The Nimble Finger-Eater and other Ghanaian Wheels I have Known

My first venture into the country of Ghana has gone by quickly. On the whole, it has been a marvelous experience. I have little room to complain. However, if forced to identify one persistent challenge to my visit, it would have wheels.

Before I tell you about our problem vehicles, let me tell you about three that were not a problem.

Swinging in the Rain(forest)

Edem, KK, James, and myself get the the skinny from the Park Guide. The “swing,” as he calls it, is a third of a mile long, half a football field above the ground, and is “suspended from seven solid trees.” The “solid” part is of interest. I would hate to dangle a half a football field from something less than “solid.”

The Door of No Return

The tunnel leads from the dungeons to the harbor.

At the end of the tunnel hangs an ominous sign: “Door of no return.”

Through this door human beings were marched from the bowels of the castle to the holds of slave ships. The transition from a stone to a wooden prison offered the captives one last gaze to the African sun. They would not see it, their families, or their homes again.

The African Bush Elephant

Moses of the wilderness talks as we follow tracks in Mole National Park. He is a a wealth of knowledge.

He describes the African bush elephant’s keen sense of smell.

“If someone tries to hurt him, he will take the smell. If that person comes back again, even after many years, twenty years maybe, the elephant will remember and attack him.”

I try to remember what I ate for breakfast. (Pause.) It is already a lost cause.

Moses in the Wilderness

We stand on a bluff overlooking the largest wildlife refuge in the country of Ghana. Mole (MOH-Lay) National Park unrolls under our feet, soft and green in the rainy season. Life abounds in this savanna wilderness: baboons, warthogs, birds, crocodiles, antelope, and snakes await the curious traveler, as do lions. But we have driven a long and difficult road looking for an even more majestic beast: the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana).