After the airport, the first memory/sensory experience I have of Africa/Ghana is this:
We are driving (crazier driving than in Guatemala!) and I hear what sounds like a flock of birds chirping wildly. Chris and I look out the window and see TONS of birds in the sky. In one part of the street, the sky is almost dark with them and we can hear them over the very loud sounds on the street (topic for another post -- crazy noise levels in Accra). This was the site:
Then our dear coordinator in-country explains that what we are witnessing is not birds, but are in fact BATS!!! Bats, in the daytime! Craziness of all craziness. Once I realize they are bats, I can tell the sound I am hearing is not chirping, but the sound of the bats squeaking/screeching. Then our coordinator says that bat is a delicacy in Accra, "Very delicious." Then I looked closer at the trees in the area and realized that what I thought was dead foliage was in fact, bats hanging. Wow! What a strange sight!!!
Upon doing some research, it seems that these are a unique case of fruit bats. Supposedly they traveled to Ghana with a tribal elder to help him, but then he died and the bats stayed. The military tried to get rid of them by shooting, but bats reproduce at an accelerated rate when facing danger, so all that did was make the colony larger. Now Area 37 of Accra has new permanent residents that make lots of noise and leave guano all over the place. It's still one of my favorite places to drive by in the city :)