Current Location: Tema, Ghana / 7° 23′ 27″ N, 0° 55′ 12.24″ W
As of late, sleep is hard to come by. It has been more of a distant waiting for morning and the unknown, finally shutting down the brain at 12am--and up again by 3am. A symphony of Muslim chants from a nearby mosque begin at 4, overtaken by a rythmic swish of a broom in the streets by 5. I'm tired. I'm cranky. And I'm in need of a good meal.
Filming in Ghana is an experience unlike any other I've ever had. The weather melts you like butter, the dirt and dust sprinkles on you like cinnamon on a Starbucks frappuccino latte expresso grande (whatever that is). And if you're looking to get around, I suggest taking a dosage of Gravol before venturing out--it's going to be a bumpy ride. The pot holes on the road resemble that of moon craters, and the traffic is worse than rush hour in New York City. The funny thing is, even when there's no traffic, the pot holes slow you down anyways, making it extremly difficult--if not impossible, to break (or meet) the posted speed limit of 70km/h.
As for money, just like any cash based economy where the currency is so devalued it hurts, Ghanaians tend to count bills by the thickness of the bankroll rather than tediously fanning through the notes. According to our hotel receptionist, it's around 9100 Cedis to 1 U.S dollar, 16,500 to 1 Euro. The biggest note is a 20,000, making hiding your cash a bit of a joke. Is that a brick in your pants? No, just lunch money. That's how we roll here in Ghana!
Malaria is not to be taken lightly and the ‘zones’ or ‘bands’ in which it plies its ugly trade are growing every year. The strongest, deadliest strain can be found in the band that stretches across West Africa. To battle malaria, I'm currently taking Malorone, the new ‘safe’ pill on the block--it's even advertised in the New Yorker. And according to the ad, it has fewer side effects than Larium. I highly doubt it though. I've only been on it for 7 days and already the vivid dreams kick in. Dead and alive, family, friends and strange celebrities I’ve never met populate my nocturnal haze with acid-flashback intensity.
We're travelling to a rural village tomorrow to film sunrise and early morning life in Ghana. I will be updating soon with photos when the internet service is more reliable. Be well to all.