15 April 2007
So yet again sitting and enjoying the joys of light off on a Sunday morning in Gbawe. Kwame is outside learning to string and stretch drums and we are considering yam and sauce for lunch.
Over the Easter break we travelled North to Buipe to see Kwame's brothers. Quite some journey taking 3 days up in the car. Buipe was beautiful and it was wonderful to see Kwames nobel family and to enjoy their hospitality. His brothers have been ill but thankfully are much better now. Country Man had a very bad leg which he left and left just hoping it would get better and not having enough spare cash to go to the doctors. Adamu the oldest brother came to Kumasi and took him to hospital - we are not sure if they were just scared off by the consent forms but they strongly believed the doctors wanted to cut off Countrymans now putrid leg. Adamu carried him home to Buipe where they got the money Kwame had sent from home and treated the leg with local medicine. Thankfully he survived the ordeal. A tragically common story of leaving it too late to get medical atention due to a lack of funds. Sadly whilst the story is common Countryman's story of survival is all to uncommon here. This story holds special significance for us as it was Adamu who saved Kwames life by carrying him away on a bicycle in the dead of night all those years ago. Truly a big brother to be proud of.
The Volta river was a huge shock. It was beautiful but we walked accross it at the old port and never at any point did it come above our 4 year old son Kwajo's waist. Good work has gone on here since they have sprayed against Bilhazia however the level of the river is just shocking. Just 10 years ago Lindsay and I caught the big ferry here to go to Akasombo - now the river is almost gone. The farmers are in no doubt that the irrigation dam in Burkina Faso has made more difference than the rain. However, there was no rain and they were waiting to plant and watching it fall always just painfully out of reach on the horizon.
Here in Accra complaints about the light off abound as do the conspircay theories. However every night in our neighbourhood we see no darkness during light on as all our nieghbours leave thier huge outside floodlights on all night everynight. The nature of light off means that if you leave for work early you can return home to light and appliances wasted as they have been left on all day - of course when you left they were off because the electric was off.
It is scary to think of what may happen here if the dam spoils and there is no electric as people are suffering just by it being limited, As many here say 'Ghana is the Volta dam'. If it happens of course people will suffer and tension will rise - but what then of the relations between Ghana and Burkina Faso? Can a country so peaceful and so proud of its peace continue on this road? I don't want Ghanaian's to think I am cursing them but I do wish the governments of Ghana and Burkina Faso could sit down to find a compromise now rather than struggling to sign a peace later. I am sure they are trying I just prey not too little too late...
Blessed love from this still wonderful place.