Posted by: mhirdyounger | April 4, 2012

Riding to Ejura

I feel some of the sweat finally start to evaporate from my arms, chest and neck from a light cross breeze.

We are finally on the road to Ejura, after thirty minutes of piling into the TroTro (mini bus) and another hour of bumper to bumper; taxis squeezing between each other and somehow still leaving room for the ladies selling water sachets, yelling Pure Watah, Pure Watah, Puurrree Watah!

Looking out the window, over the people in front of me (at least twenty of them crammed into the small space, and that doesn’t even include the chickens, babies and veggies among them), I start checking out the TroTros we pass on the road. These Tros are piled unbelievably high and sometimes look close to falling apart – I can picture a cartoon caricature of the whole thing falling to pieces as the it hits a pothole. Last week I was walking past one in the market when the door just fell off, glass shattering everywhere, luckily there was no one inside.  Some Tros are piled so high with bags and things for the market that they are double their regular height. This one in front of us almost looked ready to tip as it veered around a corner – but somehow these drivers have learned the perfect balance of how much to load and how to drive it so that everything stays in its teetering pile.

Besides the other Tros, the scenery is also spectacular on the way to Ejura. It’s all huge lush hills.  It has started to rain in the South, so everything has turned very green.

Once I get tired of scenery, I start to people watch – there are definitely enough of them jammed into the Tro to keep you busy. I look down, searching for the little boy sitting on the other side of his mother that I had played peek-a-boo with during the bumper to bumper start of the drive. I couldn’t seem to see him, until the gentlemen on the other side reached down and picked him up from under the seat where he’d fallen asleep. He puts the boy on his lap and wraps his arm around him to give him a little cradle for sleeping. I realize that this is not even his father – just an example of the community and family connectedness that I so love about West Africa.

I feel that same cross breeze blow my hair more and more as we pick up speed outside of Kumasi. Then I realize where the breeze is coming from: rather than doors behind me, there are huge woven baskets full of veggies, piled high. Don’t even ask me how they were secured. So just like those Tros I was observing, I am also sitting in a precarious, teetering, finely balanced, twenty + person Tro. I now see why people pray before a journey and at the end as we pull into the Tro yard.

Tros have to be one of the most overwhelming, hot and interesting experiences to be had here. Oh, the places you’ll go on a Tro!

These trees are in full bloom now that the rainy season as started – just beautiful!

Looking over the people in front of me in TroTro on my way to Ejura.

This picture is actually from Burkina, because I don’t have one yet of a fully loaded TroTro in Ghana…but it gives you an idea of how loaded these Tros really are, and I have to say that this one is not even close to as loaded as some others that I have seen…

**Pictures to be added later, my internet in Ejura is unfortunately too slow for loading pictures**

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Responses

  1. LOVE this post as it really outlines the experience of riding on a tro-tro or minibus. I remember how the ones in Accra were so intimidating because there were men hanging off the side of it yelling the location it was heading and you had to hop in while it was still moving.
    My most memorable tro ride was in the rainy season on the way back from Kpandai (where the worst road in Ghana is). Pouring rain, lightning and thunder, pretty much swimming the entire way back. I made friends with the woman next to me as that day we prayed…oh did we pray.

    Thanks for sharing the story!

    Much Love,
    Siera

    • Hey Siera, Thanks for your response and for sharing your own tro stories. They seem to really run the gambit, last week I was even in a tro with air conditioning and a TV playing a Nigerian movie. Definitely very different experience from the tro that we all took to Bolgo with the seats in front of us crushing our legs on each speed bump, I still wince at the memory…

  2. […] I am writing from Ejura Agricultural College. The first time I took the Trotro here from Kumasi was my first day on my own as an EWB African Program Staff and my first […]


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