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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Today I tried a few new things: ate some passion fruit, sucked on some cocoa beans straight from the large husk (you don’t eat the bean itself, just the sweet coating it’s in), a new type of nut  that I can’t remember the name of and touched a crocodile.

After walking the canopy bridge at Kakum National Park again (why not?) with my Irish and English friends, I wanted to stop at a hotel on the way back that had a restaurant overlooking a lake with crocodiles. I didn’t realize you could get your picture taken with one and again figured, ‘why not?’

That is, until I got within 20 feet of it! One of the female employees guided me toward it and ensured me that it wouldn’t bite me. The way it’s body was turned, though, I kept having visions of it whipping its head around and taking my arm off. So, I took a break and then tried again after Douglas did it.

It wasn’t much, just a finger, but his eyes were on me and his buddy was making his way up the banks so I figured I should call it quits.

Even though I was the one who said I wanted to touch the crocodile, she literally had to drag me at first!

As close as I got on my first attempt.

I touched him! Even though my finger is not actually proving it in this picture, it happened a second later.

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So for the past week and a half my foot has been itching. It started off looking like three bug bites on top of my foot, which only made sense because they itched like crazy.

Then it started to spread.

I think part of me knew what it was and just hoped I was wrong. For those of you who don’t know, I have an illogical fear of worms. Their simple bodies and subsequent squirming disgusts me.

I had hoped that everyone was right and it was just a fungus. But after a few days of anti-fungal cream that I purchased from a store called ‘chemicals’, it had only spread more. So I went to a nearby hospital today and, yep, it’s a worm.

The doctor said the worms are carried by cats and dogs. In other words, the post I wrote yesterday about how playing with cats and dogs was a nice break was full of irony. That led to worms in my foot.

Given my illogical fear, I think I’m handling it fairly well. I’m just trying not to focus on the worm aspect and instead on the fact that I can now properly treat it and stop the itching! And I really did enjoy playing with those little guys.

Plus my dad shared this link with me and it put things in perspective. This is treatable. I’m fortunate to have the money to see a doctor and buy proper treatment. I have shoes. This was a fluke thing for me and not something I have to worry about all of the time.

Don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see a picture of my foot!

gross

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So I know I’ve mentioned the infamous tro-tro several times in the past few weeks. They are a staple here in Ghana and I’ve sampled quite a few of them. Lately I’ve been splurging a bit just to take my own taxi because it’s been hot and tro-tros usually involve cramming in next to lots of people.

This afternoon I’m probably going to suck it up, though, because tro-tros are the cheapest way to go. Unless you walk.

The video below was taken on my way to Kintampo Waterfalls, located just about halfway between the north and the south. The roads leading to our destination were a mixture of everything you can imagine: potholes, gravel, dirt, pavement. Luckily, they seemed to be doing some work on them so hopefully people will soon be riding more smoothly.

You may have noticed the woman in front of me was wiping her hair with a handkerchief. That was because we were traveling so fast that the amount of dust we managed to stir up was unbelievable.

Also, if you didn’t pick up on it from my story about the taxi driver’s handkerchief the other day, they’re commonly used when it’s hot out. Regardless, keeping the windows open was necessary in order to create airflow, so I arrived at Kintampo covered in a fine layer of orange dust.

No, contrary to how it may appear, I have not been fake tanning. That's just flakes the earth all over me!

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A matter of perspective

I haven’t felt very fearful while I’ve been here, and any time I have it’s mostly been attributed to driving. Which is why I shouldn’t be surprised that my scariest experience yet took place this evening in a taxi.

I guess I thought that the suspended walkways in the canopy of Kakum rainforest would terrify me most. But, no! Those weren’t too bad once you started moving and got over the fact that it felt similar to walking the plank (or so I’ve heard).

The canopy walkway at Kakum National Park.

The guide had asked us beforehand if anyone was afraid of heights. I didn’t raise my hand, even though I am. It seems to be situational for me, though, and depends greatly on how safe I feel. He assured us that ‘the only way anyone would fall is if they jumped.’ There was no way I was going to do that.

I just had to keep moving forward!

The trees surrounding us were never forested and, therefore, very tall.

So, once I got over the wobbling of the bridge it was very worth it. The view was beautiful, even though the animals seemed to be hiding from the very obvious tourist trap.

It also wasn’t too terrifying when, on our way back from Kakum, the tro-tro got a flat tire. I was confused as to why we were still driving, then realized the mate was hanging out of the window watching for the tire to completely deflate. Of course. I figured he had it under control, and sure enough he changed the tire in no time.

The mate changed the tire in about 15 minutes.

Taking pictures of the scenery while waiting in the rain.

But back to my taxi driver. I never got his name so I’ll just call him Ted. He said he’d take me for 10 cedis, which was a fair price, so I got in. Well after I closed the door he said, ‘you’re a rich white lady…give me 12 cedis.’ I laughed and told him I was a student and not rich and left it at that.

Well Ted was an interesting driver and aggressive honker. I’ve gotten used to people randomly speeding as fast as they can for a short stretch and switching lanes constantly.

Ted decided we were above that, though, and just got into the opposite lane to pass a long line of cars that were waiting for the light to change. He then got angry when no one would let him in. (Really? You’re surprised?) Another taxi finally did, though, and we waited in traffic some more.

Today was pretty hot, so I wasn’t surprised when he pulled out his handkerchief to wipe off some sweat. I was surprised when he first put the handkerchief inside his shirt to wipe out both armpits and then wiped his face. If you’re going to do that, at least switch up the order.

His disdain for congested traffic continued, but at times he just laughed at it deeply or spoke to himself. At one point he got out of the car, engine running, and it took me a second to realize he was peeing on the side of the road. The next time it happened, I understood. It’s common to see men peeing on the side of the road, I just didn’t realize it also happened while waiting for traffic. And, of course, Ted got angry that people passed his idling car while he was peeing.

Lots of honking, hard braking and random muttering later we made it close to home and I decided I would walk the last stretch of the way. And, I did end up paying him 12 cedis because traffic was bad. Then again, so was the ride. I’m just thankful that I have yet to experience worse.

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