The villages of Dominase and Ponkrum are located in Ghana’s Central Region, about 90 miles west of Accra, the capital. This description does little to illustrate what it means to live on globalization’s shoreline. To explain what this means, we must first leave the comfortable hotels and restaurants of Accra and make the journey to these villages, starting with a trip to the town of Elmina. The only way to do this is to drive along the two-lane highway between Accra and points west. Until recently, describing the condition of the road as poor and potholed did not do it justice. My friend and colleague, Ben Kankpeyeng, came much closer when he referred to these ruts as “potwells,” as they were usually deep and full of water. Traffic on this road routinely slowed to a crawl as it passed through busy towns, such as Kasoa and Mankessim, or as cars and buses bogged down behind giant old trucks with top speeds of 40 miles per hour. People and animals from the villages that line this highway dart across the road constantly. On my first trip between Accra and Elmina, the bus in which I was riding hit two goats and a dog. I stopped paying attention after that. Even in the best of conditions, the trip between Accra and Elmina routinely took more than four hours.
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