Friday, 19 October 2007

One month away

I'm trying so so hard to put some photos up on this blog, but not having a whole lot of success, I've even tried e-mailing photos as an attachment put into a word document, also with no success! Very frustrating.
I'm settling in well to life here in Bolga, getting used to the constant sweat running off me, it's only uncomfortably hot around midday, but mornings and late afternoons are wonderful.

I bought a second-hand bicycle last week, so getting from home into town is much easier, it's a lot flatter than Bristol! We will be getting motorbikes soon, because I will have to visit some schools in remote villages, too far to cycle. But we haven't yet got our bikes. Everyone cycles here.

My work is having a slow start, I have been finding out what all the other organisations are doing - there are lots of initiatives around education, all slightly different, so talking to alot of people. Next week my VSO manager is coming to Bolga, and will set up a meeting with the key stakeholders for my job, so then I will get some guidance about where to go from here. There are a lot of possiblities and I'm finding everyone really co-operative and wanting to work with me.

In the mean time I am exploring a bit further afield.
Last weekend I went with another volunteer to the Mole National Park, a very long and dusty day's travelling in either direction, but worth it for an early morning walk observing kob, water buck (both kinds of antelope), warthogs and baboons, and then to our delight, 3 elephants bathing in the waterhole. We'd been warned that in this wet season the elephants find lots of other waterholes so we were really lucky to see them. There's a lovely swimming pool for humans too. I also visited the oldest mud and wood mosque in Ghana, at Larabanga. Much smaller than it appears in photos.

On our way to Mole I had half a day in Tamale where I visited the local chief's palace, to find that the mud house in the photo on this blog, is actually the house for the chief's white horse!!!!

On Monday was a public holiday, being Eid, so I went with some local Ghanaians to the Tonga Hills, to an amazing village of round houses with flat roofs, all part of the home of the chief and his 17 wives and children. Nearby is a famous shrine in a cave, where many people come to ask for good things to happen in their life (marriage, children, get visas to the USA, etc) you can only go into the cave if you go topless. Lucky I'm not shy! Fascinating.

While I am typing this, I have been trying again to put up some photos, by reducing the size of them. Hurray, success at last. The pictures are-
Greeting the chief in Tamale
Inside the chief's house in Tamale
Our new home
Bolga main high street
High street in Bongo

not necessarily in this order.
I've recently been to Bongo, Tongo, Kongo and Navrongo. Still have to get to Bingo and Ningo! I wonder if there is a Pingu near here.....

Thank you for all your messages, it means a lot to me to hear from home.

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