Last night we wondered down to Stumble Inn, a beach resort that we part own on the coast just west of Elmina. Sabre had a school team from America visiting one of the community schools here that Sabre have a link with and it was their first night in country. Erin, who brings the teams over has become a great friend of ours. She started out as a volunteer for Sabre a few years ago and has loved Ghana ever since, coming every year and now with teams twice a year.
Their first night included staying at Stumble, a buffet of Ghanian fare (groundnut soup, jollof rice, chicken!) and a dance and drumming display. We hadn’t been to Stumble for ages and the kids were looking forward to it. Sadly I stupidly forgot to take my camera down and since all my photos were stolen on my hard drive I can’t ‘find’ one to show you drumming of the past!
We; Aubs, myself, Dom & Soph and all the children, decided to head there early so the kids could eat first and we could leave as soon as they started to get tired.
Well it was lovely down at Stumble. The gardens have really developed and there was a new little shop/hut at the top and the new generator had meant that lights were added to the car park and entrance. Getting to over 45 degrees here at the house daily meant that the sea breeze was particularly welcome and could almost justify a long sleeved top (and not just for stopping the mossi’s)! Lots of Stumble staff came down and when the team arrived (finally, having been delayed) all we had to do was wait for the drumming.
It turns out that Kobi who does our shows also does shows every weekend at a next door hotel and for this reason the 7.30 show became 8.30 and then almost 9.30! The kids in the meantime were showing no sign of tiredness as they ran around with Maddou (the son of the people managing Stumble) and the newly arrived team. In fact I hardly saw them for dust (sand). There was also a great fire going under the stars, so with a rum punch in hand I was pretty happy!
Whilst waiting for the drummers Aubrey got a message saying a trailer was stuck on the road out and our overland truck (that had brought the team) couldn’t pass so he went off saying ‘I won’t be long’. So the dance and drumming group came, performed (the most popular thing being the fire eating to my kids at least!) and left.
Still no Aubrey after over an hour. Message comes back that they have 15 men working on getting the vehicle out, which has now been elevated to a cement mixer, and to load up the car, order a cab and to come to where he was so we could get the cab from the other side. What we were not aware of at this point is that Aubrey had taken our car and we were left with a Landrover (a normal five seater), six kids and four adults (Kathy, a great friend was with us). It was also about 10.30 at night and we’d already had a few meltdowns from the youngest ones who both wanted to be carried by Mummy. We were then asked if we could also take another two women to the stuck vehicle so that they could also catch a cab on the other side. So in we all clambered. No one could go in the boot as this had a pram, car seat, bags and various other paraphernalia! So there we were. One driving. One adult plus two children in the passenger seat, four adults plus four children on the back seat. Given that the back windows couldn’t both be put down and all the children were by now either crying, whining, fedup or all three it was an interesting and very warm journey out onto the unlit dirt track. Lots of ‘I don’t want so and so next to me, I want to see, I’m hot, I’m tired, they stood on me’ and that just from me!
We get there and Dom goes to investigate, all of us still sweltering, unable to put the air con on, unable to open doors incase we never got back in again! Turns out we should be able to pass in a minute as the vehicle, which is actually an articulated flat bed lorry of about 50 feet plus, has now been dug out and moved. What it was doing coming down a small dirt track late at night in the middle of nowhere we will never know. And how it managed to jack knife on said track will remain a mystery apart from to it’s driver who Aubrey tried to ask but never got an answer. Thank goodness it was now unstuck and we didn’t have to pick our way through a dark dusty track to find our cab. But what we did have to now do was to reverse back up the track to let some idiot tourists through to another hotel on the other side of Stumble. They were so impatient they were trying to push their way through when it was impossible to do so, there’s always one isn’t there?! Hey ho! There was also a truck that had to reverse, so still in the car, minus the extra girls now who had sensibly gone to grab one of the cabs, and Son Number 1 who we’d told to go and find out what was going on after waiting for quite a while, we started our slow reverse up the track. To give you an idea, the track is enough for one vehicle and the grass on either side at the moment is very high. The reverse lights on the Landrover weren’t great and the best view Dom got of behind him was if he put his break lights on, so in order to see where we were going (it was a new moon last night) we had to take it quite slowly! Whilst Dom was negotiating and navigating his way Son Number 2 decides to pipe up ‘What the heck do you thing you’re doing Dom?!’ It had got to that stage of incredulity! Ah, yes, also note to self to listen to what I say, or is that an Aubreyism?
So truck out of the way and we drive once again up to the action. Lorry at odd angle to side, we manage to slip past it and follow Aubrey. As I looked out of my restricted view in the back I suddenly saw SN1 hanging on to the top of the Land Cruiser as his daddy was happily driving ahead. Oh well it was turning into one of those nights and he was having a blast! So on we go. We then spot some of our Sabre guys (Nana boy and someone else I didn’t recognise) trying to walk out along the dark track so Aubrey stops to pick them up. And we’re off again, or so we thought! No, it wasn’t over yet, the clutch on the Landrover had now ‘gone’ and we weren’t going anywhere. Still four adults and now only five children in the car. As we saw Aubrey driving off into the distance and around a bend we suddenly realised that we had his mobile and we couldn’t call him to tell him and started to have visions of being there for quite a while before Aubrey realised we weren’t behind him anymore. Thank goodness for Nana needing a lift and thank goodness we had his number and he had his phone. So back Aubrey came. A lot of swapping of cars at this point. Dom and I got in the Land Cruiser with my four kids and Aubrey got in the Landy with Sophie and her children and Kathy, and drove it back without a clutch. Only thing was he couldn’t stop otherwise he wasn’t going to be able to go again, which became a little bit of a worry when he realised that Nana and friend had to get out at some stage. This happened just going over the harbour bridge in Elmina. It was the slowest he could go as he was safely on a small hill, so he slowed down as Nana and friend had to quickly open the door and jump out at a run, all this into a busy street full of stalls, wandering people, sleeping goats etc. According to Soph it was then that Aubrey decided he had to say a few things to Nana and there they were, Nana hanging on to the door whilst running down the street next to the Landy taking instructions for work the next day!
We finally got home at 11.30pm which is very late here.
As Aubrey said, splattered with mud and looking worn out, ‘I love nights like that!’ and to be honest it was rather an adventure!
We have been helping Daddy to fix the car……..