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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


MOLE MOLE MOLE


This weekend the Bolga team were biting at the bit to get out and explore after having been riddled with illness the previous weekend, leaving us house bound. We took the opportunity to organise a trip to the Mole National Park, found in the Northern Region of Ghana, around 100km from Tamale. Thankfully, the rains held off and the sun was enjoyed by everyone (apart from those who have become a little brash with sun cream application).
We were warned that the trip down to Mole could be a long one dependant on many factors. But one we didn’t expect was a startled cow charging into the door of our bus before we had even set off.  Along the way we met up with the other teams for the second leg of our journey. There was a lot to catch up on as we have all been so busy in our offices, facing different challenges, but also learning to love the Ghanaian way of life.
We were up bright and early for a foot safari that commenced at 7am led by an energetic ranger who wasn’t there to mess around; we were on a mission to find those elephants!  After two hours of seeing many antelope, baboons and other flora and fauna we were starting to doubt whether we would see the elusive elephant at all. Dan and I were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a crocodile before the ranger, a very proud moment. Then in the distance we saw the huge shadowy figures between the trees. Silence took hold of our large group, not wanting to scare them away before we had got a look in. They are truly beautiful creatures and it was fantastic to see them thriving in their natural habitat.
Back to the Mole Motel we marched, thoroughly ready for a cold beverage and a dive in the pool. A cause of great hilarity was Ola’s complete lack of swimming skills. Hannah and I weren’t having any of it and on dragging him out of the shallow end, realised his laughter had quickly turned into trill yelps, and the thrashing was not fake. With difficulty (due to the crippling laughter) we dragged him back in to the safety of the shallows, and tried to teach him to kick and float (more laughter). He has set himself a goal to learn to swim on returning to UK which we are going to hold him to.
Kick Ola, Kick!
We decided to take the afternoon to go canoeing, provided by a local eco-tourism village called Mognori.  Dan and I were expecting a little more action, but never the less enjoyed the relaxing journey without even breaking a sweat. We all appreciated the sustainable relationship the village holds with Mole National Park, showing that the livelihoods of subsistence farmers and the environment can thrive side by side.
It was great to meet other tourists also visiting the park. Many were also volunteers making the most of the weekend and we talked to them about the NGOs they are working for. This really reinvigorated our teams’ appreciation of the IS focus on sustainable development, and discouraging reliance on aid.
Looking towards the week ahead, we are anticipating International Service’s 60 years birthday bash happening this Friday. Jo Baker, the new CEO, is touring all of the countries in which IS operates.  We look forward to welcoming her, and all of the other teams who are also joining us to celebrate, into our life here in Bolga.


Dan the action man

Hide and seek with the elephants

Lady Therri

King Nasim, pre swim preparations


Hanny and I




By Bel Wood








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