Aba tours started taking people to Ghana in 1994, but it started as an idea at least 20 years ago when, as an artist looking for inspiration, I decided to go to Africa. By a process of elimination (East Africa is known for animals, South Africa was known for Apartheid and my French is too shaky for French speaking Africa), I chose Ghana because English is the official language and it is known for its art and culture. It was the right choice.

I've lost track of how many times I've been to Ghana. Something keeps pulling me back and each time is a new and compelling experience. No longer feeling like a tourist, and wanting to make use of my expanding network of connections, I started taking people with me to share my experiences in Africa. In Ghana, some people name their children after the day of the week on which they were born...therefore, I am Aba, a female born on Thursday...thus ABA TOURS.

ABA TOURS is unique in that it offers participants an opportunity to meet the Ghanaians on a personal level. You will not look at people from the window of a tour bus. You will live and work with them in their villages, participate in day to day activities, eat regional food and travel on local transportation. Because of my many years of research and lessons in traditional crafts, I can take people directly to the artists/craftsmen to visit, take lessons or buy directly from the source.

ABA TOURS also arranges visits to teachers and schools, health care professionals, traditional healers, drummers and dancers. I have built a guest house/crafts center on the Atlantic Ocean near Accra, the capital of Ghana. ABA HOUSE is a meeting place for visitors and locals. In the spirit of why ABA TOURS came to exist, it is intended as a place where people from all parts of the world can interact and through getting to know each other break down stereotypes that people have about other cultures. Another segment of our program brings Ghanaian artists/craftspeople to the States to offer programs on the art and culture of their country. Ghanaians are welcoming, friendly people who are eager to share their culture with visitors. I consider myself so fortunate to have a job that takes me to Ghana frequently. By taking small groups of tourists and tailoring the tours to their interests, I hope to share with you my love for these people and their culture.

- Ellie