Sunday, 8 February 2009

2nd Last Blog. (Ghana - 9 - 8th February 2009)

Hello everyone!
Sorry I haven't had any chance to write any blogs in the past few weeks.

So... my remain time in Ghana is quickly ticking away.
I will fly home on the 17th February. So I want to enjoy next week as much as possible...

I have to say one thing. In the previous blogs, I mentioned names of people in the group, positively and negatively. I feel bad for talking about them behind their backs, but at the same time I need to be trouthful to my self in reporting back my experiences.
This will be the 2nd last blog in Ghana. If I can, I will write another blog next week, and then a final blog when I get back to Scotland. Internet is hard to come by around these neck of woods....

2 weeks ago, me & Jo (girl from London) went to Kumasi (2nd biggest city) together. The rest all went to Accra to get wasted and sunbathe and all that jazz. We were more interesting in exploring the country and see cultural things. We took a overnight bus from Kpando to Kumasi. It took us 10 hours. I sat in the back seat, tight and no legroom. Nice.
We arrived there around 8am and went to check in to our hostel.
Kumasi is the 2nd biggest city in Ghana. But it looked far more bussier than Accra.
Soon after, we went to the Kumasi Fort, where the British Army used to occupy. There was a military museum inside.
To my surprise, the room was full of Guns, Rifles & missles seized from the Japanese Army.
Yes, Ghanaian soliders (British Army) fought against the japanese during the 2nd world war. Bet you didn't know that. Neither did I. There was also a Japanese flag full of signatures. This really creeped me out as I remember hearing my granpa fighting against the british in southeast asia...

Anyway, spend the rest of the time chilling out and eating. The longer you stay in Ghana, you get used to the con-artists. Few guys tried to rip us off. If we tell them we're not interested in buying anything, they tell us we decieved them and lied to them. And they wouldn't leave us alone. Bastards. They talk shite as well. They often talk about paying the school fees, then change the story to paying for the kids.

The next morning, we went to the kumasi market, the biggest market in west africa. The place was huge. Shops everywhere you see. I was the only white person in the area (Jo is asian). It feels weird being the only white person. It made me think about the foreigners in the UK and how they get treated. Despite the size of the market, no body bothered us.
Then we decided to just go home. But the transport system on sundays are little complicated. But the first tro tro bus, yes, the first bus we checked out was our bus!
So we got on the bus and went home... End of the Kumasi adventure.

So we stayed in the catholic school for 2 and a half weeks. At first I found the place weird, but soon fell in love with it. I formed a choir with 20 students (where I just played the guitar in the backgroud) and taught them to sing "Blowin' in the wind" by Bob Dylan. I taught in total 16 hours in 1 week, classes after classes. Teaching them 1 line at a time. Very slow, but they all learnt the song quickly. I organized them into groups, bass, alto, soprano & mezzo soprano (by request of 1 girl!). They all loved the song and they sung it well. They even suggested harmonies. We had to perform the song to the whole school during our last mass. I taught them to stand up straight, line up, follow my hand signals and be aware. Just to look professional.
They sung it note perfect. They sung it in african style. It was amazing. Afterwards, Sister Cicillia thank me in front of the whole school for being the first person to bring music to school. I felt a little emotional...
So we spent the last day hanging out with the students and exchanging addresses etc.
Me, Stanley the physics teacher and 2 people in my group climbed a hill next door to the school.
The previous week, the whole hill was on fire. Some Ghanaians love to start Bush fires, everywhere! So they can get rid of the grass, or to catch some animals. They don't have to burn the whole place. But they do. It's illigal. They don't care. Surprisingly, nobody died. But it happens everyweek, nobody cares about fires.
The whole hill was covered in ash. It was horrible...
The following morning, we left the school at 5am to go to the cape coast. It was so sad leaving the students. I don't know why, but I got so close to them. They were like my brothers and sisters. I got them all to write notes for me. Most of them remembered all the little things I did for them. Many called me the Virgin Mary (I can't be bothered explaining...).

Last weeked, all of us headed to the cape coast.
Elmina castle is the oldest european building outside europe dating back to 1400's.
Cape Coast Castle is where the slave trade started. The tour was intence. I can't imagine how the british treated the black people. I can't believe anyone would do such evil...

Anyway, my time on internet is running out so I better go.
10 days till home.
jamie x


Caroline said...

Hi Jamie,
Really interesting as usual. I am soooooooo looking forward to seeing the photos.

Luke said...

Hey Mate,

Sound like you've had a great time which is now ending, I hope that you guys have taken loads of photos cause everone will ask about it (and I mean everyone!). I was glad to hear that you were able to use your musical talents over there by helping the children at the school and adding a new dimention to their lives, it sounds like you have achieved alot and should be proud of youself.

Do you thing you'll go back at somepoint? You should stay there as we're officially in a recession atm, its gotten worse since I came back! But all it means is that we have to tighten up on those luxuries that we are so used to, what does it really mean when you've been to a country like Ghana?

All the best and a safe return


Margaret said...

Hi Jamie
Great to read about more adventures, I'm loking forward to hearing them first hand.
Enjoy your last weekend in wonderful Africa, I'm sure you'll be back!