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Thread: Going to Africa! Need advice. page 2

  1. #11
    Chopper9994's Avatar
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    OK, excellent advice from all.

    Cavebug, I'll be in Takoradi which is a medium size port town right on the coast so I'm fairly certain fresh fish will be readily available. I will be passing through Accra but only at the airport so I don't think I'll have a chance to stop and stock up but I'll definitely check out the possibility. Also, excellent advice about goat, which I have wanting to try anyway. I will be living in an apartment with access to a full kitchen so yes I can refrigerate, cook etc. I am an experienced hunter and fisherman so I have no problem at all dealing with whole fish and large rough cuts of meat. I guess my main worry is foodborne illness. I heartily agree that my co-workers are likely squeamish and I'll just have to wait till I get there and decide for myself.

    Thanks to all for the advice to just go and enjoy what the local cuisine has to offer and that's exactly what I'm going to do.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chopper9994 View Post
    Cavebug, I'll be in Takoradi which is a medium size port town right on the coast so I'm fairly certain fresh fish will be readily available. I will be passing through Accra but only at the airport so I don't think I'll have a chance to stop and stock up but I'll definitely check out the possibility. Also, excellent advice about goat, which I have wanting to try anyway. I will be living in an apartment with access to a full kitchen so yes I can refrigerate, cook etc. I am an experienced hunter and fisherman so I have no problem at all dealing with whole fish and large rough cuts of meat. I guess my main worry is foodborne illness. I heartily agree that my co-workers are likely squeamish and I'll just have to wait till I get there and decide for myself.
    Awesome, you have a house, you're golden! I completely understand your worry about food born illnesses. I have only been sick enough to need IV antibiotics twice in my life and both times were in Africa. The first time it was due to a cut on my foot that got infected and I developed a secondary infection that decided to manifest as tonsilitis, not fun. The second time it is still a total mystery as to what made me so sick. I kind of want to blame the water (a bunch of us had all eaten the same food, no one else got sick) since I was drinking tap water straight, a no-no, even after living there for 2 years. I should have known better, I was attached to the bathroom for a few days.

    Just cook your food properly, drink clean water and you'll be fine. On a different note, what kind of work are you going to be doing in Ghana? I'm still attached to Africa, I get curious.
    You are an animal on this planet and the rules of engagement are non negotiable.

  3. #13
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    I want to say that this sounds like an awesome opportunity and I hope you have an amazing time. Having a kitchen to yourself will surely help and I wish you really well with this new project.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveBug View Post
    Awesome, you have a house, you're golden! I completely understand your worry about food born illnesses. I have only been sick enough to need IV antibiotics twice in my life and both times were in Africa. The first time it was due to a cut on my foot that got infected and I developed a secondary infection that decided to manifest as tonsilitis, not fun. The second time it is still a total mystery as to what made me so sick. I kind of want to blame the water (a bunch of us had all eaten the same food, no one else got sick) since I was drinking tap water straight, a no-no, even after living there for 2 years. I should have known better, I was attached to the bathroom for a few days.

    Just cook your food properly, drink clean water and you'll be fine. On a different note, what kind of work are you going to be doing in Ghana? I'm still attached to Africa, I get curious.
    Thanks again CaveBug for your awesome advice. It definitely helps to get info from somebody that has been there, especially with an obvious open mind and sense of adventure. As previously mentioned, my co-workers may be a little too paranoid and bring entire suitcases of food stuffed full of junk. I'll most likely just take a few things paleo friendly and just wing it as I go. I doubt very much I'll starve to death! Lol...

