I know it’s weird to see the post start from number 8,yep! Number one to seven happened last week, here.
Yaa and I are excited to give you the last cookie in our goodie bag.
Here you go!
8.Which experience in Tamale will you forever cherish?
The whole trip was an experience. What I liked the most was my 6:30 am talks with 70 year old David, the security guard at our guest house. He was a kind, old man who I practiced greetings in Dagbani with. He was also very interested in the progress of my team in our village, Nomnayili,which was sweet of him.
9.How did the people of Tamale receive you?
They were really nice to us. Everyone was willing to show us around without any ulterior motive and they willingly went out of their way to explain things we did not understand.
10.What did you love about Tamale? (We want to hear it all)
Numero uno, the MANGOES. If you go to Tamale and you don’t eat those juicy fruits, what did you go there for? Really!!
The arts center, from paintings, slippers, drums, beads, dresses, keychains, etc. Many of the sellers were artists and it was cool to see their intricate crafts. I went into all the stores, some a bit too dingy but they were all safe. I bought some items for decoration and made some friends – Kasim, Abdallah and Ratty. They make amazing paintings. If you ever go to Tamale, visit their shops.
Women riding motorbikes with three, four children neatly arranged in front and behind them. You rarely see this in the southern part of Ghana. Some of these women rode their bikes like their own bosses without helmets (that part I did not like).
Market runs. Going to Agbogbloshie market,one of the busiest markets in Accra,makes me anxious but the Tamale market was less overwhelming. I spent hours going from one lane to another just appreciating the diversity of items. When I went with other field reps who were not Ghanaian, the little children would shout “Salaminga! Salaminga!” which means “foreigner” in Dagbani.
11.Tamale was amazing but…?
Family members warned me about the dust and I thought they were exaggerating.No lie! It was dusty and with all the red sand, I could not finish my day without a streak of red dust on my clothes. My hair had a red tint to it when I went about my day without a head scarf.
The first week, the weather was great and then it became unbearably hot and coupled with the dust, not great. My sneakers changed color and even though I wore socks all the time, the dust managed to settle in between my toes.
Some of the policemen asked for a bribe at the various police check points,I found that embarrassing.
12.List all your first’s in Tamale.
It was my first time…
Sitting the boot of a taxi (it was an open boot).
Eating boiled cassava with crushed groundnuts.
Seeing shea butter trees.
Visiting a shea butter production site.
Scrubbing a polytank.
Entering a mud hut (both Dagombas’ and Fulanis’).
Touching a live guinea fowl.
Standing in between two herds of cattle on a farm.
Drinking chocolate flavored malt,called Rastamalt.
13.How did you feel when you saw the project become a reality?
In Tamale, my team (four field reps, our translator and driver) worked in Nomnayili in the East Gonja District, about an hour and twenty minutes from our guest house.
When our village’s water treatment center was opened, I was really excited. One of our women entrepreneurs was in such a great mood it was infectious. She said “wow, this water tastes like the ones I’ve had in Tamale”. That’s when we knew we had made it.
14.What measures have been put in place to maintain the project?
Saha Global makes sure that for the first six months after implementation, an assigned monitor visits the village’s treatment center once every week for the first six months and then less frequently after that for ten years.
These amazing monitors, help the women entrepreneurs get back on their feet should there be any glitch in the business, answer household questions and continue to remind them why they should purchase the clean water. The people in the village have been drinking dugout water for years and so it is going to take some of them a while to get used to the treated water. The field reps are also sent progress reports on the villages.Thank you Saha Global(sahaglobal.org).
15.A word of encouragement to Ghanaian students like you.
Help a community in your own small way. It does not need to be 13 hours from your home.I would love to revisit Tamale,it was worth every minute.