to be the kindest people ever. We hung out with them a ton, and they showed us around the city. Gilbert’s mom even hosted a party for us at their home in Ogbodjo, where we tried homemade fufu and light chicken soup. Krista and I literally bought and held the chickens made for the soup (don’t worry I vlogged that experience.)
Ogbodjo felt like real Accra, not the watered down version tourists get on their quick 5 day Ghana trip. We woke up every morning to the roosters. Once, we woke up without power. Our neighbors listened to gospel music every morning. I chased street chickens constantly. But most importantly, the people were the sweetest. We would constantly get lost in our neighborhood, and so many amazing people would offer to help us navigate our way home. The woman who ran the local restaurant down the road, sat down and explained every meal to us. We felt incredibly loved.
Krista and I sat down and realized had our hotel not been cancelled, we would've never had this incredible experience. It reminded me that sometimes you truly have to make lemons out of lemonade (even if those lemons are rotten and sweaty.)
Our first week in Accra consisted of a couple of blackouts (the lights not from intoxication), an amazing music festival, and lots of jollof rice. I'm excited to share more about my experiences in Ghana with you all!
It had only been one week, and Ghana had swiftly captured my heart.