    As to my work, I am in the offshore oil/natural gas industry and due to some recent finds offshore, Ghana is booming right now. I'm currently on a 6 month contract but the future looks really good there so I'm anticipating many more contracts in the future. Some of my co-workers have been there on previous contracts and they absolutely love working there so I'm pretty excited to participate.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveBug View Post

    Even street food I wouldn't worry about too much. A lot of the time you can find people cooking meat on roadside stands. I know, everyone and their Doctor is telling you not to eat it but the rule I observed was, if it is hot, just off the fire, it's fine and I never got sick.
    My wife and I have debated going on vacations and basing them around the abundance of local street fare. The city we live in, has a large dominican/puerto rican population, and old habits die hard for them, we have some street vendors much like 3rd world countries. Some of the best tasting stuff comes off those little carts and trucks.

  6. #16
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    I have done a good bit of work in Africa, Nigeria, Angola and now Egypt. I've seen the same thing in Nigeria you are talking about, guys bringing in coolers full of food from the USA. But in their defense, they were in a closed camp with only a site canteen for their meals.

    I have usually worked around various towns and cities and have usually eaten local fare. If it is meat, cook it well and it should kill off all the nasties, fruit and vegetables. Rinse your fruits and veggies also if you want.

    To be honest, I seem to have a pretty robust immunity system and in almost 20 years working overseas, I can count the number of times that I have been ill on one hand and these were usually just a single day GI thing. And this includes stopping along the road in Nigeria and eating meat and veggies of very questionable quality and sources (I think the meat was monkey, not sure but it was tasty).

    The reason why I enjoy working international is so that I can take part in the culture and food is a huge part of any culture. If I had to drag my own food back and forth, I might as well stay home.

    Forgot to add, a couple of weeks ago, I went to Suez to have dinner with some of my guys. We ate in a divey place that was open to the front that sold fish, they had a small place upstairs with a couple of tables where we ate. I'm sure they would have flunked any health inspection in the USA. There was 6 of us and they ordered enough food for 20. Huge plate was put in front of me with grilled jumbo shrimp, a whole fish, some fried fish and something else I can't recall. And of course, everyone eats with their fingers. All the food was wonderful and yes, I survived very well thank you, other than being full for 2 days.

    Eat the local food, enjoy the culture. For Americans these are rare experiences not to be missed.

    I'm assuming this is oil and gas related, if they need a HSE puke, let me know.
    Last edited by texas.grok; 05-15-2014 at 09:54 AM.
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  7. #17
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    Have so much fun! If you've traveled before to 3rd world countries and have eaten the food and been okay, I wouldn't worry. I live in Colombia and am constantly warned not to drink the tap water, eat food from the street vendors, etc.... I do. And I'm fine. Have also done so in Thailand and other places. The local cuisine is great! Also, here in Colombia, they are very starch-based as well. I let myself indulge every now and then, because it's delicious! Currently, I'm eating an empanada made from corn. It's filled with delicious meat. You only live once- don't deny yourself! And, start a blog so I can creepily stalk your adventures (and live vicariously through you, while here in Colombia!)
    Meggo



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    Quote Originally Posted by WeldingHank View Post
    My wife and I have debated going on vacations and basing them around the abundance of local street fare. The city we live in, has a large dominican/puerto rican population, and old habits die hard for them, we have some street vendors much like 3rd world countries. Some of the best tasting stuff comes off those little carts and trucks.
    The best street food I ever had was on Zanzibar Island. Every evening vendors show up in the park with all sorts of different fish and cook it right there. It's amazing, an entire food court springs up out of nowhere full of goodies. Sad to think that so many tourists are afraid of it and just stay in the fancy places.
    You are an animal on this planet and the rules of engagement are non negotiable.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeldingHank View Post
    My wife and I have debated going on vacations and basing them around the abundance of local street fare. The city we live in, has a large dominican/puerto rican population, and old habits die hard for them, we have some street vendors much like 3rd world countries. Some of the best tasting stuff comes off those little carts and trucks.
    The best street food I ever had was on Zanzibar Island. Every evening vendors show up in the park with all sorts of different fish and cook it right there. It's amazing, an entire food court springs up out of nowhere full of goodies. Sad to think that so many tourists are afraid of it and just stay in the fancy places.
    You are an animal on this planet and the rules of engagement are non negotiable.

  10. #20
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