March 27- Chanshegu Village
We 3 girls were the first to embark on the overnight village adventure. Due to Muriel's king status in the village, we were warmly welcomed to spend a day living as they do. This included spending the night in a traditional thatched grass roof hut, eating homemade FuFu and groundnut (peanut) soup with only our hands, and spending lots of time getting to know the people, especially the children!
Upon arrival, we were delighted to discover that the chief's wives had cleared a hut especially for us, as they are normally not accustomed to having foreigners stay the night. Having limited Dagbani vocabulary, we were very grateful to have the chief''s son and one of the other villagers there with us to help settle us in and facilitate communication with the other villagers. These 2 young men were able to describe the process of making FuFu and the significance behind such an offering. The fufu is a traditional Ghanaian dish made from pounding cooked yams until it forms a glutenous dough, which is then used to scoop up the groundnut soup. As we overcame the challenge of eating our delicious meal with our right hand (especially for Rose, who is left handed!), we got to embrace the sense of community as we all sat together under the stars. For the astronomy enthusiast (Robyn, or Robyn's dad), we found it interesting to pick out all the upside down constellations . With a bright full moon to light the way, our new friends took us on a tour of the village. It was a very peaceful experience, although comical to come across a generator on the outskirts of the village attached to a power bar with several cell phones plugged in charging!
We were astonished by the endless energy of the 50+ children laughing and playing until well past 11:00 pm!
We woke several times through the night with the sound of pounding rain and thunder on the grass roof. Those Ghanaians sure know how to build a solid hut, as we did not feel a drop! We were particularly amused when we heard that the guesthouse roof had leaked on the girls staying back in Tamale! :)
As the next day was Holy Thursday, a day off of school for the children, we awoke to cheerful sounds of the lively village around us. By being personally greeted by each of the village elders, we spent a memorable day playing with the many village children!
Being the first group to spend the night, we were able to share with our fellow students how comfortable we felt, how warmly we were welcomed, and how peaceful the simplicities of community living is. Despite our cultural differences and linguistic barriers, we still felt able to learn from and connect with such friendly and generous hosts!