Brooke and Claire are the first of the nine teams on The Amazing Race to leave the pit stop at Kanieshe Market in Accra, Ghana to travel to the Jamestown neighborhood and find Akotoku Boxing Academy. This fancy sounding place turned out to be a dirt lot amongst shacks, with a wooden ring and some punching bags. Boxing is the most popular sport in Ghana, after soccer, and simple training facilities like these have produced several world champions. At this road block, one team member had to properly tape their hands, then box a punching bag and jump rope, for 60 seconds respectively.
Brooke kisses and flirts with the trainer, but finishes the task quickly. Chad tries to show off and trips himself up, while Kevin has trouble taping his hand properly. Gary sails through and he and his daughter, Mallory, a Hayden Panittiere look-alike, move to the next clue.
Everyone must go next to a supply depot for construction materials. Connor and Jonathan get their taxi driver, Samson, to go faster once they sing for him, and he’s passing everyone in sight until a herd of cows, which Jonathan calls yaks, block the road. Nat and Kat get lost and block the road to run back and ask their unhappy teammates the way. However, their taxi driver refuses to believe them and won’t turn around until he finds a friend who confirms the directions. Their next taxi they take overheats.
The Amazing Race teams begin arriving at the supply depot, where they must load two wheelbarrows with things like brooms, shovels, blocks and concrete, then wheel them down to Asebi D/A Primary School to get their next clue. Brooke and Claire only get one wheelbarrow and must go back and get the other. Michael and Kevin see them only getting one, and they do likewise, causing Rachel and Katie to argue over whether they should get one or two. “Well, they are idiots,” points out one of the girls, since the directions clearly say to get two. Unfortunately, they then forget one of the trowels they should have taken. Vicki misreads the clue, so they get the wrong amount of cement, and Nick is brutal, ragging on her for not reading well, not having common sense, and just really works himself in to a mean funk. Vicki calmly apologizes and remains kind, while Nick gets worse and worse.
The teams are told they must go to school and be tested on geography. One of them has to correctly identify Ghana on a map, but team after team gets it wrong, to the great amusement of the school children. Connor and Jonathan, Princeton grads, are embarrassed.
The next clue directs the Amazing Race teams to choose between Bicycle Parts or Language Arts, to see how the local children play and learn their culture. Jonathan and Connor pick Language Arts, where receive a scroll with a poem on it. Many of the words are darker, and the teams have to find a decoder, which is a long building papered with symbols that match the phrases. Once the team finds all of their symbols in a row, they circle them with chalk, like a word search puzzle, to get their next clue. Jonathan and Connor find the decoder, understand quickly what is required, and are the first to receive the next clue, which is to proceed to the nearby pit stop, which they do. Since Jonathan and Connor are the first team to arrive, they win $5,000 each!
Brooke and Claire also choose Language Arts, with a slew of other teams close behind them. They misunderstand the directions and draw a large circle in the dirt around a group of playing children. The other teams quickly follow suit, leaving many little groups of bemused children encircled with chalk. Brooke and Claire figure it out, but many other teams just don’t see it, with Jill and Thomas running around asking children questions, picking up their homework and looking everywhere for a decoder key. Several teams decide to switch tasks, running right past the huge wall with the decoder they were looking for.
Mallory and her father Gary, choose Bicycle Parts, and, using a stick, are able to roll bike rims across a soccer field and back again, allowing them to finish second. Nick, meanwhile, got angrier and meaner, throwing the rim and berating Vicki for not doing a better job with hers, until Vicki began to have an asthma attack. Suddenly Nick seemed to realize what a jerk he was being, and got Vicki water, helped her calm down and cool down, and then encouraged her sweetly, at which time she was able to finish. Most of the other teams made fairly good time. Chad and Stephanie came in third, Rachel and Katie were fourth and Nick and Vicki ended up making fifth place. Brooke and Claire came in sixth, and Phil chose this time to reveal that the teams will be spending the following day working on remodeling the nearby primary school.
Michael was having a great deal of trouble running with the rim in the extreme heat, and after going halfway, required medical attention to cool down after getting dizzy and dehydrated. He felt really bad about letting Kevin down, but just felt unable to continue. First Kevin tried to convince him to keep going, but seeing that he just couldn’t do it, he reassured his dad that it didn’t matter.
Meanwhile, Jill and Thomas came in seventh, and Nat and Kat, after asking some local people where the pit stop was and briefly following a goat, ended up coming in eighth. Michael rests and suddenly decides that even though he is sure they are last, he wants to try to finish, as an example to his son. He completes the task, and he and Kevin get to the pit stop last. Michael says he had wanted to travel as far as possible with his son. At this point, Phil revealed that this was a non-elimination leg, and Michael was very happy that he’d been able to finish. The ninth team is still in the race, but in the next leg, Michael and Kevin will have to complete a Speed Bump only for them, slowing them down.
Tune in next week when the teams on The Amazing Race travel from Africa to the Arctic!
Personal Experience watching The Amazing Race on CBS
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