Friday, October 17, 2014

Ghanaian fusion: Team Bolga bonding at home and on project

Both at home and on the project we have noticed many differences between the British and Ghanaian volunteers.

We are the first cohort of British volunteers to share accommodation with our fellow Ghanaian volunteers and it has been a great success so far. An area of particular bonding has been the kitchen, where we regularly spend time sharing different cuisines; from Indian (curry) and Italian (pasta) to Ghanaian dishes such as Kontombre sauce and Banku. Banku is an extremely popular Ghanaian dish, it consists of a big doughy ball that you use to scoop up the accompanying sauce. It is fair to say that not every dish has been to each other’s exact taste. But I know that both the British and Ghanaian volunteers have enjoyed trying a different array of flavours and in our house, which is full of amazing cooks (I have been very lucky), each cuisine has been well represented.

On the project the most notable difference is the way Ghanaians greet each other, in other words the snap handshake. Ghanaians shake hands normally but then as the hands draw away they twist and click each other’s middle finger to create a cooperative snap. It is an art which all of us but Sam (our team leader) are yet to master but I’m sure that we will have mastered it by the end.

While we’re on the topic of greetings, the greeting we were given by the Vea basket weavers last Thursday was pretty amazing. We experienced possibly the most energetic dancing we have ever experienced and although we tried our best to keep up, our efforts didn't quite match up with the rhythm or pace of the basket weavers. As for religion, it plays a massive part in Ghanaian society and this is no more seen than in the way that each meeting begins with a prayer.

Over and out until next week - Louise (otherwise known as Ayipoka -the traditional Ghanaian name given to me by the local fabric weavers)

Louise Hingely (UK volunteer)

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