I am off to Ghana again! Yay! Inbound to JKF airport on Delta where I am to connect to a direct flight to Accra. So why does the gate seem to be the most hectic scene at JKF. You would think it was first come first served! Oh Ghanaians. I just sat back and watched the madness unfold. Afterall I have an assigned seat. I’m not sure about the others given how they are behaving. It wasn’t any better on the plane itself. People trying to fit their super-size “carry-on luggage” into Delta’s mini-size overhead compartments. After an unsuccessful attempt, the man who was to sit next to me, and hog the armrest and my personal space for the flight, asked the flight attendant if he could keep the bag in the aisle. I had to stop myself from laughing out loud.
The flight was fine. Delta is certainly not British Airways. I would have been mad if I really wanted to watch the in-flight entertainment. Delta is already losing points. On the bright side, the flight was short – a little under ten hours.
Arrival in Ghana was as expected. Everyone clapped upon touchdown. The novelty of that has worn off. We walked off onto the tarmac and the humid air hit us to remind us we were in Africa. Yet, it was much cooler than the 90F heat wave in Boston I had just escaped.
Daddy was on the tarmac to greet me. Unexpectedly, I had become VIP. No hot crowded shuttle bus and no long lines at immigration for me. A quick chauffeured ride from the plane to my very own immigration line consisting of me, myself, and I. Aah! This is how to travel.
Ghana! Back here again. As I strapped myself into the front passenger seat after leaving the airport, my father mocked my American way. I flash back to one of countless travel clinic sessions where I counsel my patients to be mindful of vehicular safety because contrary to popular opinion, the most likely cause of death from travel to “an exotic destination” is not being eaten by a lion, trampled by an elephant, and not even succumbing to malaria, but rather death due to motor vehicle accidents.
So, as I finish off my thoughts, I hear my father still talking, “…Eh, did I tell you, one of Mr. J – do u remember him? – one of his sons died yesterday in an STC bus accident. An articulated truck run right into the bus. 15 dead on the spot… He was one of them, coming to Accra for a workshop for his job. Young boy, nice boy, the first son. Just last month, we were all together, laughing, having a good time…now this…gone…just like that …”
So began my vacation.