Monday, 4 July 2011

A Spot of Bother

I have had problems with internet access for the past few days. MTN seem to think they can zero my credit at will! Never mind, I'm back in business now. What with that and storms which bring "lights-out" at any time, life is anything but predictable. We heard today that 2 children in Jirapa ( the next town north) were struck and killed by lightning yesterday. It is dreadful but not altogether surprising. We were in Jirapa at the time and it was very dramatic fork lightning.

Last Thursday I made a tour of 4 schools. These are ones I have been advised to spend time in. I am used to taking Michael on tarmac roads and even red grit, but these lanes are sandy tracks.....No...paths that join one village to another. They get narrower and you assume you have taken a wrong turning until a familiar long yellow building with wooden window shutters appears before you.........the next school! I have no idea where to go from one to another and need reliable (not a commonly heard word here) directions. At one school I was offered a guide who lived in the next village. With no protective clothing she sat sidesaddle behind me and we set off, me nervously. The paths got narrower and more sandy until we were embedded! Needless to say she nimbly hopped off as I crashed onto one side. It was always going to happen but came as a bit of a shock and has knocked my confidence for a few days, not to mention a range of nice bruises. With the help of a couple of field workers Michael resumed an upright position and we continued to Kpazie. The school was in the throes of farming tasks and, alarmingly, huge machetes were lying on the grass playing area. Older pupils wield these expertly. However, most children were busy shelling ground nuts. Some were for planting but others to be made into soup (Jojo)
 Luckily, my guide was staying there and didn't need a lift back. What a relief! The Assistant Head led me along a much easier route that ended up back in Nadowli. I decided to celebrate and buy a yam, harder to come by at the moment, as are most fresh foods. The ladies in the market were standing behind this large bowl of scarlet local hot peppers and happily posed for this photo. Alice on the left calls my name in a loud voice from one end of the market to the other....."Adrianna". Unfortunately, she sells a lot of little dried fish only used to make very spicy soup so I don't buy much from her stall. It is nice to "Greet" though and the Ghanaians are masters at "Greeting".
I am back at one of the more accessible schools on Thursday to assist with some training in teaching English. I shall pray for more rains in the meantime as that makes the sand a little more stable for driving.

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