Friday, January 31, 2014

Ghana So Far... The Sandema Files

The People

To put it simply Sandema is host to some of the most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Welcoming, is not a strong enough word for how much the people here, accept you into their community.

The other day I went to buy some pork and the man who I asked made an effort to walk half way across town with me just to show me where I could buy the meat and then carried it all the way back to my bike for me, even though I insisted I could carry it myself, he would not have any of it, and after all this he just expressed it was 'no problem' and carried on with his morning activities.

'No problem', an expression I think people back in the UK and I am sure many other countries, could do with getting to know better. The idea of doing something for your fellow man, not for money or personal gain but just because you want to. And that is one I thing I love about this town, that the people here just genuinely love their fellow man, and whether it be fuelled through their religion or general kind heartedness, the general attitude of this town could be a lesson for the rest of the world which would in turn create a better world.

Of course, kindness is not the only quality of the persons of Sandema, colourfulness is a big part of the personalities here. Many times do I tell people my name, to which they burst out laughing and will carry on for a good 2 minutes whilst I stand there and wonder what I have said that is so funny.
The other day, a lady was going past on her motorbike and came to a complete stop, she turns round with the biggest smile on her face and shouts 'GOOD AFTERNOON' and then rides off. This actually brightened up my entire day and was yet another reason for why I was happy to call this place home for another three months.

One thing I love here and I think this may be true for a lot of Ghana is the general pace of life, back in the UK there are always deadlines, keeping time is the only way to have a successful living and you have to accept that stress will be a big part of your life. But here work gets done as it needs to be done, I am not saying the people here are lazy by any means, in fact it's quite the opposite they are very hard working, but they will take their time and nothing is a rush, of course for some situations this isn't ideal but for most it is and it's such a fantastic way of living. A real sense of no worries when it comes to getting things done, in terms of pace of life, this place is perfect for me, as I myself love to go with the flow.

How easy is it to make friends? I've been in Sandema almost 3 weeks and I already have more local friends than I do in the UK, literally. I needed to go to the hospital the other day as I was feeling a little bit under the weather, actually that's an understatement, I thought I was dying a little bit anyway, I met this guy who worked at the signing in desk, after he finished asking me my name and all the information he needed, he showed me his office, just because he wanted to and asked for my number and then went on to tell me if I ever had to come back to the hospital, to give him a ring and he would help me out the best he could and just like that, I had a friend. I didn't do him any favours, he was just happy to be my friend. So, yeah, that's how easy is it.
Finally, do they love to party? Yes. We had a gathering at the compound, to which a lot of our local friends came to, my speakers were described as a bit 'rubbish' which is fair enough, because they are pretty rubbish. An hour after my speakers were confirmed to be no good, a whole Hi-Fi system was set up in the compound, with a DJ...crazy. Everyone went to sleep about 1 am and the locals had left but come 6 am Maxwell one of the more keen local party goers and some of his friends came back ready to carry on the dancing. So yeah, they know how to do it here.

What are the Bad points I hear you ask? Pfftt, simply, there aren't any… and that's in all honesty, if I find anything I will let you know, but I highly doubt it.

Love from Ollie A and the Sandem Mandem.

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