In order to get from Swaniker Road to Archer Road we can either walk all the way up Swaniker on the newly paved street up to Village Inn and then all the way back down or we can take the alley way. It makes much more sense to take the shortcut and save 15 minutes than to go all the way around.
In order to get onto the alley way, we must cross the open gutter that may or may not have a piece of wood to help us walk over it. Often times, the plank falls in or gets carried away. This means that we must take a wide step over the gap.
The center of the alley way is the beautiful color of Ghana’s red earth but each side is covered with discarded green broken bottle parts, black plastic bags sill holding unidentifiable things, empty cut up coconuts with accompanying swarms of flies, chewed up straws, charred remnants of piles of burnt trash, cracked abandoned shells of snails, and dried up goat manure.
If there happens to be another person crossing the alley way at the same time, one must decide who will step to the side to let the other one pass. That means one of us, will have to get closer to the unpleasantness. The smell sometimes can make me nauseous as I carefully carry Kojo over the dirt.
The alley way is not claimed by anyone. It is the space between the walls around two houses. We disappear for a short time as we enter until we reappear again a few minutes later on the other side. It is the place between where we are and where we want to be.