Welcome to GHexpat

The purpose of this blog is to encourage visitation to and tourism within Ghana.  I guess you can say that it is geared specifically towards the African Diaspora.  But I'm not a racist and can see how spending time in this country can be beneficial to people from all over the West, as well as some other parts of the world.  In fact I even have a White American friend who has basically expatriated to Ghana.

ABOUT MYSELF

I was born and raised in Brownsville / East New York, an area which is recognized as being one of, if not the most violent, crime-ridden part of New York City.  Later in life I was able to attend Hofstra University, one of the better schools in the state - and eventually earn a B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Africana Studies.  This was made possible via the intervention of certain concerned individuals who are actually of Afrocentric leanings.

Awhile before I went to college or even knew that I would be going, I read Alex Haley's Roots (1976).  This book was part of a small library my mother had for as long as I can remember.

Mom Cheese herself is not an Afrocentrist, and I don't think any other books in that library were either, if you want to classify Roots as such.  And I was never compelled to read it, until one day I just picked it up out of the blue for whatever reason I can't remember.  And I felt the book, even though I never particularly like that Roots television series.  But anyway, once I started reading it, I couldn't stop.  And that novel, which is over 600 pages long, was the first really-long book I ever read.

The most-interesting part, at least to me, was the beginning.  That's when Haley is talking about the traditional African culture that Kunta Kente came from.  Since I have learned more about African cultures myself, I think the one that Haley depicted would actually be a composite of different societies put together.  For instance even though Kunta Kinte is supposed to be from the Gambia, the Kinte part of his name was most likely from Ghana, where "Kente" cloths are made.  And just as a side note, there also seems to be this prevailing rumor that Alex was enstooled as a chief here in GH.  But it seems that when he did come to Africa, in 1977, he rather visited the Gambia, where he had ascertained that his ancestors (including Kunta) had come from.

But it's all good anyway.  Ghana is known as "the Gateway to Africa" for a reason.  And I always suggest that people from the West who are visiting the continent for the first time, unless they're going on specific business elsewhere, stop here first.

ABOUT THIS BLOG

Maybe this blog is something I should have started a long time ago, but it's like they say here in GH, "God's time is best."  And let me clarify that I do not consider myself a tourist.  But my life has evolved such that for the last few years I've been staying primarily in guesthouses and hotels and moving around quite a bit.  So it's like why not take advantage of the opportunity and put together this blog?

And yes, I do consider myself an expatriate - for lack of a better word.  I left the US some years back vowing to never return, and thus far, as difficult as it has been, I've been able to accomplish that task.  I didn't come over here with a bunch of money like most American expatriates do, and there are certain things I learned along the way that I wish I knew from the jump.  And that's another reason for this blog, to help advise properly people who may be thinking of making a similar leap of faith, since I didn't really have that advantage when I came over.

Also, the fact that I had to hustle locally has made me familiar with the system in a way that many other foreigners may not be.  That's what I really feel qualifies me to work on this project perhaps more than anything else.  Most travel blogs tend to focus on the cushiest places imaginable.  But again, I'm not touring.  When I move from one place to another, I usually stay for at least a month.  So I'm not writing as someone who pops up in a hotel for a couple of days with dollars in hand and is resultantly treated like a king.  Instead, I'm writing as person without an excess of money who patronizes these establishments for the most practical of reasons and in the process has learned to survive in different environments as an individual of foreign upbringing.  But along the way, I hope to hit up a few cushy spots also.  Ultimately, outside of affordability, what determines how long I stay in a guesthouse or hotel is usually and simply how long I can tolerate the place.

SO, INTO THE FUTURE... 

My plan, in the near future, is to upload a searchable database of hotels I'm personally familiar with and recommend, as well as surrounding services which may be of particular interest to the likes of tourists, foreigners and expatriates.  So let's hope this project goes well and I'll be able to traverse the entire country (and eventually, the Motherland at large!) to help readers make educated choices when it comes to doing your thing in GH.

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