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SAP Sustainability Shea Project Blog Post 3 : First Impressions…

Rainy season downpour in northern Ghana

The first day in Tamale, the downpour started in the morning around 7.  I called the taxi driver that was recommended by one of the partners from Planet Finance, to pick me up around 8 AM, just after my breakfast. With my heavy suit case full of the hardware equipment I was delivering from Germany, I sat down and waited to be picked-up.  I heard about the rainy season.  I even experienced this while growing up in Korea, but didn’t expect this!   A shower is definitely an understatement.  Waterfall seems to be a more accurate description.  After almost 30 minutes of waiting, my taxi driver finally pulled up to the hotel.  It was my second day in Ghana and I was already learning fast that waiting is the basic essential I had to get into my system.  I managed to throw in my heavy carry-on luggage into the back seat and then, as quick as I could, I also threw myself into the taxi trying to save myself from the waterfall pouring off the porch roof.  As soon as I touched down on the seat, instinctively I sprang up because the seat was completely soaked, like a wet sponge!  The driver told me he forgot to close the windows when the rain began and apologized for the situation.  What a gentle and friendly driver, at whom you can’t really frown!  So, I scooted over to the other side of the taxi behind the driver, and then realized that he didn’t even have a window on his side.  A big stream of water started pouring next to my right leg through the leaky roof.  I tried to twist myself to fit between the missing window and the water streaming from the roof, while protecting my suitcase as we drove on to the road.  But, the rain got even heavier, and soon, we couldn’t see anything!  I just noticed the wind shield wipers weren’t working at all!  Actually, nothing was working except the engine.  Every part of the car was broken…air bag was replaced with a stuffed towel and the ignition was done manually by wire connection, not by the key.  The internal roof was hanging loose and the side mirrors were all broken.  I couldn’t believe how such car could actually be still on the road.   It was the worst car I have ever seen, but my partner told me later, I hadn’t seen it all yet.  What a way to begin the visit to Africa!  Thinking that this was a real Africa experience, the only thing I could do was laugh out loud despite the situation.

The picture of the same taxi taken during a sunny day

In the end, after driving about a kilometer, close to a suicidal attempt of the blindfold driving, the taxi driver had to turn back to my hotel.  The road was quickly turning into a brown river and we could have gotten stuck out there and my hardware would have gotten totally fried.  I called in the office and they sent me a dry taxi after another 20 minutes of waiting.  The new taxi was still nothing like I had seen back home but at least it was dry.  Thinking that this is definitely one of the craziest experiences I would ever experience, I couldn’t stop smiling with curiosity on what other adventures were ahead of me.

To be continued….


See the related blog posts on SAP Sustainability Shea Project Ghana Trip by navigating arrow buttons next to the title on top.

Post 1  How is SAP Helping the World in the Bottom of Pyramid?
:SAP Sustainability Shea Project Blog Post 2 : Here Comes the Stilettos City Girl to Crack Ghanaian Shea Nuts!

Post 2 Here Comes the Stilettos City Girl to Crack Ghanaian Shea Nuts!
:SAP Sustainability Shea Project Blog Post 1 : How is SAP Helping the World in the Bottom of Pyramid?

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