Long before T was born, I worked as a volunteer (Media Communications Officer) in a small NGO in Tamale, a town in Northern Ghana, West Africa.
This was my home:
We didn’t have much. VSO, our organisation gave us a few essentials/furniture. The rest we had to buy from our meager allowance. I bought a small electric fan, cutlery, plates a few pans and other kitchen utensils. I also felt the need to liven up my living quarters and so bought some sarongs in cheerful yellow/orange colours and used them as curtains/table-cloth.
See that brown tie-dyed cushion covers with the turtle design? I brought it back with me to England and is now prominently displayed on our couch.
It took awhile for VSO Ghana to provide me a wardrobe (which they did with other volunteers), so I had to make do with a makeshift one – I hung my clothes on a string which I tied between two windows. But in the end, had to keep my stuff in my suitcase because it was so dusty.
Oh my word, the dust!
Some days the dust would be so thick, the moment you finished sweeping, your floor will be covered in dust again, especially when the Harmatan came.
My house was across a mosque and at dawn, I would be awakened by the sound of prayers. Then at lunch-time, when I heard the call to prayer, I knew it was almost time to go back to work after my break. Then again, the sound would come in the early evening.
Of course, one cannot think of Ghana without remembering the heat. I would welcome that kind of heat right now, even for just a day. The kind that makes you want to take off all your clothes and no matter how much cold glasses of water you consume, your thirst is never quenched.
I remember the days felt longer and life seemed slow. My placement was a bit of a disaster, but in spite of that, I have very fond memories of Ghana and the people there. My Ghanaian colleagues and I (because of the lack of work), used to while away the day by talking about reggae music, Bob Marley and his life, football and about life in my country. Of course, they were curious about where I came from and wanted to know more. And when our secretary went on maternity leave, we all visited her at her place. Her daughter must be in first grade right now. It feels longer than that, way longer than that.
This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s The Story
Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead of them!