Monday, 7 March 2011

Independence Day

As my housemates were away this weekend, I decided to look up some dutch friends in Wa who came out to Ghana with me. We had a great weekend and met up with a large group of other volunteers at various times. Life in a large town brings a range of new entertainment and opportunities. My hosts were wonderful (and I'm not just saying that because they read this blog!!) The range of food items is infinitely greater and we ate very well with lots of fresh fruit and veg. I could become vegetarian here. However, last nights chicken and yam chips, the first meat in a while was delicious and very cheap! £1.50 for a plate full including half a chicken.

The market is very colourful and sociable

I bought a piece of green and blue cotton batik fabric in the market, bartered down to £6.50 for 3 yards to have a dress made. The estimated amount needed was the vendor's not mine, but they are very accurate and used to this. There are dressmakers  everywhere including in Nadowli so I shall be visiting them this week with a dress to copy.

On the way home we visited the Wa Na's Palace (Chief of Wa) from the outside. Situation currently vacant due to dispute, apparently!

Sunday was the 54th Ghana Independence Day. Everyone gathered in Jubilee Park for celebrations led by local chiefs/politicians and starring the school marching teams in competition. (These are ones who have been practising for weeks to the beat of drumming.) There were lots of schools and even more supporters. We watched most of them and listened as they cheered at each score. The marching was very military which made us feel that some dancing may have been more appropriate for children, but this is clearly a tradition and taken very seriously.

Later in the day we walked through Wa in search of an ancient mosque built in traditional style, like the Wa Na Palace with mud and sticks. It took some finding in the backstreets of the older poorer residential area of Wa. Some repair was being made to another mosque nearby and we were told the local community are desperate for funding to restore this 17th Century one,

I traveled to and from Wa in the tro tro. Both journeys were very pleasant despite the dilapidated condition of the vehicles. I entertained a toddler for ages with a bracelet. She was fascinated by my white skin and laughed all the way there to the amusement of everyone else. On the return journey I was lucky to get a front seat with my backpack and a young Ghanaian showed me where he was working on a food production project near Nadowli. We passed endless mango trees heavy with ripening fruit. I can't wait for the harvest.

As I trudged along the sandy path to the house I was met by a gaggle of small children who all wanted to draw. They have been doing this with Laura & Patricia for some time. I produced paper and crayons and they were happy for a while, until they needed to teach me a song and dance. I think they would have stayed all day but I had washing to do and a blog I was itching to write!!

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1 comment:

  1. We are loving your descriptions Deb. You certainly had a wonderful weekend in Wa. Now you have mastered the art of adding photos, we are more able to visualise what you are doing. Hope you have a mango tree not too far away... We are hoping the main harvest will begin before we leave. Some about but the main fruit up here on the Wild Coast is pineapple -huge ,sweet and very juicy!!
    Hope the children from your local schools did well in the marching competition. It certainly looked very impressive.
    Love Hugh and Gill