Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Glorious Ghana 2017

l am having such a lovely time wandering around Ghana.
Meeting old friends, making new ones.

Ghana is buzzing. The day after I arrived a new President was sworn in. Generally the population is happy with the result and so pleased it all went smoothly, peacefully and no irregularities .
Now there is much hope he will start to implement some of his promises. One dam per village, one factory per district, curbing corruption seem to be high up the list in the rural areas we have visited.
Ghana is rich in natural resources and a willing workforce but lacking funds to acctualise a lot of this. Foreign investment takes a lot of the profit out of the country but do priduce jobs so hard to juggle it all to develop. Smooth elections and a stable government encourage investments and tourism.

I like to think our kind of tourism,  going to the makers is a supportive kind of interaction. We try to be respectful of local traditions, buying directly from makers maximises their profit and I think the feedback our people give from our obvious pleasure at meeting them is well appreciated. In a gentle way we meet and connect, satisfying for both sides.
We started visiting by Esther for a batik workshop. Ghanaian batik is printed using bold sponge blocks producing bold, vibrant designs. Esther has a real knack with colour as well. Love her work.

Bumped into Magie & Bob of African Fabric shop, they first introduced us to Ghana, their love and knowledge got us going, so lucky to run into them here again and hear their wonderful stories of travelling here overland from Morocco -local transport all the way, finding new corners and more details of the craft & textile traditions of West Africa. I do hope they write a book one day -or 2. Stories of their travels and then textile traditions they have noted. Their book on African Wax Print was so carefully pieced together with such joy over every little discovery.
We met at Korfuidua Bead market and all quizzed my assistant Wisdom about 'silk' in Ghana all scratching down notes.

We all brought a stash of Bobmay Sapphire gin bottles to drop off to our glass beads connection Oklah, went through the process of turning them into beads with him. The next day,  drawn by our interest climbed a mighty big hill up to the Krobo villages that produce painted glass beads. It was quiet a challenge but everyone thought it well worth the effort.

And the journey goes on....
Every trip you learn so much more,  I can already see tweaks we will make,  new leads to groom and incorporate. I love the research and learning we base out tours on, feel privileged to know the people we work with and find satisfaction in being to share this with the really interested and enthusiastic guests we attract.

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