Volta Region Day 3: Monkeys and Kente

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Irritated by the previous night’s food service, we decide to skip breakfast at Mount Paradise and find something off the road to eat. Because it was Sunday and most people were in church, the options were limited. I ended up eating an entire loaf of plain white bread. Yay carbs! We then headed over to Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary.

After buying some bananas for the monkeys off the street, we paid our admittance fee and started our trek into the forest. Unlike many other sanctuaries, the monkeys at Tafi Atome are wild and roam the forest freely. Our guide led us down a muddy path, making a strange lip smacking sound to attract the monkeys. We thought we had gotten there at 8AM, thinking that was plenty early. Unfortunately several tourist groups had already past through and fed the monkeys, leaving them fairly satisfied. We were able to see two families of Mona monkeys. Max and I had the best luck at feeding them. I got to hold a banana while a little monkey peeled it and ate it out of my hand! Because they weren’t very hungry, none of them climbed on us. Despite this, I really enjoyed visiting Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary and would love to go back.

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Mona Monkey

We then got back into our trotro to head to our last destination in Volta, the Kente Village. Kente is a traditional woven fabric that was originally worn by kings for important occasions. As our guide told us, the people of the village were inspired by spiders building their webs. Thus in that village, it is taboo to kill spiders. We were taken to the “factory,” which was just a large room with a series of looms. Each loom belonged to a specific family. I found it interesting that both men and women weave kente as egalitarianism can be lacking here. After watching a demonstration, we were then given the opportunity to try weaving a bit. Weaving kente is difficult as it involves both your hands and your feet. It takes a lot of coordination which I lack. We then were showed some finished kente to buy. Apparently you were supposed to buy from the family of the person who showed how to weave. Abby and I missed that memo and we bought from someone else who had cheaper and prettier patterns. Our teacher proceeded to yell at us and convince us to buy some more from him. I firmly declined and once again thanked him for helping us. He was not happy.

Kente Cloth

Kente Cloth

Once we all bought some kente, we headed back to the trotro to begin our long trip home. We were starving, as we had eaten very little in the past two days. Thus we decided to stop in Accra to get some tasty vittles. We stopped at the Accra Mall, or the only mall in Ghana, to stretch our legs and get some pizza. The pizza was the best that I’ve had in Ghana (which in American standard isn’t saying much) and I inhaled four slices, some French fries, and an ice cream. It was the first time all weekend that I was actually full. We stopped at the grocery store and I pick up some cheese and chocolate—two staples sorely missed in my current diet. We then got into the tro for the last time and headed home. We arrived back in Cape Coast around 8:30PM and I promptly went to bed.

YAY CHEESE!!

YAY CHEESE!!

Despite a few negative experiences (lack of food, hellish hike, etc), I adored the Volta region. I would definitely add it to any must-see list for anyone traveling to Ghana!

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