As 2014 draws to a close…

To those who habitually blog and post, I salute. I need that discipline for blogging in 2015. Yes. I haven’t blogged since my one year anniversary in September and a lot has happened since then. Mostly personal stuff but a lovely round up to the year.

1. I was on CNN, y’all. (Not an American but felt y’all was appropriate here 😀 ). I featured on Inside Africa talking about my lovely project: MGCubed or Making Ghanaian Girls Great! Check us out! (We’re within the last 5 minutes or so) —->

CNNhttp://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/international/2014/10/06/spc-inside-africa-ghana-girl-power-c.cnn&video_referrer=

MGCubed on Twitter – https://twitter.com/mgcubedgh

MGCubed on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mgcubedhome

MGCubed video – http://vimeo.com/90391911

Still don’t actually remember what I said because I still cringe when I see it. I’ll watch it properly one day guys. I promise.

2. Moved house! I moved out from the East Legon side ❤ to around the Osu side of town. Currently loving the new neighbourhood and the new appartement *French accent* and a new roommate *swirls*

3. Went to Lagos, Nigeria to witness my beautiful sister-friend get married to her beau. Being a maid of honour isn’t easy but so so worth it. A pleasure to serve ❤ Lagos is an interesting place too. Would defo recommend.

4. Came back to London to wind up the year for Christmas and new year. Christmas was lovely. African girls know what Christmas day means: cooking the WHOLE DAY then not really having an appetite afterwards 😦 #HouseGirlsUnite! Spending NYE in church with Pastor O and some of the people I love most exciting me is an UNDERSTATEMENT. Whoooo! And the sales of course. We can’t forget the sales.

Also…I’ve been discovering some MORE lovely places in Accra!

Nails – Marie Noelle’s Spa (located in Osu near Noble House/Heritage Restaurant)

Website – http://www.marienoellespa.com/

Food/Drinks (cough) – Burger and Relish (Osu. Take Koala Down and follow to the end, it’s on your left). Lovely ambience and the drinks are lovely.

Website – http://burgerandrelish.com/site/

Coco Lounge (Airport City) – Currently in love with this place! Such a cool laid back vibe but swanky with great drinks and a simple food menu. It works! Plus they sing and dance when you order tequila on Tequila Thursdays. An experience.

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/iconhouseghana

Mukase Chic Eatery (Osu) – Mayneee. I don’t know who this lady is but I must meet HER! This lovely lady (who is my friend in my mind lol) has opened a place (currently a pickup/delivery place but soon to be a restaurant I here) and sells some of THE nicest local food I’ve had in GH. And I mean proper local food like garden egg stew, abom….*salivates*. She also has healthy versions (i.e. very little oil and so on) I HIGHLY recommend.

Blog – http://mukasechic.wordpress.com/

Instagram – http://instagram.com/mukasechic_eatery

Out of Town Excursions – Aqua Safari Resort – A super lovely resort in Ada, about 2 or so hours away from the city (depending on traffic of course). Very scenic with beach sports, water sports (jet skiings, paddle boats, a boat cruise to the estuary etc), a grill, minerals (soft drinks) and a lovely beach. Not like Labadi. Labadi doesn’t even count as a beach tbh.

I have vowed to explore more African locations whilst I’m in GH. It just makes sense. Now I have a default travel partner too it makes it all the better. Yay!

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IMG_1715Aqua Safari – Ada…(Top pic – some of my teaching team and I).

Mango and Wheat (Healthy paleo food in Ghana)

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Yes, you read right. I don’t know who created this food sanctuary but I want to meet them. I’m being very serious *insert straight face*. I recently found this place via Instagram whilst going through the feed of a fellow Ghanaian doing the Whole 30 challenge (Separate post to come) so I decided to check it out.

It’s located in Sunyani Avenue, Kanda, behind Flagstaff House near the post office. It’s really easy to find. The interior is really cool. Friendly staff, prices for lunch start at 20 GHc…

I was like a kid in the candy store. Green smoothies, all kinds of different flavoured smoothies (beetroot, ginger, apple, lemon, pineapple, cucumber), fruit salads, paleo dessert goodies (cookies, brownies etc), hot lunches (local and international cuisine), salads I mean the list goes on….and they use healthy ingredients (no processed sugar for example). I definitely prefer their smoothies to NourishLabs.

