And so my time in Ghana is coming to an end… but not without a bang! Since my last post we’ve traveled down to the coast to Asa Baako Festival, I’ve stayed 2 nights in a Ghanaian friend’s village in the north, and I’ve been busy at work trying to get everything tied up.
So first, Busua beach (and Asa Baako Festival)! This is where we visited for a long weekend due to independence day on March 6th:
The beach was simply stunning – very serene.
Coconut Dream was where we had breakfast each morning.
The festival involved a stage on the beach, before moving inland for the Jungle Party at night.
Then in the week came a visit to the Nayorku community. For the Farming for Futures project, Charlie had organised for a member from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to teach the farmers of the community on best-practice farming techniques.
The following weekend I visited Martin’s village, Kpatia, in northern Ghana. Martin and I have been friends since meeting at the guesthouse we stayed at our for our in-country induction, and I have stayed in touch with him and been to house a couple of times throughout the 3 months. Last weekend I was privileged enough to stay with his family in his home village. After buying the food Martin said I’d require, I met him at the tro tro station after work on Friday, not knowing exactly what to expect…
Myself and Martin’s (the man to the right of me) family! They were very welcoming.
Before heading to Kpatia I had to buy all the drinking water that I would need. The village has no market, and is simply a collection of huts/houses dotted around the landscape. This made for a very peaceful atmosphere.
We spend much of our time in Kpatia meeting the village people and more of Martin’s family. They were all very keen for a photo (and to see and laugh at the result), offering me the opportunity to shoot numerous families! I have printed most of the photos taken, to give to Martin who will deliver them to everyone once he returns to Kpatia again.
We climbed to the top of a nearby hill, for a fantastic view over the village.
This man is searching from gold in dug up rocks. The village members of Kpatia are certain there is gold in the land, and this is backed up by the fact there are large and established gold mines in a neighboring village. Kpatia, however, does not have the money or resources to begin serious gold mining or prospecting and is restricted to guessing and either searching like through rocks, or building shafts just using man power and without shaft machinery… this of course can unfortunately be very dangerous.
I was privileged enough to able to attend a funeral during my time there. Having seen the Damba Festival and also cultural performances I expected to know roughly what to expect, but this was very different in its own right! A very eye-opening experience that involved various dancing, traditional wear, fascinating instruments, and also the sacrificing of animals. Interestingly, March is the month during which people wait to have the funerals; the burials are performed around the time of death, but the cultural norm is to wait until March for the funeral to take place.
Another photo from the funeral.
And another. The drummers formed a circle, in which it seemed that anyone could jump in a start dancing.
My favourite photo from the many families I photographed.
I arrived back into Tamale on Sunday evening, exhausted but amazed at the last 48 hours. Sleeping and waking up in the huts, wandering around meeting the village people, and also visiting the gold mines in a nearby village, was certainly one of the most memorable experiences from my time in Ghana.
Back at work and training Kamel and Hardi on how to make basic updates to the new website. The previous day I had trained Saani on the website, and the following morning he showed me a photo gallery he’d created himself from the evening after – all perfectly done! The fact the training and manual I’d given him had worked was a real boost to my hope that RAINS would be able to truly utilise the new site, in particular to raise awareness of all of their achievements and help the organsation in receiving funding from both national and international donors. A great moment is the smile on their faces when they edit something their self, and realise that editing HTML isn’t as difficult as it has to be!