The cool breeze on my face from the open window, and the sounds of the waves crashing on the pearl white sand alert me to the fact that we have nearly arrived at our destination: Basua Beach. As the crowded taxi putters along, I readjust myself so that my friend’s hipbone is no longer digging into my back.
A long five minutes slowly creeps by before the taxi suddenly halts in the middle of the road and the door opens. All five of us crammed in the back pile out like a herd of animals. We throw some American dollars at the taxi driver and take off to the pristine beach. We view the straw thatched rooftops of restaurants and bars and set up camp.
Looking around we see some local kids kicking sand at each other and running around in a frenzy. A monkey runs under my feet heading toward the nearby beachside restaurant to sneak some crumbs from the floor. It’s impossible to miss the plump older man with a lengthy, white beard that matches the hair on his head. When looking at the man sitting under a shady umbrella, it becomes quite evident to me that I am very jealous of his lifestyle, and that I instantly love everything about this stunning place.
The kids spot us in the distance and race over to us, all of them smiling from ear to ear. The five little boys are so enamored of our cameras that they begin posing for hundreds of different pictures. After our marathon of photography and playing with the kids among the crashing waves is nearly complete, I suddenly smell sweet barbeque chicken nearby at the restaurant. After making a group decision, we hurriedly tread to the nearest table and claim a spot.
The older man orders a beer and saunters over to pull out a white plastic chair at our table. We quickly manage to order enough beer and food for our group. My friend Evan wastes no time in striking up a conversation with the older man whom I’ve affectionately nicknamed “Santa Claus.” He’s an American who decided, at the drop of a hat, that a lucrative career in mineral mining was less important than living in permanent bliss, so he moved to Ghana over 15 years ago.
My pores begin to drip with envy. My group and I collectively agree that if there ever was a place to simply disappear into relaxation, Busua Beach is it. Before our heads can stop spinning from jealousy, our Cajun chicken and flavorful rice arrives right as the sun is setting.
It’s rare that a day of doing and seeing so little could have such a profound impact on our group. However, our day at the beach did exactly that, and we all returned to ship that night physically drained and smiling from ear to ear, just like the boys who shared their small piece of paradise with us for a day.