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Monday, February 11, 2013

Oh the people you meet!


We have been living in Sandema for almost one month now, and I have to say I am really enjoying my time here.  We have met some incredible people so I thought I might introduce you to some of them…..



Samankeni 

Samankeni works in the office at CBR.  She is always a friendly face to greet us each morning and helps Festus teach us Buli.  Samankeni lives in town and has offered to take us to the market one day and buy all the ingredients to make some traditional Ghanaian dishes….we haven’t been able to take her up on this wonderful offer just yet but we will be sure to let you know how it all turns out when we do!



Kwame

We LOVE Kwame.  I’m pretty sure that Kwame will be featuring in this blog quite often! Kwame is our driver at CBR, and despite his minimal English, we somehow manage to laugh and joke with him all day (ok, so Festus helps quite a bit with the translation!). Kwame will often drive us around the Builsa district as we go about our research and project work.  As we drive around he will point out people’s houses, identify different trees, and laugh at our (erm…Poppy’s) obsession with goats, pigs, chickens, and monkeys!  Kwame also likes to tease Festus and the two of them will often bicker about whose village is better; Kwame’s Wiaga vs Festus’ Chuchuliga.  Over the past few weeks, Kwame has often got involved in some of our discussions with Chiefs or Disabled People’s Organisations.  We aren’t always too sure of what he is saying, but you can generally get the gist of whether he is angry about something or not!  As an example, we went to Gbedembilisi this week to meet the Chief and his elders, and unfortunately there weren’t many of them available.  After we had finished our interview, Kwame started to chide them for being unprepared for our visit.  Now this involves a lot of arm gesticulating which is fascinating to watch, especially if you have no idea what is being said!  We all want t-shirts made with “I Love Kwame” printed on the front!

Yaw

Yaw is 26 (or sometimes 23 or sometimes 30…it all depends on who he is trying to woo that particular day!).  Regardless of his age, Yow is one of our favourites in Sandema and he is quite an impressive guy!  He lives at Horizons Children’s Centre (an amazing place which looks after up to 40 boys and young men, supporting them for as long as they need them, and provides a scholarship program for girls too).  Yaw is in a wheelchair and has some difficulties with his movement due to cerebral palsy, yet this does not stop him at all.  We often meet him in town where he tells us about his trips to Bolgatanga and his plans to build a kindergarten school in his home village of Kadema.  Currently, Yaw is in the process of gathering building plans and estimates for the school and will soon be working on raising the funds (let us know if you think you might be able to help!).  Yaw supports Liverpool FC (though don’t let that put you off) and I think he was the only Ghanaian who was supporting Burkina Faso in the recent African Cup of Nations semi-final.  This man is truly inspirational and does not let his disability faze him, and in return he has many a friend in Sandema – it is difficult to have a conversation with him in town as every few seconds someone beeps, shouts a greeting, or comes over to say hello.  This week Yaw accompanied us to his home village of Kadema, where we had been invited to attend their community Feok festival – it definitely made the experience all the more fun being there with Yaw!




Keep an eye out for more posts about the people we meet in Sandema!

- Tracy

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