Definitely definitely check it out if you’re around.

Website: http://www.mangoandwheat.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mangoandwheat

Instagram: @mangoandwheat

Smoothies!

Smoothies!

Some lovely places in Accra

Guys, I’m recovering from typhoid. Ghana showed me that I’m obroni *wails*

Been out for the count for the past 2-3 weeks but I’m feeling much much better. I was taken very good care of by the folks at Health Link hospital in East Legon. Many thanks to you guys.

How are you all doing? I hope you’re well!

I said I’d tell you all about some lovely places I’ve been to since I’ve been here (Can’t believe it’s coming up to the 6 month mark!) so here goes…(pics to come later, internet is shaky). Most are food places (don’t judge me – I need variety in my diet). I’ve already told you about the wonderful CrossTrain Ghana fitness bootcamp I’ve joined. Branch Fitness is also a very good gym to check out if you’re in the Spintex area. They’re opening a branch in East Legon soon too!

Okay so here goes…Where to start…

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NIOBE SPA – Niobe Spa started off in the African Regent Hotel near Spanner Junction (not far from Accra Mall) and they established their own branch in East Legon in the Sansiro/Lizzy Sports Complex. As soon as you walk in, you know you’ve arrived. It’s a well-designed modern space and it could have easily been a spa you’d see in London or elsewhere. Staff are attentive and welcoming, and the service is really good. Very professional and they offer a wide range of services. I think they’re the only place in Accra that does threading? Ding, ding, ding! Winning! I normally go here for my mani and pedicure needs (O.P.I. products galore), as well as my eyebrows. The pedicures are amaze balls. (Ask for Felicia Sarpong and tell her I sent you ;-)) and my nails always receive rave reviews. Price wise it’s on par with what I pay in London e.g. £4 for eyebrow threading but they’re aware they’re one of the upscale beauty monopolies and their prices reflect that. I ain’t mad. My favourite memory here was seeing the beautiful John Dumelo. I still get hot flashes. Call me boo.

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EXOTIC TRENDZ – Hair, hair, hair! If you want your hair done with finesse, don’t go anywhere else. Again, very professional. Service is good too. They have 5 branches, I used to go to the Accra Mall branch but it’s just so busy. I now go to the A&C Mall branch in East Legon which is much bigger and less busy. I’ve seen people of different ethnic backgrounds come here so it’s not just for the Ghanaians amongst us. They have a barber in each location too so the gents can get a nice trim too! Ladies, they do every treatment you can think of. Beauty services are available too but I wasn’t really a fan of their waxing, a bit rough and always left me with some sort of mark. Their manicures and pedicures were okay but it never looked neat to me. I must warn they can be pricey (hair wise), but they do gorgeous blowouts and don’t just pile grease on your hair so you fry in the sun ☺

For the Foodies

SANTOKU – The best restaurant in Ghana. Go there. The end.

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No but seriously, Santoku has excellent Japanese food. Not just by Ghanaian standards, just in general. Located in Villagio Vista by African Regent Hotel and ex-President Kufour’s house, Santoku aims to impress. As soon as you walk in: class. The menu is creative and there are lots of fun things to try. Only downside is that if you go for an early dinner, it feels like the staff are just staring at you and checking how you’re doing every 5 seconds so it gets a bit awkward lol but once the people traffic picks up everyone’s busy so you can enjoy your food in peace.

My personal recommendations: their spicy endamame, new style salmon and avocado sushi which is…*salivates* as well as their tuna tataki salad with and white fish tempura.

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NourishLAB – NourishLAB Smoothys. Name says it all. With over 40 different fruit smoothies, you’re spoilt for choice and you can still mix and match what you’d like! Smoothies are 7 cedis now which is just over £1.50 which is brilliant. My absolute fav is #25 – the Super Muguyaro which is passion fruit, lemon and pineapple. They also sell little pastries, fresh salads made in front of you and have free wifi so you can take your laptop and chill out for a while. A great café-style spot, affordable and healthy! Woop!

