03 October 2011

Snapshots by Tom: The Republic of Ghana

Here's a little photo gallery from My Sweets' trip to west Africa. He shot with an office Nikon he'd never used before... sometimes from the hip while walking the streets and other times from a moving vehicle!
Lucky for me he's home today. I'll be back later with a few captions and links. You know I like to do things in bits + pieces :=) Happy Monday!

P.S. See more below.

The purpose of My Sweets' trip to Ghana was to gain first-hand knowledge of how a microfinance provider works. He met with clients who benefit from its services and discussed the challenges and opportunities currently facing the microfinance industry in Ghana. The trip was eye opening, to say the least.

For reference: The country of Ghana is bordered by Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) on the west and Togo on the east. It's the second largest producer of cocoa in the world {love this fact!}. The climate is tropical equatorial, which means it's hot year-round with seasonal rains. The economy has been listed as one of the world's fastest growing in 2011.

Most of these photos by My Sweets were taken in and around Accra, the capital of Ghana. It's a busy ocean-front city with a population of 1 million.

A few observations: My Sweets says that Ghanaians are incredibly friendly. They are warm and welcoming and take such pride. Most of the population live in Shanty towns without indoor plumbing or running water to wash. As expected, it's a poor country and quite dirty in that way. But the people, regardless of their reality, dress in such wonderful colors and fabrics. They look clean. Children all wear uniforms to school.

The markets are vibrant and bustling and pretty awesome. The food is nothing to write home about. The air is warm and dusty, and the beaches are definitely not the kind you'd ever walk with bare feet {due to urine and feces}. The cars are all over the road. People get into traffic accidents and just walk away.

Local folk fall into one of two groups, according to My Sweets. The ones who want to be photographed and beg for your eye and interaction, and the ones who vehemently do NOT.

Despite high poverty the country has relatively low crime. There does not appear any racial tension or sense of entitlement as in so many other places. The people of Ghana are generally happy and self sufficient.

My Sweets connected with several local artisans at their roadside shacks. One of them made our children personalized bracelets with the African colors and another sold him the most breathtaking patchwork skirt for moi. I will show you all of it in another post.

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