Mingling with the Chiefs
Trip Start May 04, 2011
106Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
What I did
Wednesday night we had a Poker Night down the road at the housing compound where mostly consultants and contractors stay. A few of us had been talking about a card night for many months but no one ever organises anything around here. So, 5 of us committed and it was a great change from the usual setting of the wet mess and something completely different. Good fun, even tho I didn't win! Played with a Russian guy (he’s actually from Ukraine but calls himself Russian...go figure) who had never played poker before! Fun night. I then drove back to camp and didn’t realise until the American guy in the passenger seat pointed out – I was driving on the wrong side of the road
The other highlight of the week was a community stakeholder engagement meeting in town at the District Assembly (Local Council). I was placed up front of the attendees on a stage with just 2 other people. Very odd moment where I’m sitting on this podium staring into a group that consists of Chiefs with their gold jewels and robes with most speaking the local language. I have realised that lots of people show up to these meetings for free food and water, and to give "contributions" – not questions, but just their thoughts and opinions. I stopped writing down the contributions after the 15th person spoke - I was worried my pen would run out of ink.
I escorted the EPA to site following the town meeting for an inspection of one of our site facilities. Probably the strangest moment of my career to date when I am leaning on the bonnet of the ute while the EPA rep tells me what to hand-write on the permit application. I’m not going to go into much detail in this blog, but trust me, it was different and I couldn’t help but laugh after it was all over.
I have been learning some of the local language lately! I know that I said I never wanted to, but the person I am currently sharing an office with is quite into it and her staff made up some flip cards that we are testing each other on. Wa Gee Dee is currently my fav (“Are you sure”). It is funny to watch the Ghanaians look at u when u speak their language. I want to understand what bad things they say behind my back hahahaha.
Next entry will be from Zanzibar where I will have my next internet availability following my Kenyan safari. I can almost smell the salt of the hopefully warm tropical ocean water...ahhhhh.