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General Info about Kumasi

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Brewster, New York
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General Info about Kumasi

Greetings from New York! Our 24 yr old daughter will be arriving in Kumasi at the end of May and staying until early September. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the field of Chemistry and will be working at KNUST on emerging renewable energy technologies during her time there.

I'm in the process of educating myself about Ghana and Kumasi, as this is an exciting opportunity.

I would be appreciative of any "must see" or "must do" or "avoid this" or general information, tips, suggestions on things to do/see, what she should be certain to bring along with her (personal hygiene supplies, bug spray, etc.), as well as suggestions for appropriate clothing.

If you were going to suggest the perfect gift/souvenir to bring home from Ghana, what would it be?

Thank you very much for your help. All ideas are welcome! Peace.

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: General Info about Kumasi

Go to lake Bosumtwe near Kumasi, see if you can arrange a trip underground at the Ashanti Gold Fields mine or see the gold being smelted poured into an ingot, cultural centre is good in Kumasi, you/daughter are too near to Mole not to go there, there is also but massively less impressive than Mole Biabong Fiema.

As for a gift, Kente cloth or Adrinka cloth, spend some money on it at the cultural centre and get it framed, go for real quality not tourist grade and/or a good mask but again Kumasi is a good place, there are options in Accra but more hassle.

Hope this helps.

Jon

Brewster, New York
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2. Re: General Info about Kumasi

Thanks very much, Jon. I'm happy to know that she's a seasoned traveler who will cherish the experience and surely get a lot out of it - all while doing some good to assist Ghana in establishing itself as a major supplier of solar energy.

Accra, Ghana
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3. Re: General Info about Kumasi

I hope you have read the helpful posts in the "First Trip to Ghana - Start Here - FAQ" forum here. It is full of great information. Also be certain to check the Bradt guide online updates (http://bradtghanaupdate.wordpress.com/).

There is so much to see and so and the shopping is plenty. I agree that Kente cloth is a great prize to have, and being in Kumasi gives you a great opportunity to visit one of the village outside the city where the cloth is made on hand-made looms. Adanwomase is about a half an hour outside Kumasi and they have a tro tro station at the Kumasi station (platform G, I believe). This village is *much* better that the neighboring village of Bonwire, which is more well known. The hassle-factor in Bonwire is very high, but Adanwomase has a very relaxed environment.

There are other types of cloth as well, such as the Adinkra cloth, which is also made in villages outside Kumasi, most famously Ntonso. Gonja cloth is also seen everywhere in Ghana, but the home of this cloth, Daboya, is outside Tamale, so it is a bit far to travel unless you have a special interest in this type of cloth.

Drums and musical instruments, hand-crafted beads and jewelry, paintings, carvings, woven baskets, leather works and even personal car products such as Shea butter are great gifts.

You will have a wonderful time in Ghana. As I am certain you have heard from your daughter, it is a wonderful and friendly place.

Maryland
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4. Re: General Info about Kumasi

Others have written about what to see. I will like to address your other questions. Yes bring bug spray for the mosquitoes, hand sanitizer will be great as well. May to June and September expect rains hence a raincoat with hat or a Poncho, a very good umbrella and rain boots will be very helpful.

Apart from the regular toiletries and hygiene supplies you will pack for travel to any country, she should pack some first aid such as tylenol, pepto bismol, neosporin, travel size body lotion, shampoo and conditioner to start with, she can replenish her supplies at the supermarkets. It's not likely she will find her favorite brands but she will find good alternate American and European brands.

For appropriate clothing go with summer clothing. Cotton and light weight will be better for the very hot days. Skirts, capri pants, light weight jeans or pants, blouses, some short and long sleeve shirts, Tshirts, a hat or two, comfortable walking darker colored sneakers, a flat or pair of shoe for a formal occasion. Also a very light sweater or jacket for cold days and nights during the raining season.

If she can bring a solar charged or hand crank small flashlight/radio it will help because the electricity supply can be sporadic during some periods of the year. Speaking about electricity remember the voltage is different from the US, 110 vs 220. Please do not forget the immunization, yellow fever and get tetanus shot and most important of all the malaria medication which she starts taking here before she gets there.

Getting a cell phone service in Ghana is very affordable for an American student and the connections are good. I will highly recommend using skype as well, it will be free if you both have skype accounts.

Come back with any more questions and the great people on this forum will help you out. She should keep safe as she will in any big city around the world.

Enjoy Kumasi and Ghana. Akwaaba. (welcome to Ghana)

Brewster, New York
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5. Re: General Info about Kumasi

I am delighted with everyone's replies. Thank you very much for all the useful information! I'll be certain to share it with my daughter! I'll keep checking here for additional posts from others. Again....thanks!

Northern California
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6. Re: General Info about Kumasi

Assuming that your daughter will be housed at the Engineering Guest House -- I am pleased to tell you how much I enjoyed our few nights stay there last summer. I met some really impressive students from the US and elsewhere. (I too am the mother a college student.) The facilities are very pleasant, the food fine, and the ambience truly enjoyable. The university itself is spread out over a very large area. I heard nothing negative -- nothing at all.

Brewster, New York
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7. Re: General Info about Kumasi

@ JP&mom -- It's nice to hear from a fellow mom! Thanks for your reply. She doesn't know exactly where she'll be housed yet, and it will be interesting to see if she does indeed land at the Engineering Guest House.

Up happy update.....she's become acquainted with a young man at her University that just graduated from KNUST and is now doing his post-grad work where she is, so now she has firsthand information and advice from a native of Ghana, as well as someone familiar with KNUST. She tells me she's been getting taught about local customs, where to go and not to go, what to do and what's a tourist trap, etc. Great luck that they "found" each other!

Again...thanks for your reply!

Northern California
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8. Re: General Info about Kumasi

My impression was that even students housed elsewhere could (did??) take their meals at the guesthouse. Good that your daughter is getting some information from another student. Also, I really hope that you get to visit once she is there. It may be tough to book a room at the guesthouse during certain times of the year. Another thing: the university is a bit out of town and, while I was not looking, I did not notice other accomodations nearby (although there must have been some).

9. Re: General Info about Kumasi

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