After talking with Ellie of Aba Tours, I now have a tentative itinerary:
Saturday, Jan 27 – Arrive in Ghana
Jan 27 – Feb 1: Stay in Aba House (in Accra, the capital) and study goldsmithing/silversmithing, basketweaving, and beadmaking with local artisans
Feb 2-6: Go live in a weaving village in the Volta region while studying at a Kente weaving school
Feb 6-10: Go live in an Ashanti weaving village while studying handspinning, adinkra, and Ashanti weaving
Feb 10-16: Visit northern Ghana, study indigo dyeing (tied-resist, dipped in indigo)
Feb 16-18: Back in Accra, spend more time with local artisans, visit the central market and shop for craftwork
This sounds like it will be loads of fun, although a bit more time-constrained than I’d like. Three weeks is no way to see a country…a month would be better.
Other stuff I plan to do while in Ghana:
- visit a cacao plantation (yeah, I’ve been to cacao plantations in Belize and in Hawaii, but Ghana’s main export is cacao, and I hear they have good chocolate in the country, too)
- go to a wildlife preserve and see hippos, crocs, etc.
I’ve called up the travel vaccination clinic and will be going there next week for my vaccinations. (I’ve already sent my passport off for renewal.) Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to get into Ghana, and typhoid is probably a good idea (plus other stuff I don’t know about yet, will find out next week).
I’m really excited about all this–this sounds like the perfect vacation to me. And, if I can buy the flight using “points” from my credit card, it shouldn’t even be that expensive. I’d rather pay $60/day for room, board, and weaving lessons in an African village than $100/day for some American hotel, that’s for sure. I’m infinitely happier in a thatched mud hut, eating bats and bushrats, than in an air-conditioned hotel room somewhere in Hawaii. (Where are most people’s senses of ADVENTURE?? Or FUN?? Sheesh.)