Unlike in Germany funerals in Ghana are cheerful. They are happening on the streets and the whole family comes together and celebrates for three days with a lot of food, drinks and loud music. I can tell that the music is loud, seeing that a funeral just happened right in front of my window last weekend. We were feeling as if we would live in a disco. But anyway, I like that people are celebrating like this and are not stuck in their grief. Since I moved here I have seen at least ten funerals on my way home from work, in our street or in the neighborhood.
I would like to point out to two other things . 1. The celebration of the Global Earth Day and 2. our Visa-Trip to Togo.
I was lucky enough to get the chance to attain the Global Earth Day celebrations in Ghana this year. The Global Earth Day was created to remind people on the value of our earth. This year’s focus was plastic pollution and thereby perfectly fitted to the topic of my project. The presentations of the speaker, a representative of UNESCO, a doctor, an environmentalist and a woman from the U.S. embassy strengthened the call for action. Once again they made clear, that if we continue like this our children or grandchildren will not have a bright future. They might end up like the people on the small island Tuvalu, who had to build their houses on plastic, because the island has been overwhelmed by the amount of waste. All of this input strengthened my motivation to continue with the project. Moreover the conference gave me hope, seeing that there were many Ghanaians with great innovative ideas. One guy even builds houses out of old plastic bottles. This idea really impressed me, because it builds a solution for the housing problem in Accra and the plastic pollution at the same time. In the end it is still the individual that has to change something. On the other hand it is almost impossible to live plastic-free in Ghana. It is a big part of my daily life as well. Before arriving to work I buy fruits at a shop around the corner. This means at least one, mostly 2-3 plastic bags. For lunch I normally choose another food stand and I get a box out of plastic, wrapped in a plastic bag with a plastic spoon or fork. Anyway, I believe that education can change something and that people at the Earth Day Celebration proofed that.
The Togolese Border is situated a 4-hour ride east of Accra. Some weeks ago Laura, Kekeli and me decided to make a trip to Togo to get our Visa prolonged. We already have a Multiple-Entry-Visa for six months that we have bought for 260 Euro some months ago in Germany. But when we arrived to Accra in March, the immigration officer only gave us a stamp for 60 days. That left us with two options: We either pay another 80 Euro or we travel out of the country within these 60 days and get another stamp for 60 days by coming back again. Due to the fact that the Visa for Togo only costs around 15 Euro and it is interesting to visit another country, we decided for option two. Early in the morning we took an Uber to the Kaneshie station in Accra. Unfortunately it turned out to be the wrong stop and we had to drive to Tudu Station on the other side of the city instead. When we arrived, there was no bus, just people waiting. So we sat next to them and waited for almost two hours, before we found a TroTro that took us to the border. The ride was quite ok. When we arrived it was the casual chaos on the bus station. People tried to get us on their motor-bikes to reach the border, even though the border was only a five minute walk away. We had to change money then (Cedi into Togolese Francs) and after some visa procedures we finally made it over the border. In my opinion it was interesting to find out about the power of a border. The language changed (from English to French), the color of the sand on the beach changed and the way people drive changed. The capital of Togo differed a lot from the capital of Ghana. The streets were a bit more ordered (we appreciated to find more pavements and less wholes) and the district we stayed in was really calm. Later on we went to the local market and bought some more fabrics. Also the colors and styles of the fabrics differed a lot from the one you can buy in Ghana. We really enjoyed our stay in Togo and had the feeling that Lomé is a good place to live as well. On our way back we were a bit unlucky, due to the fact that the suspension of our bus was really bad. We felt a bit sick in the stomach, when the bus drove over bumps on the street.
See you in another 40 days, Togo.