The main focus for this year was the building of the latrines in Anyako. (see below)
Togbi and I also visited Have to see how they are progressing with the land. As ever, the visit was delightful with a very warm welcome given in spite of the fact that the storytellers had had to make a major effort to greet us on the appointed date as one of the local chiefs had just died and they were supposed to be in mourning.
We were taken to see the land with all the moringa trees now growing. Togbi Krakani explained to us that they had initially used the land to grow one crop of maize and that everyone had received one equal share. They even presented me with my share in a bag! After harvesting the maize, they planted moringa trees as seeds and they have all grown very tall and spindly, bowed down with the weight of the pods. However, once the rains arrive in May, they will be pruned to encourage side shoots and the group will plant ginger between the rows.
Growth of the moringa sapling Anna planted in 2008 (scroll down for planting photo):
The storytellers have also bought 100 hundred plastic chairs, some of which are for use in the palace but most of which will be labelled with the word ‘gli’ (story) and then hired out for functions, thereby providing another source of income.
We were unable to visit Klikor as the Chief Priest died just hours before our arranged visit which therefore had to be cancelled. I did see the storytellers briefly when they came to Keta to perform on Jubilee Radio but a visit to Klikor will have to be arranged next time I go to Ghana.
I bought cloth for two new outfits for Mr. Nutsugah and they were being made when I left on April 9th. I also left money to continue providing for his daily food. He is quite fragile now, with very poor eyesight but he knows me and wishes me ‘Bonne Arrivee’. He has no English but rudimentary French due to time he spent years ago as a fisherman in Cote d’Ivoire. He was delighted to receive the large print of his photo and once I had again cleaned his glasses (probably the first clean since I did them last May!) I had the impression that he could see it quite well. I just hope that he is allowed to keep this copy!
This year, I felt that I was viewed as a credible person and people seemed genuinely happy to see me.
In conclusion, I should say that Ghana Storytelling aka The JohnAnna Foundation is alive and well and my journey into the unknown continues, albeit a little less unknown than it was three years ago when I first went out as a volunteer with Cross Cultural Solutions.