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Developing a just society based on equity and equal opportunities for all with respect for diversity.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Straight Outta Ghana

Colourful. Unique. Passionate. Are all words that spring to mind when considering Ghana. Specifically the city of Tamale, within which project RAINS is situated. A city such as this, as we quickly realised, allows one to become wholly immersed in its culture. Such a society carries many unique customs, within which a love for both the people and the place itself evolve.

One can draw several similarities between London and Tamale. The myriad of smells and sounds, for example, that characterise each specific part of town you find yourself exploring. Lost in the hustle and bustle of this lively city. The similarities do not cease there. For with great hustle and bustle comes great amounts of traffic. Said traffic includes the mind-blowing concept of line taxis and the fleets of motorbikes, all accompanied by the infamous Yellow Yellow’s. Such modes of transport which make up the basis of all background noise in Tamale, create an ambiance not dissimilar to that of London.

 

However, the foundations of such a city are carried by its culture, beautifully unique to any other. These traditions originate from an unspoken agreement of mutual respect between all, aided by the sense of community. Such a culture allows you to feel at ease even when you are 3,924 miles from your physical home. I say physical, as the emotional connections one is easily able to form with both your host family and the people of Tamale creates a united feeling. A feeling which captures the culture of Tamale. A feeling which allows you to become a part of the community immediately. A feeling which makes the Ghanaian culture such a pleasure to experience.

The people, specifically, make up the untarnished City of Tamale. Common greetings which are overlooked in the vast majority of the world contribute to the core beliefs ingrained in Ghanaian society. The phrase ‘how are you’, for example, carries an unexpected amount of gravitas. Demonstrating a general caring for any and all others you may encounter on your morning journey to work. Other morning encounters can be less…verbal. This is referring to the wildlife, such as the goats, existent in every area of Tamale. Literally. Every. Area. Making them the sort of pigeon of Ghana, albeit much cuter. I, personally, see the goats as a second community within the already bustling population of Tamale. They live within the communities, and even create those awkward street encounters where you have to sort of manoeuvre yourself around one another.


Both communities, verbal and non-verbal, contribute to the overall experience of Ghana. Specifically, Tamale. An experience I have cherished thus far, and one I would most definitely never change. It has, without a doubt, come with its challenges, but with the aid of a fantastic team, supportive community, and spring rolls, I look forward to what the next seven weeks has to hold. 

By Florence