Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lula's Experience: C'est La VIE

Written by Lula Chapman-Hureau

Everyday there’s something new and exciting, whether it’s at work or within the community. I think it is mainly because as a team we are still learning about each other, and understanding each other so we can work more effectively. What makes us a strong team is the fact that we look out for each other, always looking to support one another and discussing issues with our work. Our team motto is ‘united we stand, divided we fall’.

Every day I am amazed that I’m in Ghana, it still feels somehow surreal. I enjoy observing the community and how tranquil it is…well, except market day! The locals really appreciate our attempts at conversing in Buli, the local language. As we cycle to work and around the community, it is very funny watching everyone desperately dodging the wandering animals since they are free to roam around.

I am still getting used to the sounds at night, the animals can be very noisy at times. However, the sounds of goats, donkeys and cows are a welcome change from the cars and late night wanderers in the UK.

I have also been a regular church-goer. Religion is ubiquitous in Ghana; it has been wonderful to see such an energetic atmosphere and how communal it is. I enjoy listening to the readings and hearing what the Pastor has to say as an individual from an agnostic background. Religion is a delicate subject for me since I struggle to know if what they say is scientifically accurate, but at the same time I am taking away important lessons any religious or non-religious person can apply in their day-to-day life.

Not only are people in Sandema passionate about religion, but they’re also passionate about football! Before every match, an excitable bunch of people flock to a small television room called “The Cinema”. Every time Ghana score a goal cheers erupt and smiles stretch from ear to ear. It’s amazing how transfixed they are on the screen. I am sure the excitement will increase as Ghana approach the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations.

This week has probably been the busiest week in the office so far! It was harder than I thought to move forward in our planning; however, this is not necessarily a bad thing - I like the fact we can all laugh with and learn from each other in the process. The most significant event of the week was the Radio Team’s first appearance on Radio Builsa. As I started off the week reading through the School Sensitisation reports that previous cohorts have produced, it was tricky to then catch up with the plans of the Radio Team the day before the show. Despite the stress, we all did a fantastic job and received lots of plaudits from the locals. I felt excited, nervous and calm all at the same time during the show. I still cannot believe I was on the radio, but I am so proud of what my team mates and I have accomplished!

From our experiences in Sandema so far, we understand that things will not always be easy, but we live, we learn and that is how we grow as individuals. 

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