Whilst peeping around for some news to serve our readers, Presspeep.com chanced on a report on huffingpost.com authored by one Karen Curley – in which this author describes Ghana as a non-tourism friendly nation and vows never to come back here.
She titled her report: “Why Ghana Is Not A Tourist Friendly Place To Visit.” Peruse her report (unedited) and read Presspeep.com’s Editorial Note beneath it:
I think travel makes you a well-rounded person and can help us appreciate what we have in America. As an American, I’m used to having a certain comfort level. I like having a hot shower, food and, yes, even air conditioning.
If you are traveling to Ghana don’t expect any of these things. I went to Ghana on assignment for a newspaper and stayed in Accra, the capitol city. Even though it’s a developing nation you would expect that the capital would have some amenities. It did and it didn’t.
Only twenty percent of Ghanaians have flush toilets in their homes. People have no choice but to urinate right in the middle of the street — a real eye opener. I was riding in a taxi with my roommate and all of a sudden we stopped and our driver got out.
I thought for sure we were going to be kidnapped and sold off to the highest bidder. (I have seen way too many horror movies.) I looked out the back window and our driver was peeing on the side of the road like it was nothing.
He got back in the car and off we went. I will never get that picture out of my head. There is no sanitation system there. Sometimes the smell knocked me back ten feet.
The poverty over there is heartbreaking. One day I was walking around the city and happened upon an abandoned railroad station called Kantamanto. Over four thousand homeless people were living there. All around, people were wandering around half-dressed begging for food or money.
There was burning trash and feces everywhere. It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. The people over there do not know how to react to white people. When I was walking around the market I was constantly poked and prodded like a lab rat.
I think some wanted to touch me because they had never seen a white person. Just trying to look in one of the outdoor markets proved an impossible task. I couldn’t even walk a foot without getting my clothes pulled on, my butt poked at, or my back hit.
And forget about taking pictures. No one likes having their pictures taken. If the police catch you taking pictures, which they call snapping. Even if it’s just a building, they pull you to the side and tell you to stop. I was told that sometimes they even take you in to their police station for interrogation.
If you want to go to the beach forget it. The beaches there are disgusting. The water is filled with trash and it’s not even clean enough to go swimming. I witnessed a waterfall of trash going right into the ocean and no one seemed to care.
You can’t even take a nice walk on the beach because everyone is poking you or trying to be your so called “friend.” To be honest, I did go over there to work. I had a lot of great work experiences and some of the things I saw really changed my world perspective. I’m glad I went over there. But I would definitely not go over there on vacation.
Aside writing, Karen Curley is popularly known as an international photographer based out of Los Angeles, CA. Her pictures have been seen in many publications including Spin Magazine, US Weekly, and InStyle Magazine.
Her pictures have also been featured on the Conan O’Brien show. She has worked internationally for The Accra Mail in Ghana Africa. Her passion is urban photography. Her work with the homeless has been shown in galleries all over Los Angeles.
Karen Curley may be a well-travelled person, but this report of hers, actually portrays her as an ignorant wayfarer who needs vast education on common sense. First, Karen reveals her purpose of coming to Ghana as visiting to do an assignment for a newspaper – and not as a tourist who came to visit tourist sites in Ghana.
To Miss Karen Curley, if you had come to Ghana to visit tourist sites, you would have relished homely organic sceneries, foods and locales America is destitute of – upon all the wealth she prides herself with. Next time you accidentally sojourn in Ghana, do visit the below tourist sites/attraction in Ghana:
Nzulezu, Mole National Park, Paga Crocodile Pond, Lake Volta (Volta Lake), Kakum National Park, Elmina and St George’s Castle, Cape Coast Castle, Aburi Garden, Boti Waterfall, Bobiri Butterfly sanctuary, Lake Bosumtwi, Kwahu Mountains, Coco Beach, Labadi Beach, Busua Beach, and many others.
Typical of some western media folks who mostly delight in fetching the dark side of Africa for the world’s consumption, it’s evident in Karen’s report she came to Ghana to report on the slums – every nation has slums.
