Before I begin this blog, I would like to ask you something. Next week will be my last week in Bolgatanga. On sunday Rob is coming and on tuesday we will leave Bolgatanga and my family, which I really started to love, and we will begin our next travel adventure. So, there is just over one more week to make some photographs and I thought it would be nice to do some ‘requests’. If there is anything you would like to see, curious how something is here in Bolgatanga or a special pic you want me to make, please let me know! I would love to give you more insight and make some personally requested photo’s! You can request them in the comments or let me know personally or on Facebook! I am looking forward to your requests!
Going on a road trip called work
The thing I like most about my work here, is going in the field and making photographs of all these beautiful places and people. It feels a bit like a roadrip and it is all part of the job! Some weeks ago we went to Bawku, a town near the borders of Burkina Faso and Togo. There a training about rice farming was given. Some things that made this trip very Ghanian:
- The car was overheated, as soon as we left. Instead of going to a mechanic to fix the car, we just bought plenty of sachets of mineral water, and we stopped regularly to give the car a drink.
- There was also a problem with the power 0f the car. Instead of going to a mechanic, we just pushed the car a couple of times.
- The company has employed its own driver. He is also good with car technics, so he fixed the car regularly. Is it very good that he can do this, otherwise I do not think we would be able to move a lot with the car. But because of all these car troubles we had to wait a lot of time.
- The trainer was very late. When we were already in Bawku, the trainer still had to leave her home, which was a two hour drive. Luckely, Ghanians always think in solutions and we were still able to give the training.
- In one community the women were very excited about my camera. Even more excited when they found out I could give them the printed version of the photographs. In this community the people also produced the local alcoholic drink, and I think they drank it too, at 8 in the morning. Everybody was very happy and laughing a lot. At the end they did a dance for me! Super!
Some more photo’s I made while working in the field, and one including me:
Some more insights in the Ghanian culture
In the village I live in, a lot of houses are not finished. People just start building, untill they have no more money. Then they build again when they have some money, and so it can take years before a house is finished.
Underpants are a taboo. When you wash you clothes, you are not supposed to wash your underpants in a place where everybody can see them. Instead you wash them when you go to ‘shower’, AKA throw a bucket with water over you. Then you try to wash them with the water and soap you brought for showering.
In Holland we have a lot of machines: washing machine, machine to dust vacuum, machine for cutting food, machine for brushing your teeth, etc. All these things are done here by hand. So my ‘ sister’ was asking me about all these machines and she was wondering if we have a machine for bathing and a machine for eating. Haha, so funny, I instantly visualized these machines.
Every three days is a market day. Then people from all surrounding villages come to sell their goods. This day it is very busy on the road and in town. It is very funny to see what all these people are carrying: goats on a motorbike, a lot of people in a pick up truck, minivans fully loaded, cars pulled by donkeys, wooden shelfs sticking out far beyond the vehicle.
In my family we have a lot of animals: goats, chicken, sheep, guinea fowl. They serve as a saving account. When they have to do something which they cannot pay, they can sell these animals and then they have some money.
Watermelon, we peel it with a spoon:
A lot of old European minivans drive here, for example this one from a dutch flowering company. The taxi of course thanks Jezus:
This is a trotro station:
Ghanians can carry everything on their head:
A lot of things look like a mess
I also learned something about integration, because here I have the experience to learn to live in a culture you do not now. It gave me some insights, and I have some thoughts about how to treat a foreigner. For example, as a foreigner, I would like it if people explain me how things work and what is expected of me, because even the simplest things can have cultural differences. I also like it when people explain something and then let me try it for myself, so I can have my own learning process. Some people just take over what you were just trying to do, and I found that very frustrating, because then you do not have the opportunity to learn something yourself. I also like people to be interested in my culture and let me do some things in my own way. Just because something is different, does not mean it is wrong! So my idea of liking to have a multicultural society with influences from a lot of different cultures is supported more, and when I am back in Holland I will try to have more multicultural influences in my life!