The Project, Freedom and a shrine
Trip Start Apr 10, 2011
22Trip End Jun 27, 2011
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Back to reality…
I learnt a few things this week. We had a bit of a… tiff with Lydia. Well. I say a tiff
We spent a lot of time in Kumasi this week, for one reason or another. Turns out that it was Africa day on Wednesday, so we technically had a day off. Well, we were meant to have a presentation but we rang to confirm and the school said they were closed! I don’t think anyone realised it was a bank holiday until about three days before. Good oh! Still, Tom, Sam and I spent the day in Kumasi and met some other volunteers. Did I already mention this?! I’m getting a sense of Déjà vu.
Thursday wasn’t particularly busy, we were meant to go and spend the morning at the Maternity health centre in Achiase. We’ve been going there every Tuesday but it hasn’t been much use to anyone since the first week (where I collapsed :S)
Friday was probably one of the most interesting days on the project so far. As planned we went into a school in Achiase and gave a talk on Malaria and Animal Bites. If I’ve not mentioned before, Brett did a lot of the schools presentations on HIV/AIDS in the last few months and it’s not like we can go and repeat that. Therefore, we’re doing presentations on Malaria and Animal Bites. It’s going Ok, the kids have issues understanding Sam (which is hilarious, he’s from London), his part of the talk is Rabies, Tetanus and Tick bite fever. This leaves me with Snake bites and Malaria. I get so many more questions on Snake bites, so at least they’re learning something new!
Friday, after the school presentation, we decided that we needed to go to the Prison. We wrote a letter to them asking if we could do a talk, and they rang Helen… but again, everything was said in a roundabout way and it wasn’t clear if she had actually organized anything or whether they had even said yes! We had asked in the letter to give a presentation on Sunday (29th) and it was getting dangerously close. Helen advised that we ought to go to the prison directly ourselves and arrange something. So that was the plan. We rocked up at the prison camp; the prisoners were mostly in there for things like theft, so it wasn’t very high security. Lots of unarmed prison guards, and lots of prisoners working with machetes. I don’t even want to begin to think how that makes sense. After asking around and being told to wait in various rooms, we were shown to the man in charge. He basically said, “Come back at 12pm and the prisoners will be ready for you”. Err… what?! PANIC!!!!
Haha. So we left… and decided that we should just wait outside the prison. We only had an hour and a half, and apparently it wasn’t feasible to catch a tro back to Achiase and go and prepare ourselves in the office
This weekend… ahh. I think i've spoken to a few of you about some other issues that I won’t mention here. Needless to say, Tom went off to spend the weekend with his other volunteer friends, leaving Sam and I to do our own thing. We headed to Lake Bosomtwi on Saturday. It’s thankfully just a day trip from Kumasi, so we caught the Tro to a place called Kuntanase, then had to get a taxi to Adomo which is on the shores of the Lake. The taxi stopped half way there, and we had to pay an 'entrance fee’, then at the lake, before we could get to the shores (all I wanted to do was sit there for a bit) we were grabbed and taken into an office and pressured into donating money to the preservation of the lake
Sunday was a brilliant day. I was by myself for the first time in weeks – the taste of freedom was so good! So I tootled off to a place called Ejisu. Another ‘day’ trip from Kumasi. According to the guide book, it was a good place to go to see some traditional Fetish shrines. Hmm. Well, I got to Ejisu and wandered around – there was a market on, so it was pretty busy and lots of guys shouting at the white girl on her own. Its not exactly easy to blend in when you stand out like a beacon! Eventually I gave up wandering and got the guide book out – turns out it was a bit of a walk to the shrine. So I walked there. It was in the next village, which was much further than I thought! When I arrived, I asked around a bit, was laughed at a lot (does wonders for the self esteem…) and was eventually shown to the shrine. It was a bit of a run down thatched building with a crazy old man who was the ‘caretaker’. He didn’t speak much English either! The key words – ‘photo’, ‘money’, ‘look’, ‘here’… etc. So I had a wander around – there wasn’t all that much to the shrine. It was more like a museum with some museum-esque plaques with the shrines history etc. then the old man got out some photos of him and other tourists, a grass skirt featured in all of them. Then he made me take a photograph of him wearing this skirt! I was, of course, charged for the privilege of taking photos (I took 2), and charged an entrance fee
Next weekend we’re off to Accra – its Christa’s last weekend in Ghana and we’re having a send off party. Sort of. It’s a bit crap that we’ve got to go back to Accra again. It’s such a horrible city! I really don’t like spending time there! But we’ll hopefully have a good weekend, and I really can’t spend another weekend like this one in Kumasi. I decided to stay two extra weeks on the project, for my sins, which means I won’t be doing any traveling, leaving me with one weekend to get in the traveling I want to do. I have a vague plan of going back up north and heading to Bolgatanga but I’ll have to see. I only really want to do this if I can go on my own or with a large group. In two weeks we’re all heading to Takoradi and Busua for a relatively relaxing time on the beach. Well. I’m going to relax, even if I have to do it on my own! This would actually be quite welcome.
Right, enough rambling – I’m in the office in Achiase writing this, so time is my oyster and as you can probably guess, I could ramble for England!!!