Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ho Trip

So after hanging out with my family for a little bit, Peace told me that we should go down to the funeral for a little bit. I grabbed my camera and followed her to the funeral site. I could have found the funeral on my own as all one had to do was follow the loud music. We arrived and watched some of the locals drum and dance. Others were sitting, watching and socializing. I was brought a chair and sat down. I then noticed that some of the children who were sitting near by were staring at me. I started to copy what they were doing and it turned into a game where they would make certain motions or do certain things to see if I would actually mimic them. After maybe 15 minutes of this game, I got up and pointed to my camera, asking if I could take their pictures. Of course, they were more than excited by the chance to be captured on a camera. I first took a picture of a little girl who I hadn’t been playing with but who was staring at me. She was so adorable especially because she was all dressed up for the occasion. She was not too happy about the white girl taking her photo and started to cry. All of the other children were happy about getting their photo taken and seeing it on the camera screen. I had to explain to them that they had to stay still for the photo to come out clear. Some of the locals started watching and laughing as I photographed these very excited children. After being at the funeral for awhile, we returned to the family compound.

Then, Dela, the oldest boy (who is 17 years old) told me that we should go visit his father at work. So Dela, Godsway (Dela’s ‘brother’), and I left the compound to go to John’s work. I knew that John worked at the Vodafone (cellphone) tower as during my previous trip to Ho, Dela and John had pointed out the towers to me. I knew that the towers were on the top of a hill but I was in no way prepared for the hike that we had to take to get there. I tried to keep the fact the John walks this path twice a day every day in my mind but it was still difficult. The hill took a bit longer to walk than it looked like it would take. And I was walking it with two teenage boys who are pretty well built. On the way up the hill, we took a little break and the boys showed me their family’s farm where they were currently growing corn – and a lot of it! They pointed down the hill further and showed me where their other farm was located.

We finally arrived at the gate of the cell phone towers. I was later to learn that there was one tower for each of the cell phone networks meaning that there were five towers. John was inside the gate where the Kasapa tower was located. He was in charge of documenting all of the work done by the workers on this tower and basically just acting as security guard for this particular tower. As there was no one currently working on his tower, John came out and greeted us and then walked us over to a shaded area where there were two benches. The view was incredible. As we were on the top of this hill, we could see the whole valley stretched out in front of us. I definitely pulled out my camera and started snapping pictures. Although the photos are good, I do not think they do justice to the beauty that was stretched out before our eyes. It was incredible as we could see every vehicle and person (within a reasonable distance) and their movements. In addition, I also watched as smoke started rising from a particular location. Don’t worry, it was only trash being burned as that is the way they dispose of trash here in Ghana. I watched as I spotted another area from which a trail of smoke could be seen. It was incredible to see things from this view. Maybe two or three miles in front of us, there was another hill which just sat in the middle of flat land. John told me about the hill and explained that there are 14 villages that are located on or directly next to the hill. He shared stories of his visits to some of these villages and asked me if I would like to go to visit some of the villages. I told him I would love to and that maybe it is something that we could do during my next visit to Ho.

We were approached by another worker who was taking a little break from his work and wanted to come enjoy the view with us. He began talking to me – asking about my trip and plans and stuff and then, of course whether I was married or not. He then informed me that Dela was perfect for me – a handsome, smart, nice young man and that I must marry him. Dela and I just looked at each other as we have a friendly brother-sister relationship with each other rather than a romantic relationship. We just went along with what this man said – it made me laugh at points.

After probably an hour or so, John returned to work and told me that he would be home in about 2 hours, around 6pm. As we were walking towards the exit, we spotted two men on one of the towers. Now I am not very good at estimating things like this but they must have been at least a good 30 or 40 feet up on this tower. Watching these two men work that high up in the sky made me feel scared for them.

We walked down the hill which proved to be much easier and quicker than the walk up. We returned to the family compound and I took out some books to read to the kids. They had requested during my trip to Ho a few weeks ago that I tell them a story. I told them that I was not very good at story telling and instead would bring some storybooks the next time I came to visit. The children enjoyed the books, especially the lift the flap one. We hung out outside and I played with the children.

A little while later, Dela called me into the house. They had gotten me fried rice from a local shop and had set it up along with a Fanta and bowl in which to wash my hands on the table. I thanked him immensely and ate the delicious meal. I don’t remember if I told you on my blog update from my first trip to Ho, but this is what they did for me every night that I was there last time as well. It was an extremely generous gesture. I tried to give Dela money to cover my food and everything else they had purchased for me – bottled water, soap, etc. but he refused the money.

We watched some television on the family’s television but I quickly got bored of having to read the subtitles and the bad acting of African films. I went outside and played ball with Richmond which involves me kicking or throwing the ball and then him rolling it and loudly saying ‘goallll.’ Can you tell that this is a football (soccer) family?

I played with Melody – tickling her, which she loves and playing with her worn out stuffed animal. We then played our little game in which she says ‘I love you’ and then I say it back and then she says it and then I say it. It goes on until one of us gets tired of it and stops replying. It’s something we started last summer as it was some of the only English she knew. It may sound cheesy but it is actually really cute.

It was getting late and Richmond was fussy so one of the women tied him on my back. I walked around, trying to calm him down and after a little bit, he fell asleep. I sat down and Melody came over and laid her head on my lap. She quickly fell asleep as well. Richmond was taken off my back as I took Melody inside so she could sleep on the bed.

I was shown to my room for the night which was Godway’s brother’s room but was vacant as he was not there. They put on a fan and made sure I was comfortable. I slept soundly on the mattress which was located directly on the floor.

I awoke on Sunday morning to many voices outside the closed window. I checked the time on my phone and as it was still pretty early, I went back to sleep. Or at least attempted to go back to sleep. On top of the voices, one could hear the sounds of birds, goats, and roosters. I could sleep through the noise of the goats and birds, but the roosters just make it impossible to actually sleep. I am out of time for now but I will finish updating you on Ho within the next few days!

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