Ben's Ghana Adventures

A collection of all the emails that I sent while I lived, worked and travelled around Ghana West Africa from October 10th 2005 to February 10th 2006. Sorry thers a lot but I had a bloody good time living the experiences! Check out to see all my African Photos.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ben's African Adventures 3

October 26th 2005
Hi Everyone and welcome again to a fun packed edition of Ben's Adventures in the heat of Africa. Last time I wrote it was a rushed email and the connection was bad. But I have sneaked off from the school so that I can get to the internet when no one is on so it works faster.
Let me take you on a magical journey through Ghanian life.
The family: Today we are at the lowest number of inhabitants at anyone point since I have been at this house. There are only ten people living there today. Normally there can be three times as much all living on top of each other in cramped rooms. Thomas Nana's middle son wants me to take the tests so that I can become a chief of the Yego tribe!! (probably a very small imsignificant chief at that) Also there is always a new baby in the house, Frank who is of no relation but lives in the very incestious house gave me his kid to look after and then promptly sodded off. So there I was with a baby. while the local church had come to pay their respects to Nana by singing and dancing in the pitch black outside the house. The drums and trumpeting made the little fella cry and I had to deal with him.
The school: There are three English classes to be taught several times a week. I have to teach two of the classes and I was made form master (form tutor) of the first year Agriculture students. I am down on the form masters borad as Ben (whiteman), so that clears that one up then! But on a good note this means that I can teach them almost anything that I want to. Only this morning I baffled the life out of the home economic girls when i taught them English. I did Macbeth with them and trying to explain the meaning of metaphors, similes and personification to kids who are not too fluent in English is quite a task. The school itself is a collection of breeze blco buildings dotted around a tree encrusted field. There are two run down dormitories for the students and goats roaming and bleeting everywhere. This morning I was woken to a man slaughtering a chicken outside my window. None of the school buildings have windows and the library is appallingly stocked. There is a dirt track leading through the school grounds and many a time I have seen men balancing pots on their heads and carrying guns going down that path and into the dense palm forest. Guns in school!!
The Ghanians can carry anything on their heads, only yesterday I saw a man balancing a chainsaw on his bonce.
Excursions: So far we have only been on one excursion and that was to cape Coast last weekend. Every Wednesday all the volunteers from the Agona district meet in the main town of Swedru. Everyone gets into town by the means of a tro tro, and the Ghaniansa ere the scariest drivers I have ever seen. They just honk their horns at everything and the cars and buses rattle along with the speedos broken. All the volunteers meet in town and exchange stories of their week and what they have done. We all meet up and arrange weekends away. Thats why 8 of us which then ended up being 12 of us went off to the cental Regions capital last weekend. We have also arranged to go to Winneba beach next weekend, and Kakum national park the following, with its tree top canopy walkway. We were given a guided tour of a damn and a waterworks plant near our little village of Kwanyaku and even though we couldnt understand what the man was saying we discovered why it is unsafe to drink any Ghanaian tap water. The river near us is very picturesque but full of crocodiles and pyhtons, and even though I have yet to spot one I am not going near the waters edge. Also the water is ripe with Billarzia.
We also went to the local football stadium, well its not really a stadium it looks more like a run down shanty village and there were even goats on the pitch during a Ghanian premiership match! Talking of football my team 'Kwastech' at school are going quite well, even though the mad deputy head wants me to train them at 5.30 am every morning. So far we have trained in a monsoon and blistering desert like arid heat. I can just see my self patrolling the touchline and shouting wearing a flat cap when the season starts in november.
Everything is fantastic out here and I am loving it all. The food is very greasy though and there is so much of it. Theres no chance of having a light lunch out here our host sister Doris (a rather big lady) is always trying to feed me up. But i feel accepted and when I go into the village at night to go to the bar called 'the spot' I am greeted of not chants of 'obroni' anymore but cries of 'Hello Mr.Ben'. I am known as the local clown I think because I take my shirt off and sit in the sun, which the locals think is mad. I must leave you all now for this story has finished its chapter. But I will leave you with this small thought. I saw a young child pick up a cat and punch it!
Take care all
x x x x


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