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From the President….

April 18, 2011
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Where do birders go when they are not out birding on their home turf ? Some go to other parts of their own country to see birds. Some go to other continents to see exotic birds and completely different countries and peoples. Ghana certainly qualifies as different from Southern California; it has its unique birds and it is in Western Africa, a far part of the world .
I went to Ghana which is fascinating, hot, humid, colorful and near the Equator. We spent most of the trip in our “coaster” van/bus on the road driving to places to see birds who were sometimes seen and sometimes not. In Kakum National Park, home of a rather scary canopy walk from tree to tree over a hundred feet in the air, we saw two elephants and wonderful Hornbills. In the north of Ghana (near Bolgatanga) we saw donkey carts, in the south near the coast we saw bicycles and motor bikes. In the north we saw mosques and mud villages and town pumps. In the south we saw evangelical churches and more mud villages and town pumps. I think we were on every major road in the country (I would hesitate to call them highways as few had more than two lanes – one each way) and we visited most of the National Parks in the country. But one of the favorite things of the trip was reading the sayings on the back of the taxis and buses and the names on the stalls lining streets. Most of these were in the Christian south and the exuberant imagination was very evident. A few favorites:
God Loves Furniture
Kindness and Mercies Catering
King of Glory Bakery
Christ is the Almighty Plumbing Works
Merciful God Vulcanization
God is Able Consultancy
Oh My God (on the back of a bus – considering the accidents)
No Money No Honey (on a vendor’s t-shirt selling….)
Secret of My Joy is Jesus Printing & Photography
Only God Knows Hair Dying
God’s Way Special Rice
Fingers of God Phone Shops
Naked I Came Water Co.
… and my favorite..
With God All Things Are Possible Cosmetics Shop
and there were so many more.
We did see hundreds of birds as well and many of them new. Hooray. One of my favorite birds was the Woodland Kingfisher which darted in front of me in a flash of blue, snapped up a hapless lizard and was last seen whacking it on a tree branch with great abandon. Go nature !

…Ellen Vahan

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