by Ryan Trinidad (written on August 7)
Today we travel to the Bonwire Kente Village. I’ve been waiting to come here since day one. Earlier during spring quarter, when we received our pre-departure presentations, one of our presenters brought Kente clothe. Since that time I knew I wanted to get a whole bunch of pieces. We arrive to the village and the locals give us a quick background about Kente. I waste no time and purchase 7 scarves and one bracelet. The clothes are priced by design and amount of clothe used. They go from single, to double, to triple clothe; triple being the most expensive of the three options. Most of the triple cloth scarves are priced at 25 Cedis each. But one thing we learned here in Ghana is to barter. If I were to buy each cloth for full price it would have been 175 Cedis. I came out of there and only spent 80 Cedis. I did work and got exactly what I wanted. We finish our journey to Kumasi with lunch. I order plantains, kontemere stew, and fish. It wasn’t my favorite dish here so far, but hey I’m just glad to try new foods…
We travel back to the area where the Manhyia Palace is to see part of the Akwasidae Festival. Locals are dressed in their traditional gear and you can hear the drums from the parking lot. We stay for the early parts of the festival. But long enough to witness the King enter the complex. It was very cool to be in the presence of royalty, my first time. It was everything I expected, but it was surreal being there in person to see the King arrive on his special carriage. People were fanning him, he was decked out in pure gold pieces, his whole demeanor yelled out royalty. A few people in our group have the chance to show their respects to the King and bow in front of him. It was a special time for those select few. Not to take away from their experience, but I decided not to bow to the King. I’m not the type to be star struck, therefore I decided to keep my distance and just enjoy his presence.
Our bus driver’s name is Kwesi, which is really cool because my Ghanaian name is Kwesi too. I have to say, he is the best driver on this earth hands down. The drive back to Accra lasted almost 8 hours. This drive consisted of crowded streets, countless potholes, and did I mention it was 8 hours long. I know I couldn’t handle it, and with that this is a shout out to our very talented bus driver, KWESI!!!