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Hope in the Village

Despite Mare’s burning rash, we leave the cleanliness of our oasis, (KO-SA Resort) and challenge the African sun once again with a walk down the beach. We cannot reach the small fishing village, because of the skin on Mare’s stomach flaring with fiery bumps. We’re not sure what she has, but she seeks cool relief, and there simply are no air conditioners around these parts.

Countless signs along the beach read, “Do Not Swim Here” because of dangerous rocks and riptides. One small area, in between rocks that form a small bay allow for swimming. Ahh! Mare finally gets some relief from the cool water.

Cooling the Rash

Soothing Dip

A Ghanaian man, swimming in the small bay with his family, asks me if I would teach him how to swim. So, we do a few, “look this way, than look that way” strokes, and he wants to swim out beyond the rocks. He starts out, and I have to follow him, can’t resist. When I catch up to him, and see his eyes widen, I look seaward and prepare for a crushing wave. We laugh together, lying in three feet of water, almost back onto the beach.

In the small village of Apenyi, goats roam the streets along with chickens. We dodge piles of feces all over the street, and try not to fall into the uncovered sewer. Goats feast on the waste, as do the malnourished chickens. I mean, these chickens are almost as bald as I am.

Later that evening at the KO-SA dinner, I enjoy “Ampesi” which is boiled yam and plantain and…chicken. I figure that the fowl must be a fantastic filtration system.

I ask the proprietors, “Why don’t you serve any goat dishes?

They look at me and say in unison, “Have you seen what the goats eat in the village?”

“Well, yes, but what about the chicken?”

“We get our chickens from Brazil and the Netherlands.” Annelies grew more animated. “I don’t think that you should eat any cooked meat next to the sewage in the cities.”

I thank her for that advice, because I had already come close to doing that. She further explained that during rainy season, scores of people get sick and die. The sewers overflow, and even form small ponds in the cities and villages. The locals will often gather water from these receding ponds.

A New Beginning


In all of Mare and my travels, thus far, we hadn’t seen such massive filth and poverty. But even in these conditions, the folks act friendly, mannerly, do not over beg, and engage in meaningful conversations, often about how to improve their lives. I suppose we call this hope. I can only hope to appreciate my abundant life in a worthy manner.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kevan #

    So I guess going to walgreens and getting some calamine is probably not an option =).

    November 2, 2009
  2. Marilynn #

    LOL! If only………

    November 2, 2009
  3. Marilynn #

    LOL. If only……

    November 3, 2009
    • Laurie #

      Gosh, I hope your rash is better. Sounds like the conditions there are pretty awful. You guys make sure you take care. Are you going to stay there or move on? Nothing really new here. Am conversing with a guy on e-harmony, so maybe a date soon lol. Am moving the week-end before Thanksgiving. Need to get out of this house, too many bad memories. Anyway, you guys take care. Love you Laurie

      November 5, 2009
      • Marilynn #

        My rash is gone since finding some air conditioning and a cooler, dryer climate. Time to move on. Unfortunately it will be more heat and humidity I fear. Tomorrow we should be heading to Togo and then on to Benin. Take care and good luck w/the “date” and the move!

        November 5, 2009
  4. Ann #

    Have you figured out what this rash is from, i.e heat rash or fire ant bites? Did you take any medicine or first aid supplies? Hope you get to a place to cool down.

    November 4, 2009
    • Hi Ann,

      The rash seems to be from heat and humidity. A little Benedryl, and some time spent in a/c seems to do the trick. I’m in search of a wireless internet in order to post a few more stories.


      November 5, 2009

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