Wli Agumatsa Waterfalls is located in the Volta Region near the HoHoe municipality in Ghana and a stone throw away from the Togo border. The Wli Waterfalls is tagged as not only the highest waterfall in Ghana but in West Africa. The five-hour commute to the area is an experience in itself. Unless you charter a private car or bus, tro tros are the most common mode of transportation to and from the Wli village. With the aid of my bluetooth headphones and cellphone’s gospel playlist, I was able to focus on the beautiful mountainous views and not so much on the rocky transit. I was excited about the new adventure but I underestimated the arduousness of trekking three hours to the upper waterfall. Thirty minutes into the trek my stamina was being tested, I was huffing, puffing, and sweating profusely. I worked leg muscles I didn’t know existed. The path or lack thereof consisted of stones, mud, bush and cliffs. Replaying the experience over and over in my head, I wonder why didn’t I retreat to the lower waterfall? The trek was difficult from the onset. Three life lessons became apparent to me during my pondering. Oblige me to share my experience with you.
Pay someone to guide you. We were being led by someone who’s been (multiple times) to the Wli Upper Waterfall. Our tour guide Francis was remarkable. Similar to my husband, he’s a man of few words and only talked when necessary like informing us of important facts about the area – plants, insects, history, Togo’s border, indigenous people. The mere fact he climbed up and down the mountain in flip flops was impressive, to say the least, and he’s completed the 5-hour trek twice in one day on several occasions. While I’m gasping for air, he didn’t seem fazed by the trek at all. He probably can climb the mountain blindfolded and barefoot. He knew the way without a compass, GPS, map or any signs to direct us. When we encountered cliffs with beautiful but scary views, he coached me on how to walk on the path and alerted us in areas where we needed to be cautious. He advised us when to rest. The confidence he portrayed in navigating the mountain boosted my morale and self-confidence that I could make it to the top. The lesson I learned here is if I want to achieve big goals in life, hire and pay someone who’s already walked the path and adhere to their guidance to get desired results faster. If we had not hired Francis, we would have been wandering aimlessly in the mountains for more than 5 hours. He kept up the appropriate speed and tempo to get us to the upper waterfall in record time despite me lagging behind.
Have someone in your corner. I had my personal cheerleader to encourage me along the way. My husband spoke positive words of affirmation during the entire trek and at times gave me tough love when my fear tried to paralyze me. He reassured me time and time again that I wasn’t going to fall. He continuously checked on my welfare. He held my hand and pulled me along the way or instructed me to hold onto his clothing when my pace decreased dramatically. He made sure I stayed hydrated. He was my personal photographer ensuring this experience was documented and memorable. His presence alone made the journey more enjoyable, worthwhile and doable. The lesson I learned here is it is important to have someone in your corner, who earnestly believes you can do the hard stuff in life and pushes you past your limitations. For example, my husband is currently training me. I prefer for him to instruct me and not train with me. He takes exercise to another level because he’s a professional athlete. He pushes me past my limits, 8-second laps become 6-second laps. In just a few weeks, my clothes are already fitting loosely. Proving my first lesson: experts get you results fast.
The road to the top is less traveled and much harder but so more satisfying. On our trek to the upper waterfall, we saw no person or beast, just insects, mainly mutant ants. I’ve never seen ants that big. When we finally reached the creme de la creme, it was uninhabited and breathtaking. Pictures and videos do not exhibit the beauty of the place. We did not encounter any human or beast until we trekked another hour and a half to the lower falls. Where not only the people were enjoying swimming in the lower waterfall pool but the fruit bats were enjoying soaring in and out of the caves. We also witnessed a poisonous snake in a pond near the pool the lower waterfall flowed into. The hike to the lower waterfall was 30-45 minutes on a cleared, unobstructed, sometimes fenced path. It was definitely a walk in the park. As we were leaving, countless people were making the trek to the lower waterfall without a guide. My clothes and shoes covered by dirt and mud, I walked proudly with my head held high back to the entrance of the waterfalls with a huge smile on my face, greeting all the lower waterfall tourists because inside I knew what I had accomplished and I felt great about it.
This life experience has not only given me bragging rights (LOL) but has taught me new ways of living that will aid me in reaching the highest, truest, fullest expression of myself. Recap: First, pay an expert so I can get results faster. Secondly, maintain a support person or group to encourage me during challenging times. Lastly, the road less traveled is much harder but the end result is 100 times more gratifying than the road the masses are taking. Join me in “finding yourself”, and discovering new ways of thinking, new ways of living and new ways of working. You’re invited!