Then, I visited the workshop. The beads are so colorful and unique. They’re almost like a mosaic because they’re so detailed and vibrant. This is the best place to buy local jewelry, as you’re getting it straight from the source.
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My day began with my guide Nii Laaye at Independence Square, also known as Black Star Square. It’s the site for Ghana’s annual Independence Day parade and is located next to Accra Sports Stadium and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. The monument celebrates the country’s independence from the British in 1957!
After eating, we went downstairs to meet Judy at their takeout window, where they cook banku, tilapia, and killer willy. The tilapia is grilled and topped with tomato sauce and vegetables.
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I got to see the bottles, which they wash and clean. Then. they break them down into a powder. The powder goes into molds along with dyes, and the molds go into the furnace. After the glass melts, they shape the beads, add holes, and let them dry. Then, the woman wash the beads and use them to make bracelets and necklaces.
From there, we drove back to the Osu neighborhood of Accra, which is where I was staying. We headed to Buka Restaurant, a beautiful building where you can try lots of local dishes. I really wanted to try the waakye.
I ordered some waakye, a popular breakfast food that contains black-eyed beans and rice. It comes with cabbage, gari (cassava flour), goat meat in a tomato stew with egg, chilies, and shito. The rice and beans reminded me of arroz con frijoles. It had a really unique flavor and a delicious aroma!
The hibiscus jam was also really nice and wasn’t too sweet. Then, we drove back to Oxford Street in Accra. I went back to the same vendor I met on my first night and bought some banku, grilled tilapia, and shito to take to my hotel, OLMA Colonial Suites. It smelled so good! I picked away some of the bones and tried the banku with tilapia and shito. The shito was like a super spicy salsa. The meat of the fish was juicy and flavorful and I loved the thick, pasty banku. This West African food in Ghana was blowing my mind!
My final day in Accra before exploring the rest of Ghana was a wild whirlwind of events! Join me as I try an authentic West African food called waakye and visit a bead factory in Accra, Ghana!
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They have a nice station to wash your hands and have flowers hanging down from the ceiling! It’s a really nice restaurant. They have a big, open-air dining hall where musicians and singers were playing music. We decided to eat on their terrace!
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Then, I met up with Cindy and Apollo from Jolinaiko Eco Tours at Cindy’s house. There, I tried akpeteshie, which is gin made from fermented palm tree sap and herbs. It’s very strong and has a juniper-like flavor.
Adding the gravy to the mix was fantastic, and the fatty goat meat was really tasty, oily, and tender. The gari gave it a nice crunch. There were so many contrasting textures! There was also some amazing marrow in the goat bones! You can get beef instead of goat meat.
Then, I had to say goodbye to Nii Laaye and headed to T.K. Bead Industry with Isaac and Apollo from Jolinaiko Eco Tours, which is about an hour outside of Accra. The traffic in Accra can be really bad, so it can take longer.
I bought some necklaces for my daughters and my niece. They cost 9 cedi each. Then I got a bracelet for myself! You can also beads without an elastic band to make your own bracelet or necklace. I spent less than USD total!
I also tried some of their Fresh from the Field honey, which wasn’t too thick or too watery. It costs USD for a big jar! They also sell oil extracted from the palm fruit, which they add to the beans in red-red. I also tried two varieties of refreshing hibiscus and lemongrass juice: one with sugar and another without.
At T.K. Bead Industry, they recycle glass bottles to make beads. They add dyes to them to make different colors. They also come in different shapes and styles.