Friday, November 14, 2008


Although I am enjoying my stay here in Ghana, there are many things I miss about my home in California, and Disneyland is one of them. I love the happiest place on earth!

I’m lucky, though, because, believe it or not, in many ways, Ghana reminds me of Disneyland.

Sitting in the passenger seat besides Sister Juliana as she drives out of our neighborhood feels exactly like the Indiana Jones Ride. The 4-wheel drive bumps along the dirt road full of dips and holes. With each bounce, I am thrown inside the car in every direction until we get to the main, paved road. I close my eyes and imagine I’m in the Temple of Doom, barely avoiding the fangs of a giant snake. It makes me smile. I love the Indiana Jones ride!

I was also lucky to experience something like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and even luckier that I survived to write about it. On our road trip to Kumasi, there were some parts of the highway with massive, numerous potholes in the middle of the road. Instead of slowing down to go over them, Ghanian drivers maintain their 80 kmp speed and just swerve around them. I could hear the Mr. Toad music in my head as I gripped the handle next to me, trying to steady myself as I was jerked all around. When cars came speeding towards us from the opposite direction, I closed my eyes and imagined our car swerving back to the right side of the road in the nick of time, just like on the ride. Luckily, it did.

During the road trip, driving on the parts of the highway without traffic or potholes reminded me of Thunder Mountain. We drove ridiculously fast, passing slower cars, over slight hills, around mountains... but being in a car surrounded by other equally reckless drivers all around made the Ghanian version of Thunder Mountain much scarier than Disneyland.

We have something here called “Lights Off,” which are basically rolling blackouts. They cut the power unexpectedly at any time of day or night. The lights go out, computers shut down, and fans stop spinning. Whenever the lights unexpectedly go out, I imagine being in a small, hexagonal room whose walls grow bigger and bigger, listening to a creepy voice narrating the horrible things about to happen to me. Yes, Ghana has its Haunted Mansion moments. When we have “lights off,“ I never look up, because I’m afraid of seeing a skeleton hanging from the ceiling like on the ride.

I haven’t experienced this yet, but I really can’t wait until I discover in what way Ghana will remind me of the Jungle Cruise! I want to see an elephant SO badly!

So please don’t worry about me missing Disneyland too much. Ghana basically is Disneyland, except without castles, fireworks, or Mickey Mouse.

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