Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Travels with my Friends

Both of my visitors this August are now safely home in England and I am so grateful to them both for coming all this way to share great experiences of Ghana and help restore my health. I only wish I could say I was "home" in Nadowli. New instructions from VSO say we must not travel on buses overnight. Unfortunately, due to timings and distance we now have to have at least one overnight stop between Accra and Nadowli. Not a disaster, but costly on our allowances and tomorrow is Eid and there are no buses for 2 days! I shall have had a whole week in Accra enjoying variety of food and good company but wanting to get home. It will resolve, eventually, no doubt.

Ali and I were driven around most of southern Ghana in a week by Francis, a very knowledgeable Ghanaian. The range of scenery was amazing from mountains and waterfalls to palm fringed beaches. Our first stop was in Ho,capital of the Volta Region where we printed with wax in the process of making batik on cotton cloth. When I returned there with Jeny last week, a team were dying the lengths of cloth all beautiful colours and laying them on the grass to dry. Some of the pattern symbols are Adinkra and have meaning. (Similar to the symbol at the top of this blog)

Not far along the road we came across groups of villagers weaving Kente cloth. This is done on looms in long narrow strips with bright coloured threads. The strips are of varying lengths and can be cut up to decorate other cloths and clothes or strips can be sewn together to make a wider piece. I was allowed to try this and although complicated with a number of shuttles I did get the hang of it. Needless to say we bought some.

Quite a creative day, really. When villagers are skilled and specialise in crafts like this, all members of the community work on it. Children were filling spools whilst all ages wove the Kente lengths. The cloths were beautiful and they take a long time to complete despite the workers  putting in so many hours a day.

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