Rainy Days

GhanaUp here, in Bolgatanga, the weather is usually a little hotter compared with the capital city of Accra. Since April – when we arrived, we have definitely noticed a change in the weather. We are lucky to be in Ghana when it is the rainy season as the rains can bring a slight drop to the temperature.

The rainy season in the Upper East region usually begins around May time and lasts till about September. This means that the local people can start their farming and tend their crops. The staple food crops that the locals grow consist of Millet, Maize and Yam. Many people in Ghana mainly live from subsistence farming and life stock production. In Northern areas of Ghana there is only 1 rainy season per year in comparison with the South where they have 2.

Ghana Rainy Season

 

 

 

The temperatures vary but still average between 30 and 40 degrees. Most of the rains fall during the night time (maybe once or twice a week).  But occasionally the rains fall in the day – just like today! Where it is around 25 degrees. The extra rain is making Ghana look very green and lush…here are a few snaps!

Ghana

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The Locals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some pictures of the children from our neighbourhood. They are all very cute and come round to our house every weekend. They love playing volley ball, football and showing us their Azonto moves. However they have not mastered the idea of snap!          We had a garden party one weekend and invited all of the children from the community to join us. They all wore their best party clothes and snazzy fabrics. This has inspired us to get our own fancy fabrics and clothes made. We will keep you posted on our outfits as they are being made at the moment…coming soon!

           

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12 Weird And Wonderful Facts About Ghana

1. In the market there are lots of lovely smelling foods… Our favourite smell is dried out fish!                                                                          Bolgatanga Market                             

Ghana

2. All babies are carried on the mothers back in a cute little wrap.

3. Many people carry lots of things on their heads – even tables.Ghana

Tro Tro

4. Tro Tro’s are mini buses which you can use for transport. They are loaded up full and you are packed in like sardines.

5. You can buy live animals in the market: ranging from chickens, dogs to goats and cows. Bolgatanga Market

Meat Market

6. The meat in the market is butchered and left out in the sun…Not refrigerated!

Ghana Chief

7. There are many chiefs in the local communities and they can have 27 wives.

Bolgatanga Swimming Pool

8. The swimming pool is an amusing place and there are many times where you become the on duty lifeguard as many Ghanaians have not learnt to swim.

9. Local people don’t go out dancing in night clubs during the rains and you find yourself Bolgatanga Black Starthe only people out on the town.

Ghana

10. Many foods and drinks can be bought in polythene bags including water, beer, rice/ curry dishes etc

11. When women are asked to be married, the man must pay for her with cows. (5 cows seems the going rate).

12. When you would like to get the attention of someone, e.g a bar man or taxi driver you tssssssst at them … which we find is very rude!

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89.5 Radio Awesome

Ghana RadioAs part of our work here in Ghana, we get to work in partnership with national volunteers.  Conrad is a young national volunteer from Bolgatanga and is part of the Trade AID team. This week, he managed to get us a slot on a local radio station which is played in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

We featured on URA radio (89.5FM). Conrad is a regular on the show and he often speaks about the crafts sector in Bolga.

However, this week we stepped in and had a go on live radio! We were invited to take part in an hours, live discussion regarding our work so far in Ghana. The radio DJ was called Sophia Ackumey – she interviewed us live on air and this was followed by a phone in.Ghana Radio

We discussed many topics regarding the crafts sector and the work that we have been involved in. We explained about the research that we have been collecting and the data from our interviews with the local basket makers, smock makers, leather workers, fabric weavers and a group of disabled craftswomen.

She wanted to specifically talk about the INCOME project that we are working on with Trade AID. This is a poverty relief project to help the crafts people in the Upper East Region of Ghana get more support and income for their families.

We received phone ins from the local people of Bolga at the end of the show and Sophia has invited us back to speak again.

– We will keep you posted!