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BAKESHOP CLASSICS – For all your cake needs, I present to you BakeShop Classics. Located in Trade Fair, behind Zenith College, BakeShop came as a recommendation from a colleague. I wasn’t wowed when I got there, service was pretty slow and I was waiting a while but once I tasted their glorious carrot cake I bought for a friend, I was bowled over. We were still eating it in the office a week later and it STILL tasted so good! (Trampy I know. But don’t judge us). They do any cake you want with lots of different designs, Spiderman, Barbie, Cinderella etc for the young’uns or Louis Vuitton bag cakes for the bag fanatics. The prices are great too. Definitely worth it and very reasonable. The next time I went service was much better. Go ahead. Check em out! http://www.bakeshopclassics.com

LITTLE INDIAN SUNSHINE SALAD BAR – This hidden gem is off Osu Oxford Street, literally next to Firefly. They have an actual sit down restaurant and then the salad bar in a greenhouse style building in front. The salads are absolutely lovely and portions are massive too. My fav: 3 spice chicken salad. You’ll be stuffed after even eating half so it’s easily 2 separate meals. They are pricey though approx. 18 cedis but they have lovely options for vegetarians and other dietary requirements. They also sell wraps, sandwiches, samosas, spring rolls, cake, pastries and so on!

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DNR TURKISH RESTAURANT – Shawarma, shawarma, shawarma! Actually owned and run by Turkish folk this is a lovely place for authentic and tasty Turkish food. Prices are reasonable and again portion sizes are massive so make sure if you’re ordering from here you have at least one other person with you. Staff are really nice too and are good company as you wait for your meal. Average meal prices are around 18 cedis. I’d personally recommend the chicken shawarma with chilli. If you want to visit, DNR Turkish is located on the Lagos Avenue road by the Zenith Bank.

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THE LUNCHBOX GH – The Lunchbox GH is a relatively new mobile company which recently relocated from Joyce Ababio College of Fashion in Cantonments to East Legon. Strengths: the company has a great menu – barbeque chicken sandwiches, lemon pepper chicken, red velvet brownies, grilled chicken, fruit salad, smoothies, Caesar salad wraps (just to wet your appetite) and they’re always trying out new recipes to add to their repertoire. The average meal is about 12-15 cedis but fruit salads are much cheaper at say 3-4 cedis. My only gripe is the wait for delivery. The company is very new (only had their official launch in December) but waiting up to 1 hours after you’ve order for your food when you agreed on a time isn’t cool. If you’re nearby and you can pick up yourself definitely check them out. They’re on Twitter (@thelunchboxgh) and Instagram (@thelunchboxgh) too.

Everyday I say I’m going to post but…

*sigh*

Forgive me (again) guys…Things are really picking up at the project, just moved house so I literally get home from work and pass out then do it all over again…

A few updates:

I got my Ghana passport guys! Woop! The process was L.O.N.G and somewhat dubious but I have my GH passport! Now I can dodge the ridiculous foreigners queue when I travel back into Ghana 🙂

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Went to Kumasi for a long weekend to visit my grandparents and aunt. Lovely lovely time! I would definitely recommend Starbow for domestic flights in GH…

A friend introduced me to the ‘loading taxi’ – basically it’s a taxi that’s takes maximum passengers (say 4 people) and you pay a fixed fee for any destination along a route to its final stop. Example: for me to get home (before moving house) I would take the Bawaleshie-American House car and stop off for 2 cedis. Boom. No negotiations, no arguments, fixed fee. Yeah buddy!

Only downside to the loading taxis is that they’re not so frequent so it’s really luck of the draw 😦 That’s leads me to my next update…

I’ve started taking tro tro guys. Yup. Me. I does this.

I did it yesterday all by myself *pats self on the back*

It wasn’t even that bad. The van I got into was decent. And it was actually rather entertaining. From the old guy at the back begging the driver for his 20 pesewa change in a rather comical manner (Twi jokes) to the guy next to me holding his son and doing Al-Kayida in his seat, I enjoyed myself. 

