A Tro Tro Story

“Accra, Accra, Accra.”  “LaPaz, LaPaz, LaPaz.” “Haatso.” “Accra, Accra, Accra.” LaPaz.” “Circ, Circ.”  “Accra!” “LaPaz!” “ Circ!”  “Accra!  Accra! Accra!”  “LaPaz, LaPaz, LaPaz.” “Haatso.” “Accra, Accra, Accra.” LaPaz.” “Circ, Circ.”  “Accra!” “LaPaz!” “ Circ!”  

“Obruni, where are you going?”

“Haatso down.”



“LaPaz, LaPaz, LaPaz.” “Accra! Accra!” LaPaz.” “Circ! Circ!”  “Accra!” “LaPaz!” “ Circ!” “Accra!  Accra! Accra!”  “Haatso.”

 Someone said Haatso!  🙂

“Haatso down?”

“No.  Go over there.” 


“Accra!” “LaPaz!” “ Circ!” “Accra! Accra! Accra!”  “LaPaz! LaPaz! LaPaz!” “Accra!  Accra! Accra!” 

….oh my goodness…. :S

 “Accra, Accra, Accra.”  “LaPaz, LaPaz, LaPaz.” “Accra.” LaPaz.” “Circ, Circ.”  “Accra!” “LaPaz!” “ Circ!”  “Accra!  Accra! Accra!” 

“Obruni, where are you going?”

“Haatso down.  Carpentry.”

“No.” and he gives me the universal dismissal signal as he starts shouting once more “Accra! Accra! Accra!”

“I am also going there,” says a tall, dark and handsome stranger standing to my left.

“Haatso down?”

“Accra, Accra, Accra.”  “LePasse, LePasse, LePasse.” “Haatso.” “Accra.” LePasse.” “Circ, Circ.”  “Accra!” “LePasse!” “ Circ!”  “Accra!  Accra! Accra!” 


“Accra, Accra, Accra.”  “LePasse, LePasse, LePasse.” “Haatso.” “Accra.” LePasse.” “Circ, Circ.”  “Accra!” “LePasse!” “ Circ!”  “Accra!  Accra! Accra!” 

“May I wait with you?”

“Accra, Accra, Accra.”  “LePasse, LePasse, LePasse.” “Haatso.” “Accra.” LePasse.” “Circ, Circ.”  “Accra!” “LePasse!” “ Circ!”  “Accra!  Accra! Accra!” 


“Thank you.  Meda ase.”

He talks to me about how he travels to Haatso and some of the options and since I cannot hear him well above all the clamour, I pay attention, try to catch a few words, nod and smile.

His 6 foot plus height makes it easy for him to see beyond the surrounding commotion.  His native ear makes it easier for him to listen for what he needs to hear through the incessant shouting. 

“Accra, Accra, Accra.”  “LaPaz, LaPaz, LaPaz.” “Haatso.” “Accra.” LaPaz.” “Circ, Circ.”  “Accra!” “LaPaz!” “ Circ!”  “Accra!  Accra! Accra!” 

His ears perk up and he signals to me, “Come” and so, I follow.

Weaving through the throng of people is challenging when you are wearing a loaded back pack.  It is so crowded.  My new friend stops and I catch up and stand beside him.  We are now at the back of the crowd…so to speak.  It is hot and I hope my sunscreen is working as it drips into my eyes.

Within minutes, my new friend is on the move again and I am happy he is over six feet tall and wearing a bright yellow golf shirt.  I lose him momentarily as he dodges between Tro Tros and instinctively he seems to notice because I catch a glance of him again.  He has stopped and is looking behind for me.  I think I am easy to spot! LOL! 🙂

He waits for me at the Tro Tro door and offers for me to enter first, again I thank him and take one of the seats.  He pops in beside me and since Tro Tros only depart when they are full we are barely seated when  the Tro Tro jerks ahead and departs.  It is before the rush hour…although I think at the Tro Tro junctions it is always rush hour!  🙂  The very kind folks I am working with at Pamoja Ghana have suggested that I leave early so that it is easier for me to travel back to the hotel and today I am thankful for their suggestion.  They are taking good care of me, God Bless them. 

Each Tro Tro has a mate.  The mate is the one who does all the shouting at the junctions to let people know where the Tro Tro is going.  He also calls the route out to folks standing by the side of the road along the way in case they are awaiting the Tro Tro.  He has the seat beside the sliding door and pops in and out , in and out and back in, oftentimes swinging from or hanging onto the door frame or the frame of the open window. 

You pay the mate.  He asks you where you are going and will collect the appropriate fee.  For me, it is 35 pesawas from Adenta to Medina and 40 pesawas from Medina to Haatso Carpentry Shop.  So, 75 pesawas total or about 50 cents.  Affordable public transportation.  Hot, yes, but affordable so used by many.

Our mate starts collecting fares and I have my fare ready.  As I go to pass my coins, my new friend says, “I already pay for you.” 

I look at him and offer him my coins.  “I have money, I can pay.  Please take this.”

“No, it’s good.  I pay for you.”


“You are welcome.”

Only moments later, my friends says something to the mate which I do not understand.  The Tro Tro stops and my friend is on the move “I will alight.”  And so as he gets up, I thank him again.  “Medaase.  God bless you.”   He smiles at me.

As he lands on the road, the mate calls “away”, and we are off again.  I wave and my friend waves back.  He has put me safe on my way.  He has used what little money he has to pay my way.  I may never see him again in this city of 3 million people.  And, for the first time since arriving in Accra I have a tears in my eyes.


2 thoughts on “A Tro Tro Story

  1. Touching story, Maureen…. as I’m sitting here crying! I can’t believe how fast your time has gone. My prayers are with you……………it won’t be easy saying good-bye……………but know you are loved by all of us and we will look forward to you being back!!:)) xoxxo

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