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“Desseba!” – “Naaaa”

Having the wind flow through my hair is an experience I’m fond of. Somehow, it’s always new. I seem to only take notice of it when I’m exploring, and it brings with it new air and new smells. This week I noticed it while riding on the back of a motorbike; travelling through the Ghanaian countryside to rural villages of mud huts and straw roofs. I looked up to the sky to see an eagle circling above, and herds of cows in the distance with farmers guiding their way. The wind, causing my hair to stand up straight, made the speed feel real.

This week has been one of discovery and orientation. Figuring out where I stand in all of this, and where I’m going. I was officially introduced to all the staff of CPYWD, and was able to be involved in some of their after-school activities which is at the core of their programme. One of these After School Programmes (ASPs) was in a rural community where 79 kids attended. I could hear them shouting ‘Siliminga! Siliminga!’ as I arrived into the village, meaning White man! White man!, and they came running up to me smiling and laughing. Simple games, both modern and traditional were played, and all the kids joined in enthusiastically.

The work of CPYWD in the past three years has helped in several communities through organising fun activities that bring children together to learn through play, and I can see firsthand the results of their labour. More children are attending school because of the efforts of CPYWD and so creating more opportunities for them and their communities to grow in the future and move out of poverty. On personal reflection I’ve been able to learn a lot this week through small observation. Past experiences in Africa have left me thinking that this is a place that is dangerous, hostile and intimidating…but since I’m now living in Ghana I’m seeing a side that is a bit different. I’m watching Ghanaian TV, where they show African dramas, and political debates. They keep up with Premier league football, and make African versions of shows like ‘Deal or No Deal’. Everything has its own African touch but you get a different impression on a fast paced, three week service projects where you are being rushed here and there to forums and physical work, and you’re still taking in the environment that is so new and strange. In this week I’ve been able to slow down and observe life in Ghana a little more intimately. I’ve been enjoying the sound of ‘Desseba!’ and the reply of ‘Naaaa’, which is the way people greet each other in the local Dagbani language. I really look forward to discovering more.

I’ve also been a reading a book entitled ‘How to Change the World – Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas’. It’s a fascinating book about people who have changed something in society to help people. They are the kind of people that work without thought for wages, or fame but sincerely work for the greater good! They dedicate years to their cause, coming across obstacles and pushing past them, again and again, until the goal is achieved. It’s a very appropriate read for someone going into development work. It makes me evaluate what I’m trying to achieve in my life. Anyway, I’m only 21…still a long way to go.

My Host home.

I want to keep practising my graphic work, so this is a little video I created. It took about 4 hours spread over two nights, and almost as long trying to upload it. Enjoy!

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12 responses

  1. Miguel

    Patrick!

    Keep posting!!

    You have already 2 followers from Spain! 🙂

    February 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm

  2. Abi

    Pat!!! That’s an awesome video!!!! It’s always nice to hear what you’re up to ^^

    February 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm

  3. Stefan

    i like like like!
    awesome pat!
    Cool video! Did you take a picture of your journal or did you get it online?
    Where/How do you upload your blog entries and so on?

    February 2, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    • hey stefan
      yes that is a picture of my own journal…and the wood under it is the desk in my room. I brought my laptop with me and have internet here at home. Internet is pretty cool in Ghana, they have a usb stick with a sim card inside and it basically means you can connect to the internet wherever you are. the problem is it’s really slow…it took ages to upload the video!!! take care and enjoy the blog.

      February 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      • Stefan

        your notebook on that desk look so classy and perfect!

        February 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm

  4. Tanya

    amazing pat!!! i Love love love it :] the pictures are phenomenal and i feel back in ghana… or i want to go again now badly. and the video and everything else~ NICE!

    keep it up

    February 2, 2011 at 11:09 pm

  5. Emi

    OH MY GOOOOOD; PATRICK!!!!!! I really can’t express all that excitement and happiness and everything I feel right now! ><
    Awesome, dude, just awesome! Stay that way and go. All the best :] We're with you with our minds and hearts!

    February 3, 2011 at 1:14 am

  6. Emi

    oops, one thing got left out from my last message: I’m proud of you, very proud in many ways.

    February 3, 2011 at 1:19 am

  7. P Hanna

    This is a great blog – what would they say for me as a half white, half korean? Siliminga as well. Anyway, thanks for the inspiring blog – and keep taking those great photographs.

    February 3, 2011 at 11:06 am

  8. Kenneth

    PAT YOU LEGEND, man it looks so amazing there. Hope all is going well, keep taking those amazing photographs and keep changing lives. Love the video!

    February 3, 2011 at 8:23 pm

  9. Brilliant Pat!! keep it up

    February 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm

  10. Hi Patrick

    Nice work!

    Keep up the posts, postboypat!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm

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