Golden hour, 31/12/2018.
I was seated in a bamboo restaurant in the middle of a rainforest.
We had been driving the entire day & I was famished.
On the menu? Bushmeat, a healthy serving of banku and a cold bottle of CocaCola.
From my understanding, bushmeat was a delicacy in West Africa that consisted of undomesticated mammals, amphibians or reptiles hunted for food in tropical forests.
To be totally honest with you, I'm not sure which animal I ate that day, but it tasted like salty chicken.
Banku on the other hand was fermented maize and cassava ground to look like our local ugali.
A mix of anxiety and fear had to be quelled away by a spirit of adventure. To experience a place is to immerse yourself fully in to their culture. That meant, walk like them, talk like them and moreso eat like them.
With every bite I tried to cast away fears of disease as it was well documented that the Ebola virus spread through game meat.
But here I was, thousands of kilometres away from home and I was on an adventure.
The sun was setting on the last day of 2018 and I couldn't have chosen a better place to spend the last day of the year. Along the coast of Ghana exists a natural rainforest called Kakum.
The red dust that characterised the landscape draped itself on the leaves of the palm trees. The orange hue of the sunset bounced off the dust to give off a majestic display of bronze through the forest.
Strewn within the forest and between the palm trees you come across workers harvesting palm oil.
Their rhythmic pounding sounding ominous in the dense jungle. A symphony of wild sounds accompanied the pounding, chitters from fluttering birds and calls by the proud baboons all added to the rich experience.
Africa is a land that rewards the adventurous.
She is bursting with captivating stories but only if you will go off the beaten path for her. To explore this sacred land is to explore yourself. You must strip yourself bare and remove all presumptions.
Observe her intricacies. Love her complexities.
No two sunsets are the same but the intensity never falters.
Discover yourself through her diverse landscape and find your identity in her numerous cultures.
For this is what travel must do for the traveller. It must carve a different future.
One filled with intentionality and purpose.
With every mile covered, you must vow to never remain stagnant.
The malleable adapt with change while the rigid wither away.
The sun is getting lower and we must be heading back to Accra.
We are soon hurtling down the highway on a warm December night. The last night of the year.
A collection of my thoughts soon assemble and I have to give them attention. Inspired by my physical presence in a foreign part of my continent I consciously promise to make other African states a priority of my travel this year.
I want to feel the earth of this grand continent beneath my feet. I want to listen to her history. I want to tell her story. I want to feel her rhythm. I want to sing her song. I want to enjoy her different dialects and I want to teach our brothers and sisters how to speak our dialect.
And so here is to moving our bodies to the cadence of her drums so our hearts may beat as one.