Mari's Adventures

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ghana So Far: Part 2

The people that I am traveling with are all working on a project called the multi functional platform (MFP), which is a diesel engine that can support many agro-processing devices. The main purpose of the MFP is to mechanize the daunting task of agro-processing such as de-husking rice and processing cassava, which are mostly done by women and they take up much of their day. By being able to mechanize these processes, women will have more free time to work on other tasks. The MFP can also be used to generate income as the women can sell their processed products on the local market or rent out the MFP to other users and charge a small fee.

The Kumasi Institute of Technology and Environment (KITE) is the main organization that allocates the funding that is given by the United Nations Development Program to their partner organizations, WACSO in Atebubu and New Energy in Tamale. These organizations implement the MFP in the villages. So this week we have been visiting the partner organizations where Jessica and Troy will be working. I will be working at KITE to help out with the administrative things with the program and come visit the two organizations from time to time to see how they are doing.

We traveled to Atebubu, where Jessica will be staying. It is a small village, but very cozy compared to Accra, where things are very chaotic. I sort of envy her because I prefer staying at a small village, but Accra will turn out to be interesting in its own ways, I'm sure. Atebubu turned out to be quite an interesting place. The night we arrived, there was noise and music coming from the village square, so we all headed over there to see what was going on. What seemed like a festival turned out to be a crusade for the Pentecost church, where they were hosting preachers who travel to different villages, preaching their religion. People were just going nuts. They were dancing and chanting in a circle while the preacher was preaching to them in almost a cult like manner. A lady came over to tell us what was going on and helped to translate what the preacher was saying. She was just really weird and she all of a sudden said that the Americans are coming to kill them and that we have come to kill them. The four of us just stood there, not knowing what to say, but just reassured her that we are Canadians, and not Americans.

It was hard to tell if the preacher had actually said that and she has translated it, or she added that part herself, but nonetheless, it was quite a frightening and weird moment. It is unthinkable that a religion would preach such a thing, but it is not impossible either.

Also, another uncomfortable thing that I felt during my stay in Atebubu is that everyone stares at us. Three of us were eating breakfast at a road side stall when a bunch of people surrounded us and began staring. It was really uncomfortable and I was not sure why they were staring at us. Were they staring because we were foreigners or because they were hungry and wanted something to eat? These things are hard to pick out and troubles me sometimes. Hopefully by the end of this placement I will be able to understand Ghanaians better.


Post a Comment

<< Home