a good place to be stuck

a good place to be stuck

I missed the only bus back to Tamale today. Contrary to popular opinion here, I did not sleep in. It’s a rumour spread by the incompetent bus guy. I was up at 3.30, ready at 3.45, but there was a vast rainstorm that made it impossible to go outside (it rained 6 inches in 4 hours). I poked my head out, and the bus guy was standing there. “Not going yet,” he said with certainty. “you go back, I call you.” So I went inside and lay down, knowing my name and room number were on the list. The rain continued. Then dawn came. I went back outside. No bus. And everyone here smiles pityingly when I explain, and suggests that my phone may have an alarm clock I could set. It’s humiliating given that I’ve travelled at least 300 miles a day for the last week and a half, most of it before dawn.

But after the rain it’s cool and quiet, which makes it hard to be unhappy that one’s stuck for an extra day. Also, all the Ghanaians here are dressed up for the cold (it’s only about 30 degrees today because of the rain).



I sat around all day, cleaning the data I’ve collected so far (if you don’t know what that means, suffice it to say that it’s tedious). It was a beautiful day, I felt no need to go anywhere. Nor did the wildlife – the walks were cancelled today because all the animals go deep into the bush when it rains, since no one needs to drink. The elephants, I suspect, like to dry their ears and make sure they look their best before emerging. And the more nervous creatures have evolved not to need water for long periods – the kob can go three months, the other antelopes one. But today everyone drank, and no one got eaten. A good day in the bush.

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