Well, the Harmattan has been blowing through here with all its might this week. The atmosphere is choked and every surface has a layer of dust. You cannot see the sun. The wind blows like a gale and is quite cool but unpleasant. It is like a very overcast day at home but here it is warmer & you still don’t need a coat. However, the locals are in ski jackets with ear muffs and look “nithered”. You can taste the dust and there is a thin pall of it inside the house. It is as though it cannot allow all of itself to settle. Sweeping and dusting are a waste of time as it is still all there! Maybe this Harmattan has kept its strongest blasts until last. It should be finishing soon and the hot season will be building up over the next few months.
I have learned a little more about people’s beliefs in Ghana. A school was closed last week as a teacher was in fear of his life. He had, inadvisedly, allowed some discussion about spirits. A girl accused some boys (a huge taboo), of attracting spirits at night. Parents were told by pupils and the teacher was attacked by a group of them. This is all taken very seriously as people can be beaten to death. A meeting was chaired by some District Officers and peace was restored in the community. The school reopened today with agreed conditions of behaviour.
The power of Witchcraft is real and if you admit to being sceptical of it all there are plenty of people prepared to prove you wrong. Young children with mystery illnesses and disrupted behaviour day and night are sent to priests for prayers & exorcism of spirits. These powers are passed from person to person whether you like it or not. A man died this week, who was known to exact punishment, ranging from illness to death, through witchcraft & Juju powers on anyone for an appropriate fee! I imagine he looked quite normal……….. even as a corpse!
On a lighter note……..some members of our “Drawing Club” dropped by the other day with a toy someone had made them. This glorious machine must have taken a while of painstaking work to build and was very intricate in its moving parts. The tyres are cut from old flip flops. It is magnificent and the children were very proud of their truck.