Tween Talk with Eugenia Tachie Menson: Ain’t no Mountain high enough…

Tween Talk with Eugenia Tachie Menson: Ain’t no Mountain high enough…

Where did the Easter holidays go? I need a break; as in, I need a holiday to recover from my indulgent Easter holiday, LOL!!

How did your Easter holidays go?  Please tell me you did something fun!  Something unusual? Different? Exciting? I’m sure you can tell I did…do something exciting, fun and different. Might I add, a tad scary?

I spent my Easter break with the family in one of the under discovered regions (in my unsolicited opinion) of this beloved country of ours – Volta Region.  While I’m partly from there and did my high schooling there, this would be the first time I have properly toured a part of it. We stayed in Ho, the regional capital and we loved every single day of it.

May I share 10 things I picked from climbing (scaling, crawling on all fours, dragging my bum down) Mt. Afadjato.

  1. If you’re under 15 and have never left home, nor done any physical outdoor activities, you should not attempt scaling Mt. Afadjato. It truly is no child’s play.
  1. About 1 week’s worth of ‘training’ (walking briskly daily for 30mins or staying active daily) should ready you for this mountaineering task. Best to wear gym attire and trainers with good anti-skid soles.
  1. Even without any ‘training’ you still can mount Afadjato – the human spirit and mind is truly unconquerable, and you only need to keep telling yourself…YES, I CAN. Pace yourself as it will take you longer…but you will get there, if you’re determined

4. So the name of the mountain is NOT Afadjato…it’s AVADZETO but was corrupted by the Westerners and as is usual, we have accepted it. The original name means ‘Yam from the mountain top’. There used to be yams grown (or that grew) on the mountain.

  1. It’s 885 metres in height…on ground that’s a little over 2 laps of a 400-metre outdoor track field. If you’re a sportsperson, this should be a walk in the park for you, literally.
  1. You will need a tour guide, regardless of what the officials on the ground tell you. Opt for a local guide as they have basic knowledge of the history of the mountain and surrounding villages and can get you out of sticky situations (and there would be many).
  1. It dawned on me how we truly don’t know how to market ourselves or our natural sites. There were no sales booths with branded items on sale, nothing! No eatery nearby, no access to washrooms, nada!
  1. Getting to the summit was a bitter/sweet feeling for me….I had scaled the impossible, grazed my shin, panicked at some points, cried at others, slipped on a rock, refused to go any further, said the Lord’s prayer, chanted Psalm 23, avoided some mean-looking wasps and bees to get to the top and realised, it’s a small surface that could comfortably take about 30 people (if they stood still)… and that was it? The sight is breathtaking no doubt; mountains and hills abound. But it sure can be lonely up there.

Looking down from one side of the mountain put a better meaning to the expression ‘dizzying heights’ for me.

  1. Coming down Mt. Avadzeto was way more challenging than going up this steep mountain. I saw my life flash before me several times…my knees began to swell from the pull of the sharp descent, my toes were pained to the point of being numb, my legs were dead to sensation and there were many moments I doubted that I had used the same route up. But I finally made it to the base of the mountain
  1. Bring along 1ltr of water in 2 small bottles and sip (don’t drink!!) as you ascend and descend. Carry along 4 fingers of local bananas: eat 2 before you go up and 2 when you get down. A small backpack should be able to hold these.

Scary as it might read, I had a blast mounting Avadzeto and I felt a sense of accomplishment. One can truly achieve what they want when they put their mind to it; I would know!

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