Spanista » Self Care Rituals, Reflections & Resources for Joyful Living by Ginny Shiverdecker

Into Africa Day 2 Lake Volta’s First Floating AbodShelter


Dear Wellness Seekers,

Into Africa Day 2 Lake Volta’s First Floating AbodShelter is the dream build for this trip to Asikuma, Ghana. This first night at M Hotel feels safe and comfortable enough to frame up what ‘home is’ for the next several days. Knowing Mabel the owner is staying there with new Life is reassuring too. And I know my guys are just doors away if I really need them. We  early with a mission on our minds – loads of labor awaits and we are eager to begin. Breakfast is essential to feed our energy levels for the day.

Ordering meals at the Green Hut restaurant is a priority because it takes a long time to get it. So the night before we told our lovely hostess Dinah to have it ready for us. We order simple dishes – scrambled eggs and bread. Hot coffee and tea. Eventually a large water container one uses for camping arrives with super hot water. This I judge is drinkable as Doug and JD dive into it. I opt to drink tea from here forward – forego coffee which is a real sacrifice for me. Tea makes a wonderful choice – sometimes it is just the little things you become to enjoy most – hot water for tea is the only hot water I experience while in Asikuma. Happy to say the scramble eggs and bread are sumptuous and satisfying. If I stay well it will become my go to way to start the day.


Doug has organized a team of workers hopeful of positive outcomes. Off we go…Doug and DJ on his motorcycle and me with our South Africa friends and workers in the tro tro (bus).  The drive there is a dubious task. The dirt road is full of deep ruts from harsh winter rains, twists and turn, hilly and overrun by tall green growth. The landscape is beautiful along the way – I look out the window and concentrate on it while the guys make banter in their native tongue – loads of laughter erupts so they seem happy to have a week of solid work it seems. I fall in love with the expansive trees – one in particular.

Alas, we arrive at the beautiful Lake Volta. We stop at a high hill and walk down to find the developing Fish Farm landsite – a large warehouse with two Abod homes and a thatched patio frame the setting. It all overlooks a million dollar view of Lake Volta. Down 60 stars is the lake access. In the distance you can see the fish grid in the water where the growing of talapea is a promising way to make a living in Asikuma.

There is a chicken coop – the kind I remember from my grandparents farm. It brings back warm memories.


We jump into work – Jacques, Lee-Ann and Leslie are our AbodShelters manufacturers in South Africa who produced the structure materials and would guide the building of the floating Abod so guide our efforts.

Physical labor can be so satisfying – we pull together to build the grid platform for the floating Abod as our first task – its hot but we make it fun .  We stop for water breaks as we go and enjoy a native style lunch.


By the end of the day we have made real progress – the grid is in place but not without a few trick challenges along the way to connect the last pieces.  Soon the sun falls on the horizon and we need to head back to town – the night unfolds in deep darkness and the road dangerous to navigate at night so we head back to the hotel.


Dusk arrives and the drill is order your food, shower in very cool water, dress for casual dinner and have a few drink to unwind and chat more about what we want to do int he days ahead. The atmosphere is electric as everything is new to me. As enjoy dinner and I watch the workers come for meals Doug treats them to as part of their pay. Such meals are a real treat.  The children come to see Doug – they know him well. He is a hero here – bringing them a connection to the outside world and generosity – giving them free milk when they ask.  They deserve a better chance int he world and we hope we can help in some small way through our efforts.

Into Africa Day 2 Lake Volta’s First Floating AbodShelter reveals the pride and warmth of the people here in Ghana. Spanista sees so much opportunity to help and teach how to be commercially oriented – to build a small business enterprise and the manage it profitably like the Fish Farm. But everything seems to move on what Doug calls ‘Ghana Time’ – we try to lead by being examples of hard work, setting standards for quality and patiently teaching basic operations principles. We pray over time it will become a profitable venture so many more can be put to work and raise the quality of their lives. I count my blessings as I lay my head  down for a good nights rest. There is air conditioning for a few hours before the power outage arrives. It gets me through the night.

Won’t you join me tomorrow to experience the next chapter as we move the grid down the big hill to build the first floating AbodShelter?

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


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