Internet is very slow and intermittent, so posting will be unpredictable until sometime next month.
A day in Ghana
The heat sets in early. Kwame informed me that the shipment was ready for pickup, so we waited until the worst of the morning traffic was finished and began the journey to Tema. Kwame drove, and Kabi came along to help load the truck. There were a few administrative details to take care of--primarily the licence sticker on the truck had expired and had to be renewed. We drove the broken road up to Barrier, onto Winneba Road (a six-lane highway), headed west one junction to SCC and drove along a decent road to the licencing office. We were only mistaken for a trotro once, near the police barricade in SCC.
The licencing office was a series of simple buildings around a rough parking lot. After a few minutes we were on our way. Back on the Winneba Road, east in to Accra.
The main chokepoint is Malam Junction, where Winneba Road, which continues on toward the centre of the road, meets Kwame Nkrumah expressway, which leads off towards the airport. When the road was first built, it skirted the outside of the city, but since then the city has grown across the roadway and exploded into the virgin ground beyond. So now the expressway is wholly inadequate for the weight of traffic that tries to pass each day. Furthermore, as you approach the junction, Winneba Road (itself three lanes wide plus a dedicated lane for trotros separated by a concrete barrier) narrows to two lanes.
Making matters worse is the massive construction project whereby the junction will be made into an elevated interchange. Once completed this will greatly improve the flow of traffic through the junction (although without improving the rest of the road network, the jams will simply move elsewhere).
Improbably, we passed smoothly through the junction, being stopped only for a few moments by police to allow work vehicles to cross the road. We stopped for gas and discovered the truck was leaking oil. Next door was a fitting shop, but the mechanic advised us he would have to wait some hours for the engine to cool enough to open it up. So Kabi and I caught the trotro back to Barrier ("Kasoa! Kasoa direct!") and from there a shared cab back to the compound. The trotro cost 90 p (about 55c) and the taxi another 85 p for the last part of the trip. And with that, the day was done.