The Ghana Tree

My journey to Ghana. An account of what I see, learn, feel, and experience. My Story and the Stories I come across.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Yesterday I escaped Walisu and was afforded and easy day in the shade and even some AC. I met up with Nii and visited an organization called Girls Growth and Development (GIGDEV). This is a program that takes in underprivileged girls—many single mothers or street children—and gives them basic education and care along with vocational training in sewing, cloth making, and hair dressing and business and computer training. I visited them on my previous trip to Ghana and was very impressed with their work. It was started by a local woman, sometimes known as Grandma, out of her house with just a few girls and little supplies. Now it has over one hundred girls in three centers. I was there to help them design a blog to act as a temporary website because they are have problems accessing theirs—the person who designed it will not give them access and is always demanding more money. The blog is not quite finished but here is the address:

When I arrived the center was a hive of activity and color with girls in green and yellow uniforms were sewing on old Singer machines with brightly colored hand dyed cloth, girls practicing hair styling on each other, and a troop of small children playing while on break from Kiddie Care—the preschool where many of the girl’s children attend. Most of the compounds attention was not focused on their tasks at hand because in the center yard a group of older girls were accompanied by two drummers and were enacting an intricate dance and chant. These girls were practicing for their graduation ceremony on November 27th. This ceremony comes after two years of hard work and the girls are also awarded a sewing machine and other supplies to go out into rural communities and set up shops. I have been invited to attend and am very excited.

Tamale seemed to be overrun with white people as well; well I saw twenty and that seemed like a lot. I put this down for a couple of reasons: 1. I visited the fastest internet cafĂ© which appears to be the hangout—good discovery for uploading pictures though! 2. It was Friday and Tamale is the staging area for a trip to Mole National Park and I suspect a good number were heading there. As I rode along on the back of the scooter and saw groups of white people walking along I got a weird feeling, almost like being part of an exclusive club or witnessing wolves among sheep. The second of which seemed a little unfounded because at the three that I met were either volunteers or representatives of donor organization working with GIGDEV.

As night fell I took a walk with Walisu and we discussed more about how I would deliver my first aid training—hopefully my drawing skills improve because I have a long week of poster making ahead of me. Dusk in northern Ghana is an interesting time. The sunset is not glorious but rather understated and seems all the more beautiful because of it. As the sun sinks into the sky its last light mingles with the days dust settling and the smoke from cooking fires rising. This creates a type of hazy dusks that bats emerge into and bicycle lights and motorbike headlights peer through.  A very agreeable time of the day.

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