The skaters in the crew are finding out more about themselves by just being on the road to town one, Peki since the tour began from Accra. It was a smooth ride until then the sudden presence of baboons seated casually on the road along the expressway leading to Afadjato from Tema prompted a discussion early in the trip. Dominique, a skater from Gabon spoke about the Gabonese way of life and it was surprising for the rest of the crew to find out that she can eat anything to from cats, dogs, monkeys and even elephants. Elephants? Yes, elephants, we were even more surprised when she said that the fatty oil from an elephant could be stored and used to cook and fry like regular vegetable oil, lasting an entire village for up to a month. Fun fact. Cephas, a Ghanaian skater had his mouth ajar and up till now he still cannot get over the information from Dominique, as he has chosen to talk about it over and over again that she eats monkeys and should be punished by the law for animal cruelty. Being that his love for chicken is unmatched Cephas has a theory that animals should be eaten but some animals should not be eaten because it is unheard of, a theory Dominique counters by saying she just eats to survive.
Arriving in Peki was as warm as expected; there was already a team of skateboarders (Roots yard Rebels) waiting for our arrival. There has never been a better show of camaraderie as skaters from both crews mixed up and helped one another acclimate. It felt really natural and there was no “effort” needed to get to know each other, it just happened fluidly.
It was like being at home in another city, at one corner a few people tried out their Ollie and at another angle of the compound a few gathered to check their balance on the walking rope, while at another end a group discussed the setbacks faced by the crew before the tour began. Just in time, our host, Jacqueline and Bob, had food ready for the entire crew, white rice, tomato sauce and soy that were to serve as meat to the surprise of the meat-eating crew, because Peki is a town inhabited by mostly vegetarians, due to the heavy influence of Rastafarians in the area, so if you are a vegetarian Peki is the best place for you to dwell.
After eating, packing in our bags from the long trip and changing our clothes, it was time to get to work.
We took a short walk, from where Jacqueline and Bob made room reservations for us on the house, to the mini skate park that is located inside the Government College of Education here in Peki to get the show started. Preparations for the event began, the stage was set, speakers arranged, tables and chairs placed.
The skate campaign in Peki consisted of a two-hour coaching and training session from the professional skaters in the ranks to anyone willing to learn.
After that, there was a mini competition for young riders aged 4-15 where each skater was given one minute to perform stunts on the court to earn points. After the competition, the esteemed judges selected a winner, Seth, a very talented skateboarder and gifted him a brand new skateboard.
It was exciting; there were enthusiastic onlookers who showed interests in learning how to skateboard, to the glory of what the program was aimed at, promoting skateboarding across Ghana.
While the skate competition and gifting were going on, at a corner Ekow Mofo, a Ghanaian graffiti artist was busy spraying the bowl with designs and calligraphy, as it was his mission when given an invite for the skate tour.
As far as skateboarding is concerned in Peki the skaters love the smooth coal-tar road the towns are paved with that they chose not to ride the bus anywhere but instead push their boards and get a good feel of the asphalt, especially on the short trip to a cave up in the mountains.
It is important to go to cities and try to discover at least one thing about the town you are in, and such was the case hiking up the mountains to visit an ancient cave that had an inbuilt tunnel which villagers used to go to the neighbouring town. After hiking up the mountains for fifty minutes we arrived at the spot and entered the cave to check it out.
Well, technically, we checked the cave out. Not every one of the crewmembers had the brio to go inside the cave because it looked steep and dangerous to wriggle in, it was dusty and bats kept flying and scaring/discouraging more people out. The cave seemed like an ancient shortcut used by the villagers during a time of war. Cephas, Jacob and Sandy were the only ones out of the crew who were willing to crawl deeper into the cave (with help from the guide) to know what the other side held and for that we labelled them survivors.
After the hike, we returned to the lodge and then later went out to skate.
The show must go on, after two days of skating, eating and sleeping on repeat, most of the skateboarders cannot wait to leave Peki to go to a meat-eating town, Kumasi, which is next on the Surf Ghana skate tour agenda.
The night in Peki ended with a burning fire held to say goodbye, to discuss the future of skateboarding in Africa, Ghana, over malt drinks. But not all the crewmembers went for the burn fire event, though, some stayed back to bond over a game of monopoly, arguing and making a fuss about invincible money and properties they have bought.
At exactly 3:00A.M in the morning we left Peki for Kumasi.