Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Happy 50th Ghana!

I bet these guys are headed to the parade, don't you think? Right thigh says "Welcome". Left thigh says"Akwaaba". Perhaps SJD noticed what was written on the rear (SJD says an eye was painted on each cheek) .

We just returned from a Ghana @ 50 Jubilee celebration at Independence Square here in Accra. There has been quite a lot of anticipation building up to today. Lots of freshly painted curbs. Plenty, plenty police and motorcades zipping around town. Seems almost like DC in some ways.

Most of Cantonments and bits of Osu were ghost towns. Seemed as though most of Accra was watching the parade. There was a lot going on that we could not get close enough to to see. Every now and then another cheer could be heard. It was quite a party even from the perimeter of the crowds.

First order of business, get a flag to wave.

I managed to be in the right spot at the right momemt as the Ghana Police started handing out the freebies from the back of a pick-up truck.

SJD, Giselle and I worked our way though some of the masses,

but declared defeat when the view of the parade (which was taking place inside the square surrounded by grandstands) did not improve. A Ghana Police officer spotted us amongst the crowd and offered unemcumbered passage to the front row for better viewing. We politely declined. It was intended to be kind I'm sure, but the special attention was rather embarrassing considering the other 100,000 or so Ghanaians straining for a better view of their party. The color guard below probably had the best view.

Back on 28th February Road people were really getting into the Tigo (cellular phone company)truck passing through the crowd with speakers pumping out some high-life music with dancers, bikers, unicycle riders, roller skaters all around all whizzing through the onlookers. Winnie the Pooh, resting on the roof, looks as though he has had enough excitement for one day.

Yes, there were more than a couple painted Ghanaians caught up in the mood.

We ran into the other Ghanaian cycling team (Dome Cycling) that I occasionally ride with.

The 50th year of independence is quite a milestone for Ghana and Africa. Congratulations!


Leanne said...

You crazy kids! We watched on TV and only ventured out late in the afternoon.

A couple of guys from our company were with the "VIP"s and sweated their sox off for six hours watching the extravaganza (their invitations said "formal or traditional dress", so they were in suits and ties!).

We have a flag on our gate and more 50th paraphernalia than you can shake a stick at. All those joyous Ghanaians were a hoot weren't they?

Brian said...

Perhaps we should have watched on TV too, since we can only imagine what we missed. We scored VIP tickets as well, but wisely passed thinking the dress code was a bit of a health risk if nothing else.

It was crazy, crazy, crazy. Quite different than how the US celebrates freedom and independence lately for sure. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your blog . I learnt A thing or two about my country .

enjoy ghana

Brian said...

Really? No...really? I'm glad you enjoyed it. We enjoy being here.