Host family and the first week

I am almost one week in Ghana now. Now that I am with my host family and beginning to have some kind of home, I found the time to make this update.

Right now I am in Dulugu. It is a small town near Bolgatanga. I am with my host family, which is a lovely family. There is a woman and a man, and three children. They live in a big family house with their extended family. It is really different from a dutch house, there are animals all around, there is no toilet and a lot of activities are outside. It is hard to explain without photo’s and I have not made any of this house, so I will tell more about that later. I have photo’s of the two girls I live with.

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Doing laundry together

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They call me mom Lidy. As a sign of respest the children in Ghana do not only call their own mother mom, but also all the other people that are about the age of their mom. The oldest girl is a hard working girl and very eager to learn. The youngest one is really naughty! They are both happy girls, laughing and smiling all the time. It is nice living in a house with them.

Some things I have done with my host family: laundry by hand, cut Okru, went to the market, mashed fish heads in some sort of big mortar, gave computer lessons. Never a dull moment in Ghana!

Before I arrived here, I stayed with an other host family in Accra and in a guesthouse in Karimenga.

My host family in Accra:

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They had little dogs, only eight weeks old!

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Showing my book with photographs from Holland

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After Accra I spent a few days in Karimenga, to get used to Ghana a bit.

Cooking in a Ghanian kitchen. This one is quite luxury. Where I live know they cook on coal.

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The house I slept in in Karimenga. On the right is the shower.DSCF0532

The name of the dog is Bauke, but they pronounce it as ‘Boike’.

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Relaxing space in Karimenga

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We went to the farm.DSCF0538

Reorganizing the union field

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Okru

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Chilli

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Union

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Cassave

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Pepper

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A hurdle of cows crossing. You see the dust coming up.

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Tried to carry water. I was not that good in it. This one was empty! In the end I managed to carry only my own bath, which I really needed after carrying the water.

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The market in Bolgatanga. This was not on a market day, so it was a quiet day.

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Some more fun things in Ghana:

  • When you do something with your left hand, you say ‘sorry’
  • They call white people ‘solemio’. So when you hear this word, you know someone is talking to or about you
  • One girl in this family house is very afraid of the solemio. Everytime she sees me she cries and when I tried to hold here, she just didn’t stop stamping
  • In the school of the oldest girl here is only one computer. They get lessons in ICT, but they practice very little. One computer in a entire school, you cannot imagine. She is ten and I try to learn her how to use the mouse, write something in word and Internet a bit. What a difference!
  • Food cannot be spoiled, that is a taboo. So when you have something left over, you tell it, and somebody will it eat, or will it eat the next morning. All the time they share their food. For example a water melon, if you do not finish is, somebody else will eat from that same piece you just bite in.
  • My ‘wedding ring’ is very handy, because I already had a lot of proposals.
  • When you see someone, you have a big greating ritual. I know how to do that in the local language, and people like that! It goes something like ‘Hello’, then someone responds, then you ask how the person is doing, the person says ‘I am fine’ (there is no other possible answer), then that person asks how you are and then you say you are fine. Then you can start your conversation or just walk further. When you do not do this greeting ritual, people are offended. When you do it, people will for example watch your stuff, just because you greated them, they feel responsible.
  • Everyhting is really well organized here by ‘Ontmoet Afrika’. You are really cared for, and that gives a nice feeling.

What is also fun to mention, is that now the elections are in Ghana. This elections are very different than the elections in Holland. There are two great parties. Constantly people are discussing about the politics. They are even trying to convince me! Because of the temperament of the people, it looks like they are having a fight. But they are just discussing. Voting is really important and some people travel for half a day or stand in line for half a day to vote. The offices also close on election day and the day after and if you have to vote in an other district than the one you are living in, you get more days off from your work. In Accra people ran on the street, drove in cars with clothing and flags of the party they supported, including loud music. Then on voting day people continuisly call each other to ask what they voted for. On television they announce the result of every small city, so that takes more than one day. Yesterday the final votes were counted. That means there was a party. People who support the winning party were going on the street, playing music, waving flags, riding motorbikes. It is just like football in Holland.

So that was it for now. It is already late and the days here start really early! The last photo is from Schiphol, before my flight went, with my two best friends.

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9 comments

  1. Omgedraaide Zwarte-Piet-discussie. Iemand die bang is van ‘solemio’. Heerlijk. Gelukkig dat je trouwtring ‘werkt’. Mooie eerste indruk van Ghana met de tekst en foto’s.

  2. Mooie omgedraaide ‘zwarte-pieten-discussie’ dat ze bang is voor ‘solemio’. :Leuke eerste indruk van je reis.

  3. You mashed fishheads?! (Yeah..That’s what I picked on from the whole story:p) Its good to see you are taking care of 🙂 Hahaha, many proposals…poor Rob 😉 Keep on blogging solemio!! Xx

    • Yes mashing fishhead was one of the first things i did in my host family! Not my favourite, but I was immediately melted in the culture.

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