Updated: Apr 23, 2022
Citrus Bluffs will be a world-class operation and will attract visitors from near and far. In these early stages, most of our visitors are agricultural experts and enthusiasts, as we explore the various uses of the land. We've had many groups give their opinions, thoughts, and ideas to help us formulate our path forward. Their input is and continues to be invaluable. In addition, we've had visitors to our site from the U.S., Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. What they loved the most was being one with nature and getting away from the busy cities from which they came. They can't wait to come back once everything is operational and they're able to eat only from what is grown on the site and further explore the land.
For most of them, it was their first time in Africa let alone on a rural farm outside of the main city. The journey to the site was nice. We really got a chance to see how people lived daily life. We stopped off to get mangos and coconuts which tasted fantastic. Once onsite, the guest immediately fell in love.
Experiencing Ghana through Kumasi first was the most humbling, yet rewarding experience. Seeing the parallels to life in Jamaica and Guyana was very emotional. It was remarkable to see that two cultures (Afro-West Indies and African) which were divided involuntarily for centuries, yet created communities that looked almost identical. Housing and roadside stalls were built the same, people were making a living on busy streets in the same hustle, and unfortunately, the poverty reflected all the same as well.
The soft-spoken Ghanaian people were warm and welcoming in both Accra and Kumasi. We felt like we belonged as Africans. Being referred to as “people of the diaspora” was a welcoming renaming of what we’ve been known to be called in the US.
Kumasi’s rich culture of tradition demonstrated in the McDonnough wedding brought overwhelming Black pride to us. To see our people celebrated as kings and queens is something we work hard to instill in our sons.
Visiting the farm was a great reminder of how simple life can be. Seeing the farmworkers truly appreciate the work they were doing and their pride in sharing it with us, showed great potential for rural life having meaning for a younger generation.
The travel experience in a COVID environment had a seamless process for testing inbound passengers at Kotoka Airport, although it was redundant and overpriced for an antigen test within 72hrs after taking a PCR to travel. The Yellow Fever vaccine requirement had some ambiguity in whether the vaccine just needed to be done, or done at least 10 days before travel.
There was an ease of travel between Accra and Kumasi, and the development of the airport and roads in Kumasi was a promising sight to encourage our return in the near future with our sons.
-Yonette and Michael McLean
Maybe I forced my way into the country of my ancestors by happenstance. Some of you may be privy to my love for doing things at a moment’s notice or just for the simple fact that I can. Ghana was never on my radar, or even to say the least, on my “Mount Rushmore” of places to visit. Whenever I thought about visiting Africa, it was always my desire to go further south to Burkina Faso, the much smaller country. Then to the Ivory Coast on the southwest corridor respectively.
But the travel Gods had it that I had to get to Ghana on my maiden trip to the motherland. God never makes mistakes, so he did not when HE allowed us to be included and be a part of something generational. I cannot stop referencing this nation (Ghana) in my daily conversations. Of the eight or nine or so countries that I have been allowed to visit, Ghana, exceeded all expectations by far. Overwhelmingly, the mitigating difference that did it for me was the citizens, the people of Ghana. People here have been through so much, yet they remain wholesome, resilient, and most of all loving. Today, those close to me are always asking for any news about the upcoming 2022 trip? I cannot wait for next year just to say, “no onions in my Jollof rice, thank you please sir.”