Next post I’ll be telling you folks about some lovely places I’ve visited/discovered:

  • EXOTIC TRENDZ – Hair, nails, beauty treatments. Let’s go back to the first point. HAIR. Your hair will be looking so righteous after a session @ Exotic Trendz. Oh yes.
  • SANTOKU – the best sushi EVER (Villagio Vista by the African Regent Hotel)
  • PINNOCHIO – lovely ice cream place in Osu
  • LITTLE INDIAN SUNSHINE SALAD BAR – amazing salads, wraps, samosas, you name it!
  • NourishLAB Smoothys – this place is EVERYTHANG. Freshly made smoothies for 6 cedis (currently £1.50). Over 30 different combos…
  • BAKESHOP CLASSICS – delicious cakes for all occasions
  • The LunchBox GH – A mobile lunch company based at Joyce Ababio’s College of Creative Design which has some good food!
  • NIOBE SPA – I’ve found my eyebrow threading place peoples. Wax be gone. They also know how to do perfect nails. Gel, gel powder, manicures….the list goes on….and on…
  • REPUBLIC – trendy drinking spot with some tasty bar food down in Osu
  • SHISHA LOUNGE – The name says it all…Osu again
  • TORO TAPAS – Some gorgeous Spanish tapas in Afrikikos, Ridge (by Flagstaff House) 
  • DNR Turkish House – Some boombastic Turkish food. Best shawarma in Accra.  Shisha too for the shisha lovers amongst you. And it’s actually run by Turkish people (the cooks are Turkish too!)

Lots to tell you lovely people. I will post again before the end of this week. Mark my words…

 

Forgive me guys…

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It’s been ages. I hope you’re all doing well! These past few weeks have been hectic! I went back to London for a day, flew to Mexico for a week (for my 25th birthday woop!), came back to London for a weekend (celebrated with my loved ones) then came back to Ghana. Naturally when I got back to my desk, there were a million and one things to do (some of which I’m still working on) and we are currently hosting some wonderful education trainer extraordinaires from our Dubai office. I’m also in the process of moving house and still wrestling with the heat.

Pause.

Mexico was AMAZE BALLS!!! I stayed in one of the Riu Hotel chains and it was wonderful. What’s great about the Riu hotels is that you can use all of the facilities of the sister hotels (they’re usually built in groups of 3). So if you’re in the not so nice hotel you can enjoy the facilities of the upmarket one without having paid the price for it! (Don’t judge me). I stayed in the Playa del Carmen in the gated hotel zone (about an hour’s drive away from Cancun. We went there twice for about £3 on public transport).  It’s gorgeous, the beach is about a 5 min walk away, loads of available and affordable taxis (with standardised rates so you don’t have to worry about haggling) and about a 10 minute drive from 5th Avenue. Loads of lovely shops here including Zara, Bershka, Haagen Daz etc and also a lot of touristy shops. (Watch out for the owners as they can be super aggressive and annoying trying to goad you to come in). Excursions wise I went parasailing, shopping, Cancun, Isla Mujeres (where we hired and drove a golf cart around the island lolz), climbed the Coba Pyramid, went to see the ruins at Tulum, went to the Chichen Itza, visited the colonial town of Valladolid, also went to the underground caves (Cenote), plus some chilling on the beach….You must visit Mexico if you have the chance. Pics to come soon!

My birthday was fantaradical too. Waking up in such a beautiful country celebrating a new year of life was wonderful. Plus my lovelies made me feel ultra special when I got back to London. Love.

The next post will be more about GH. Promise.

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Toodles xxx

Field Visit to Shai Osudoku District.

So on Tuesday and Wednesday, some colleagues and I made a field visit to the Shai Osudoku district (formerly part of Dangbe West) and visited some very interesting places; Dodowa, Asutuare, Natriku, Lubuse, Tokpo…The drive was long and bumpy (Ghana roads *sigh*) but the kids were amazing and we met some very earnest teachers who despite some appalling conditions really did everything they could for these children. I cannot wait until our lessons begin!

I also made a new best friend. His name is Kwesi Charles and he is in Primary 3. You’ll find him in the blue shirt with the orange vest underneath. Absolute legend. Some of the kids even performed for us at his school in Lubuse. Bless.

Some photos…

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