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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Ghana: Rastafarian Christmas

Fishing boats on the beach at Kokrobite
The beach at Kokrobite is home not only to fishing boats, but also to a lively contingent of Rastafarians

The person with whom I clicked over Christmas was Lukas, a Swiss guy whom I met in the bar at Big Milly's, and with whom I shared a passionate disappointment in Francophone West Africa. By the time I turned up at Kokrobite, Lukas had already been hanging around for a month, learning the drums in the nearby Academy of African Music and Arts; he was staying in the village with a friend, and he gave me a link, however tenuous, with the world outside the walls of Big Milly's. There's no doubt that a visit to Big Milly's is completely unrepresentative of Ghana as a whole (though it certainly accentuates the positives, such as the friendly people) but as I'd hardly left the compound since arriving, except to make phone calls and buy water, anything that helped me pretend that I was still actually travelling was a bonus.

Late Lunch

I met Lukas on the beach around midday on Christmas Day, and we sat round and soaked up some drumming while Christmas happened lazily around us. Beach Christmases are strange beasts; it never feels like Christmas when the sun is baking down and the sea is breaking on the sand, but it does feel like a particularly good excuse for a party, and people wandered the beach with piña coladas in hand, sporting Santa hats and sun tans and doing absolutely nothing wherever possible. As Christmas venues go, the beach is never going to be quite the same as home, but there's a lot to be said for waking up on Christmas Day and plunging into a warm Atlantic Ocean.

Back to the VSOs

Full up and rested, Lukas and I decided to head back to Big Milly's, where a reggae band was going to be playing; Holy and Kingdom said they'd wander down later – there's no rush, remember – but now we'd lined our stomachs we were up for some Christmas revelry. What I'd forgotten, though, was that I'd also booked dinner at Big Milly's, so five minutes after I walked through the gate, I was whisked off to my place at the table, ready for my second Christmas meal of the evening.

And nothing ever happens
Nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before
And we'll all be lonely tonight
And lonely tomorrow

So it seems that the life of a Rasta is pretty similar to the life of a VSO in the far north. Nothing ever happens... and, generally, it's a wholly positive thing.

1 Pronounced 'Rasta-far-eye', with the emphasis on the 'eye'.