Yes – if you visit Kantamanto and Makola, there are thousands who are beggars, homeless; and as well, there are poor drainage systems and places of convenience.
Same or similar situations exist in Great America too. Here are facts for Miss Karen Curley. In 2015, DailyMail published an exclusive report on New York City in which the below horrible findings came out (unedited):
New York 2015 – four thousand (4,000) sleeping on the streets, 80 homeless encampments in the city and beggars making $75 a day as arrests for panhandling and street drinking plunge.
They are sleeping in front of the Empire State building, sprawled in front of the doors of Macy’s, and panhandling outside Grand Central.
New York is in the grip of a homeless epidemic so bad that it has raised fears of the city slipping back into the disorder of the 1970s and 1980s.
Now Daily Mail Online can reveal how a toxic combination of cheap drugs and softly-softly policing are fueling the epidemic – and that beggars are making as much money as someone on the city’s minimum wage in cash each day.
Homeless people spoken to by Daily Mail Online said that they were making $70 dollars every day from panhandling. One homeless man – a former professional who had become a drug addict and ended up one the streets – said:
‘People… are very kind and give me food and on a good day I can get about 70-80 dollars which shows you the kindness of New Yorkers.’
No even the dumbest and lumpish beggar in Ghana will give such cloddish reason for begging for alms – neither would any professional worker abandon his or her professional job and go begging – but that is happening in Great America.
Should Ghanaians and other non-Americans be reasonable humans enough to conclude that America is not a tourism friendly nation? We can school Miss Karen on what factors can be used to describe a nation or place as not tourism friendly, and few includes:
High crime rate, weak rule of law (democracy), generally unfriendly and unsympathetic people, especially towards foreigners, violence and unrest precipitated by religious differences or misunderstanding, inadequate and uncomfortable accommodation, a relatively high budget destination, among others.
Ghana does not stand guilty of the above. For Miss Karen to visit Ghana and trot few places in the city and conclude that Ghana is not a tourism friendly country is unreasonable, unrealistic, and a slap on every Ghanaian – dead and alive!
We admit some beaches in Ghana are full of filth and stinks –America is also blessed and well-endowed with similar beaches too. CBS News reported just last year (2016) dirtiest beaches in America and cited (unedited):
“As many as 3.5 million Americans are sickened from contact with raw sewage overflows each year, according to the EPA.” That being said, the risk is higher for young children because they tend to spend more time in the ocean dunking their heads underwater.
The dirtiest beaches in the country have water samples that have exceeded the national standards. Some of them are actually repeat offenders. No one wants to leave the beach feeling sick, so think twice before visiting these dirty beaches:
Avalon Beach, California, North Point Marina North Beach, Illinois, Ropes Park, Texas, Malibu Pier, California, Beachwood Beach West, New Jersey, Villa Angela State Park, Ohio, Ontario Beach, New York, and others.
On the local folks dying to touch you Miss Karen Curley, it’s symbolic of how they show love to foreigners and the respect for you – not because you are immortal, superhuman, or your poops emits pleasant fragrance. We are simply hospitable people – we do it to ourselves and foreigners. Don’t be fooled you are too special!
Still researching on Miss Karen, Presspeep.com observed that this lady must be very environmentally concerned – as another story attributed to her on: https://joelsavage1.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/sanitation-in-ghana-a-disaster-or-a-challenge/ – reveals another report she did on Ghana’s sanitation.
That is commendable! That is great! There’s no utopian society, but with such reviews and reports on our surroundings for applicable solutions, a proximate one can be reached. However, to describe Ghana as a not tourist friendly place to visit, is far from truth, reality, and logic!
Miss Karen, we at Presspeep.com, are by this rejoinder, informing you that you did a poor reportage, misinformed the whole world about Ghana and its tourism prospects, and for that matter, you exposed your ignorance and your mark of Cain!
You may come back and have a broader view of Ghana – and when you do, I recommend one celebrated broadcaster, art and culture advocate, and tourism ambassador by name Abeiku Santana to you. Live and let’s live. Until then….MOTWUM!!