Thursday, 17 February 2011

Trou trous and learning the lingo!

I've now had 3 hours language training in Dagaare and should be able to greet people politely, find my way around, particularly to the Chief's house and the market, and count to 1,000! With at least 9 groups of us learning different Ghanaian dialects, you can imagine the sounds emanating from our conference room. Many of the groups will be working and living within 50 miles of each other so the languages are that local!! It was hard not to get hysterical when 30 people were all making indeciferable gutteral sounds in small huddled groups, repeating themselves over and over again. Anyone listening at the door would imagine a tiny zoo was housed within. It was very funny.
Anyway, Ansumar, Antrey or Annulla, depending which time of the day you open this blog! The spelling is phonetical as the language is not a written one.

Last night 19 of us squeezed into a trou trou (battered minibus taxi) and bumped our way through the outskirts of Accra to listen to traditional live music from Koroleko, a superb band from Burkino Faso. Some of the entertainment was provided by the very athletic dancing from members of the audience, back flips included. I discovered that STAR beer is worth having and a welcome alternative to the gallons of water I'm consuming. The journeys there and back were at least as interesting. Small shacks selling everything appeared to be planning to stay open all night. Many of those that had closed had their owners or guards sleeping in the entrances. Large crowds gathered around TVs in shacks and on the street as Arsenal played Barcelona. I have no idea who they were supporting or why, but it was clearly an important match for all the spectators.
There seemed to be far too many young children on the streets, cleaning windscreens and sitting around at 11pm, but that is part of their lives, unfortunately, and part of the reason why some of us are here.

Tomorrow, we get some of our allowance in cash. I imagine Wells Fargo will draw up in front of the hotel!
We have shopping opportunities for mobile phone credit and dongle purchasing, not to mention steam irons and other household items for a few people, before the long journeys by bus up country to our placements. It will take 12 hours as a minimum to Wa with 3 stops for food etc. Not only will each of us have 2 large bags, but also a bag with our course folder, bedding, mosquito net and 1st Aid kit that we will be presented with! As for any hand luggage and not to forget motorbike helmets, I can't imaging how we will manage. Never mind, we have an experienced friend looking after the 8 of us travelling on our particular bus. She says we will be fine and my guardian angel agrees!

My next posting on here will be from Nadowli, where I shall be residing from Sunday night.
As they would say up there   Gitaganzo (Good Night)  !!!


  1. Hats off to you Debbie there is no way I could do what you are doing.
    So sorry we did not meet up before you left but understand life was a bit busy.
    You are seeing a fight for survival in lfe which must be difficult ot deal with at times.
    Great to hear from you, look forward to seeing pictures

  2. Hiya Debbie
    What an interesting read. Really cant begin to imagine how life has changed for you. Look forward to further installments.
    Forth coming bus journey sounds interesting!
    Take care and have fun!

    Juliet x