AUSTRALIANS NOT AT THE INN

Posted on March 25, 2010

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(start at the Power of One in Development posted earlier today)

Back at the inn after the Ashan visit with the Kumasi East Rotary club, the phone rang.

It was His Excellency Billy Williams, Australian High Commissioner to Ghana. He told me he was back at his hotel and had had a wonderful shower.
I almost said you could have had a wonderful shower here at Four Villages, but chickened out…..Hello, I said.

Then came the request for Comfort’s services the next morning. Then came my refusal saying, “Comfort’s tour is given exclusively to our guests. It’s part of a package we offer to FOUR VILLAGES INN guests only. This guest house is our livelihood and Comfort is a draw since most of the travel guides mention our knowledge of Kumasi and the excellent quality of our tours. Over the past eleven years since our return to Ghana, Charity and I have supported Comfort and her daughter Amanda in many ways and in return she now supports Four Villages Inn.

When Mr. Williams said that he didn’t know about us-that friends had told him about Comfort’s market tour, I wanted to say you should know living here what’s available and not to let your staff do all the bookings at the most expensive places….
What I did say was probably his hotel would have a tour guide available who could take he and his wife to the market.

He thanked me saying he wouldn’t dare go there alone.

Next time we hope to see the Australian flag outside Four Villages Inn.

Macro issues: More and more Ghana has lots of great hotels/guest houses that don’t cost an arm and a leg. I’d suggest that the members of the like-minded missions sit down and discuss accommodation alternatives to the big, impersonal, characterless hotels. There is no reason for a visitor to a mission to be placed in the 4 and 5 star hotels that cost minimum of US$150 a night…

Then again maybe the name of the game is diplomats and mission visitors to be insulated from the real Ghana. If His Excellency and his wife had been at Four Villages, they too might have written in our guest book, “Loved our talks” Along with the Bakonyi family from Australian with their perspective, he might have written “A fascinating time meeting my fellow Australians.”

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