Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Happy Snapping

During my travels in the south last month, I took Jeny to Kakum National Park and around the canopy walk on her birthday. This was another re-visit for me but one I particularly enjoyed for a number of reasons.  We joined a group who had gathered at the entrance. They were not hard to spot as they wore clothes of identical fabric. This was an outing from a Catholic community in Kumasi, men, women and children. They were very excited and most seemed to enjoy the experience. At the end of the walkway above the trees a photographer captures each person’s image and you can view them and buy one back at the visitors’ centre.

When we arrived the queue of these identically clad visitors was significant and we watched them with interest. They all bought their photo, unsurprisingly, as I imagine most Ghanaians don’t have many pictures of themselves. As it got to our turn to view the images, a woman turned to Jeny and said, “The mother of this small girl only gave her 1 Cedi, so we told the man you will pay the rest!” “The rest” was another 1.50 Cedi. She walked away so quickly, and we were so stunned that there was nothing left to do other than pay it! It is assumed all white people are rich here. Protestations are useless. We are too well fed and must have money to have got here.

Later on in the week, a small girl came up to us as we left the “Last Bath” site and, when we enquired, agreed to be photographed. A smile was too much to ask and only when we had snapped this shot did she put out her hand and demanded gruffly “1 Cedi”. Quite an entrepreneur! She could go far but the smile would help. I'm sure good use was made of the fee.

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