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Mole Good Time

Safari

Weekends off in Ghana are great for exploring and we had been told about Mole before we came out here and we were really thrilled to finally get to the park. After an exciting but exhausting 12 hr day riding on Tro Tros, Metro Masses and taxis we finally arrived at Mole National Park, late evening. (Tro Tros in Ghana are similar to a mini bus and many many many people can fit in them! The Metro Mass is the bus system operating in Ghana)

Mole National ParkWe awoke the next morning to some tasty eggs brekkie and were keen to get out in the park. Whilst having our breakfast we were very lucky to see 5 elephants taking their morning swim in the lake at the bottom of the hotel (this only happens every 10 days or so – when the Elephants need water due to the lack of rain) 

We had been recommended by our team leader Sean to go on a walking tour, guided by Osman The Magnificent. He was a fantastic guide and very informative. Osman took us Ghana - Mole straight to the Elephants having a bath in the mud. We stood there awestruck at these graceful  creatures rolling around in the mud. We then did a bit of Elephant stalking and followed their foot prints into the trees.

We were just on our way back to the hotel and were very surprised to see another family of Elephants entering the lake. We watched them swimming and using their trunks as snorkels. We saw them squirting water and playing around in the lake. Amongst the Mole National ParkElephants there were 2 sneaky Crocs, they were no bother to the Elephants and Osman informed us that they live along side each safariother with no bother.

 

After our morning trek we went to the pool to cool off. We had our dinner in the hotel restaurant and set off again for our afternoon Jeep safari. This was great fun, we were sat on top of the 4×4 and whizzing around the park. We saw Antelope, Water bucks, Warthogs, Primates and more Elephants!!

We really enjoyed our time at Mole and we were very lucky to see the Elephants in their different habitats like the lake, the mud baths and in the open space. We would definitely recommend this visit !

Safari    Mole National Park

Warthog    Baboon

Elephant Prints    Mole National Park

Mole National Park   Safari

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Spielberg Eat Your Heart Out

International Volunteer         Fundraising Planning

Bolgatanga Basket Weaving         Basket Weaving

After completing our first stage of work out here in Bolga, we have rolled onto the next phase of our project. We have began to film a fundraising video in order to raise some extra funding for an experimental farming project. This will hopefully benefit the various crafts people in Bolgatanga in the long term.

We began by planning our story board and all of our ideas onto a large scale mind map  with the expectation of filming for a duration of 2 weeks.

The filming itself has taken us back into the field and we have been revisiting the different crafts people living in Bolga. They have been very friendly and ooze enthusiasm in their dancing and singing which has provided us with much inspiration and further ideas for our short fundraising clip. The film will include a range of subject areas varying from footage of the basket weavers, leather makers, smock makers and fabric weavers. Not forgetting our swish presenting skills.

With this footage we hope to create a really amazing film that will encourage people all around the world to donate and share with their friends.

Bolgatanga

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Gourmet Ghana

After our many trips to the market we are getting to grips with what Bolga has to offer in the food department! There are many things that we can buy out here and we can even treat ourselves to western foods, now and again – Pringles, Chocolate Digestives and Ice – cream!!

mango smoothie

We are able to buy many veggies and lots of lush fruit. It’s pineapples galore and also mango season. We were very lucky to find out that they sell blenders in Bolga, here’s some of our smoothies.

For our evening meals we are becoming more adventurous with our dishes. A favourite of ours is the Mexican one pot.Mexican one pot This consists of mainly veggies – including potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and onions with the added spice of fajita mix!

We have also mastered how to cook Oriental style with veggies, noodles, ginger and the added luxury of Soy Sauce.                                        

Another favourite dish that we make is from our Italian menu which consists of tomato pasta with onions and garlic. Topped off with home made garlic bread and potato chips.

The pièce de résistance was the pig roast that we cooked this weekend. We had a celebration gathering in aid of Sarah and Conors birthdays. We invited Team Sandema and Team Tamale up for the weekend and enjoyed a feast of pork!

 Pig roast        Pig roast        Pig Roast

Pig Roast         Pork Feast        Pig Roast

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