An Adventure Across Africa

I apologise for the silence on the blog recently. Since my last post on Dublin, I was Home on 5 days off for a friend from home wedding! Then straight after that it was back to Manchester as crew which I never really write on as it isn’t overly exciting, then I had a few days off and some turn arounds before I finally ventured to a new country for me; Ghana!

We departed Dubai at 7:35am and it was 8 and a half hours over to Kotoko International Airport in Accra. Landing just after lunchtime we made our way across to the hotel and had arranged to meet for dinner a few hours later. None of the crew were overly enthused for doing very much other than laying out by the pool and tanning, so I joined one other girl from First Class and a guy from Business and we walked out to the market nearby to purchase some locally produced shea butter.

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I felt so incredibly different walking around with many of the local people staring at me as I walked by. But all were very friendly and wanted to chat, despite trying to rip me off knowing I was a tourist! 

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As we walked into the market there were people with stalls selling everything you can imagine. Parasols upon parasols were connected to one and other to keep shelter from the suns strong rays. And as we walked in and out of the sunlight and shade, we browsed all the different products on offer. We were actually looking for a woman named Mamma Sofiah who is a crew favourite when sourcing Ghana’s natural product shea butter. Hidden away in her own little stall, she greeted us warmly and scooped out numerous balls of the beautifully creamy butter for next to nothing. I paid 10 cedis for such a huge amount of butter and I couldn’t wait to head back and use it!

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Whilst I waited for the other two who were stocking up for their friends too, a little girl came running over to me called Edith. She spoke a little French which I tried to converse with her slightly but with the music playing in the background, all she wanted to do was dance with me and we stood dancing in the middle of a market dancing to some African music!

It was back to the hotel then and I got changed and ready to go and meet some of the crew for food and drinks. We had a lovely evening soaking up the last of the days sun as we watched the sun go down and chatted well into the night before going to bed.

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It was up at 10:30 the next morning as we were doing a quick 45 minute shuttle to Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and back again before we got another 24 hour layover in Accra.

However, after landing into Abidjan, some technical difficulties were experienced at the airport and we ended up waiting on the runway for 5 hours for a solution. With it being a holiday in Abidjan, we weren’t able to get sorted and after the delay we were told that we would be staying overnight at a hotel before we flew back the next morning! A bit of a nightmare for me as I’d accidentally left my phone in the hotel room, and as we were just doing a short turn around flight we didn’t have any of our belongings with us! No make up, no underwear, no nothing! So I’d love to be able to show you how I ticked off country number 54, but sadly I didn’t have a phone with me to show you!

When we arrived at the hotel, we grabbed dinner as crew as we waited for our rooms and then went up to bed to sleep for 10 hours so that we would be legally rested to operate the flight back. I got up to my room and showered without trying to splash my face to remove the make up I had on. I got into bed, not really too sure what to do with myself. I didn’t realise how much I used my phone! I turned on the tv to look for an English Channel only to find BBC World News and watched that on loop until I eventually fell asleep.

I woke up the next morning and wondered what to do, it was a beautiful day and I would have loved more than anything to go out and explore this new country that I was fortunate enough to visit with work. I tried calling reception for an update, but my room phone also wasn’t working (communication it seems was not on my side) and not wanting to miss my wake up call, it was back to watching the news and just waiting it out. About 45 minutes later the phone finally rang and it was time to go back downstairs and meet the crew to go back to Accra. I’ve learnt now to always pack some things in my cabin bag, as you never know what may happen. So some underwear, make up, a phone charger and some deodorant will be going in my bag from now on!

After another 3 sectors (Abidjan to Accra, Accra to Abidjan, Abidjan to Accra), due to all the legalities of the three different crews we were interacting with, we finally got back to the hotel that evening around 6pm and most importantly, me back to my phone after being off the grid for 36 hours! The crew had again arranged to meet downstairs once more for some well deserved dinner and drinks at the hotel who were barbecuing fresh fish for us, which eventually turned into a night out in Accra! What an experience that was!!

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Whilst we were away the Christmas tree had also been put up!

The next morning, I woke relatively late and went down to the pool and bumped into Julia with of my fellow economy crew and we sat in the sunshine enjoying some lunch before our wake up call that evening.

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What was exciting though, was that due to our previous duties and our trip being extended by one day, we weren’t legally rested to operate the flight back and we would be deadheading! For those of you who don’t know what deadheading means, its when you are paid to travel back as a passenger rather than working the flight for operational reasons. Usually, you travel back in Business Class. However, there were 7 of us deadheading and only 4 seats available in business. Unfortunately it goes in order of seniority and I was 5th in line, so it was economy for me, Julia and Marc, but we kept each other company and the crew looked after us great!

I slept most of the way back, and landed into Dubai feeling incredibly refreshed. How lovely to be paid to be a passenger, if only that happened more often haha.

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Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post too, I don’t know what was up with me on this trip, so I hope my words conveyed the message of the trip. I get my new iPhone tomorrow and I cannot wait to try out the new camera on it, so keep an eye out for my next post which is also a new destination for me to tick off!

As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more daily updates:
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