Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pizza, Parties and Project Visits

It is fair to say that the TradeAid team has settled in very well in Bolga. After Fin (our team leader) met some missionaries from the US and Canada during a hospital trip we were invited to a pizza night. PIZZA NIGHT! So, on Friday evening we met at Mama’s place, a bed and breakfast in Bolga where the event takes place once a month. As the evening went on, we exchanged experiences of Bolga, our goals and missions whilst we are here. It was heartwarming to find out from the hosts of the event that in fact the profits made from Mama’s place go directly towards supporting children out of poverty. It was a great night of socialising and it was even better that the money we spent went to good cause. But don’t worry, we all returned safe and sound to our host homes before 9pm.
To ensure the weekend was filled with fun, following in Zacharia and Kakoko’s footsteps, nearly the whole team attended a traditional wedding. The wedding was filled with colorful outfits, proud relatives and most importantly a great atmosphere. Despite the rain, which thankfully didn’t reach last week’s downpour, the wedding carried on full steam. We ended up driving all around Bolga, including visiting the bride’s father’s house to receive a blessing for the new couple. The whole of Bolga must have known there was a wedding after dozens Motorcycles and Cars drove through with loud music blaring and bright orange outfits. Although many core aspects of the ceremony were similar to the way we celebrate marriage in the UK, they were practiced differently and it was interesting to see these differences.

(Stylish volunteers at the wedding)

The wedding was great fun and the perfect way to end to the week. Everyone there was welcoming and kind and we even got to dance with the bride and groom twice. Although by ‘we’ we mean it was mostly Nikola cutting shapes on the dance floor. The crowd definitely loved her dancing and she got the rest of us going when we were shuffling around.

(Entertaining dancing at the final wedding location)

On Wednesday some of the team went back to the communities to discuss the training sessions we hope to plan. We hope to visit the communities regularly so that we can develop trust and a strong relationship, both of which are key in making sure we can have a positive impact whilst we are here. We are in full working mode and hope to complete our first training session next week.

(From left: Glory, Nana, Shakirah at the community visit)

A house rule established upon our arrival to Bolga was the ‘Wednesday Social’. Every Wednesday we meet outside of work, so far it’s been a great way for us to bond outside of the office and relax mid-week. Zacharia introduced us to Jubilee Park in town and for the last two weeks we’ve spent our Wednesdays evenings here. The park, which has a stage and an arena on the side with seats is the perfect place for hanging out, eating food from the chop bar nearby and playing cards. It is also home to BICAF, the festival which was established by TradeAid and what our project is also working on. Unfortunately our cohort will not be here to see BICAF but at least we’ve been to the venue, but we’re sure Fin and Eunice will send us lively updates!

(From left: Kakoko, Glory, Samira, Nikola and Cynthia at Wednesday Social, Jubilee Park)

By Cynthia and Nikola

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