Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why Ghana?

I'm chipping away at a Picasa album about my trip to Ghana, but the way I operate, that'll take us through July at least. So I figured I'd throw a few of my favorite pictures at you as a place-holder. They're all of people: My traveling companion, Lisa, and I decided early on that, given a choice, we wanted to meet people more than we wanted to see monkeys and hippos. And, boy, did we ever.

I've heard it said that you go to East Africa for the landscape and West Africa for the people. Unlike most of what you hear about Africa, this turns out to be true, if Ghana's any example. I hope we'd be as welcoming to a well-meaning but clumsy visitor to the U.S. , but I'm not 100 percent confident.

Addo Dombo (striped shirt) and family, our primary hosts for all but our first week, when we were volunteering in a village in the Volta region. Addo is a government official and his wife, Eunice, (far right) is a teacher. They head a lively household in Accra that at the moment includes three daughters, a niece, a nephew, three grandchildren, and a daughter's friend. Addo sent us (guided by his cousin, Odette) all over Ghana in his car and driver, giving us unparalleled access to places we'd never have seen otherwise.

Here's a smattering of other folks we met, starting in "our" village, Abutia Agodeke, and moving on through the cities of Accra, Kumasi, and Wa in the far north, plus towns and villages in between.

Agodeke kids, on the porch outside Lisa's and my room.

Robert Tornu, director of project and volunteer management for Disaster Volunteers of Ghana (DIVOG), the organization that placed us (and took care of us) in Agodeke. "Disaster" in this case means a child going without an education. More about DIVOG in my next post. He's in a "tro-tro"-- the vans that are the backbone of the public transportation system-- as we headed back to Accra after our week in Agodeke. (Actually, this was an upper level of tro-tro, with air conditioning and comfortable seating. This level of transport is known locally as "a ford. "Take that, Chevy.)

This is in the far north, in the village our host family calls home.

In the northern city of Wa, these ladies were making pito, the local beer brewed from millet. It has a bit of a kick.

The digital camera is your passport to anywhere: Everyone wanted their pictures taken and shown to them afterwards. That's Lisa's hand at left, vainly groping for her camera as these Wa market vendors yuck it up.
More coming soon!


lisa said...

As I recall, the market women yukking it up were laughing at a picture of me dancing. Okay, not really.

What these pictures also display is the fantastic sense of style possessed by folks in Ghana. Talk about an eye for color and pattern, and a capacity to put them together in astonishing ways!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, I love the fabrics! I wish my mom had the internet, she could get some great ideas! (she`s a fabric artist, which is a fancy shmancy way of saying she works with fabric when she makes her art.)