Day 0 – flight Marseille – Casablanca – Accra

Day 1 – Monday -  FETU AFAHYE Festival, “Youth Day”, Cape Coast, Emintsimadze Palace

  • I arrived in Ghana, at the Accra airport at 5am. Lucas, a volunteer from foundation, picked me up. We went to his house for coffee and around 8am he deposited me at the bus station. Time for me to go to Cape Coast, to be on time on the first day of Fetu Afahye Festival. I have a special mission: to deliver the camera Krystyna received from Poland. They need it to take pictures of the children while performing. The journey of something like 145 km takes around 2 hours…

  • At my arrival at “Amineynadze Palace”, the place of today’s celebration, I received a very good, friendly and full of emotions welcome of Ghanaian children. I was really touched.

  • Today is the first day of Fetu Afahye Festival, called the “Youth Day”. Not too many people came, probably because of the recent death of the late President John Evans Atta Mills (on the 24/07/12)...

  • The Freespirit Art Group took part in this festival. They performed really well.

  • At 2pm, after the celebration finished we went to the Oasis Beach Resort to rest on the beach with kids, delicious pause Pineapple, first “foot wetting” in the Gulf of Guinea; Freespirit Foundation’s stuff enjoying its own company,…

- Castle

- Bar in the Castle: beer & watching performance of adults group (drams & African dances)

  • 5pm – Time to look after a bank that accepts Master Card… Only one in Cape Coast: Ghana Commercial Bank

  • 7pm – in Taxi – van to Moree, our Library: in a van of 11 people, we were 20 kids + 4 adults + drums (at least 8) + 2 big luggage; arrival at the library; everything back at their places; kids back home

  • 8:30pm – beer in a small resto / bar close to the library (Krystyna, John, Ben, group’s couch & me)

  • 10pm – finally arrived in our rooms, late supper & in improvised bad ‘for me mattress on the floor”…

Day 2 – Tuesday - LIBRARY

  • Waking up at 7h, I tried to send a few mail to my family, but we had some problems with Internet connection => not possible to send mails till Tuesday evening / late night;

  • My first Ghanaian breakfast: avocado sandwiches & pineapple & coffee

  • At 2pm we went to the library. I brought with me some French food for children to try. So we had a lesson of geography using globes, maps: Where is Europe (France, Poland)? And Africa (Ghana)? ; interviews on camp impressions

  • 7pmMoree Beach Resort (beer + Ghanaian sausages + French fries) with Ben, John & Krystyna; After the meal we had a cold shower car at home no shower, we wash Ghanaian way: in a bucket ;

  • At 1am, finally I can send some mails…

Day 3 –  Wednesday - LIBRARY

  • Awaken at 7 o’clock, I started my day by working on computer: photos, mails… After that breakfast, composed of fried eggs with onion, bread & coffee. Next some work in the rooms, like cleaning, making and fixing some shelves.

  • At 14h we ate lunch, fish in sauce, which was prepared by Ben. It was good, a little spicy for me. I need to adjust my test for the “hot” food….

  • At 15h we parted for the library. The day in the library starts by some cleaning and arranging everything to be neat. Next we did some reading. I wanted to evaluate children’s level. It’s quite poor… Lots of work needs to be done.

After that children needed to answer the question: “What is your usual day like?”

In the evening, after children’s departure, I did computer course for Fernel. He really wants to learn how to use the computer.

  • We had a bad news: Ben lost the key from his, and now my room. We looked for it everywhere, but it was dark and we didn’t find it… John had to demolish the lock.

  • At the dinner time, Krystyna & I had a really good surprise: Ben & John prepared a good diner for us: yam (African vegetable) with kontomere, which is a stew with fish, eggs, garden eggs & some spices.

  • After the dinner Ben, our landlord & “volunteer’s guardian” came for a little talk.

  • 11pm – 12:30am, I started to write my journal…

Day 4 – Thursday - BLIND’S COOKING COMPETITION, Cape Coast

  • 8h – RDV with children at the library

  • 8h15 – planning time taxi-bus for Cape Coast

  • Today we were invited for the Blind’s Cooking Competition. Freespirit Group performed very well. Lunch, banku with stew & some milk drinks were offered for us.

  • Kotokraba Market => shopping for Friday's dinner (girls have done it: pasta + cabbage with eggplants, spices...) & tissue for volunteer's room

  • Today I ate my first coconut => it was good, but a bit harder would be better, I think

Day 5 – Friday - ANOMABU BEACH RESORT

  • In the morning four of our girls (Araba, Joanna, Christina and Rebecca) supervised by John prepared a food for us to take to Anomabu: pasta with tomato sauce and a big saucepan of cabbage with eggplants, spices...made African way.

  • Games in the beach: boys – football, girls with me games in the ocean

  • I showed everybody how to do the slick-line. John & Ben took the active part in the game and even Krystyna tried a bit as well as some members of the local staff… Children were very enthusiastic. We took some photos.

  • Lunch time: sandwiches with pasta, it was a bit strange for me…

  • Rehearsal for tomorrow’s festival: drums & dances (APATAMPA, ZULU DANCE (called as well Osa) & KETE were the most rehearsed).

  • Break with Krystyna at the local restaurant: beer with the superb view of the beach (white sand & coconut trees) & the ocean… After that we had a diner: kenke with cabbage

  • After the dinner, the final rehearsal with costumes took place till 7pm. It was already dark when we left.

Day 6 – Saturday OGUAA FETU AFAHYE FESTIVAL, Cape Coast, Victoria Park

  • We went to the Fetu Afahye Festival in Victoria Park. Many local highest dignities from the region and also some of the members of government as well as the President of Ghana, John Mahama, were present.

  • The park was full. Many people from all over Ghana and from foreign countries; many different groups in traditional costumes.

  • The weather was good for this kind of event: at the beginning quite hot and after cloudy & a bit windy, quite chilly.

  • Our group performed 7 different dances, some of them few times: Kete, Kundum, Osa, Kunku, Kpalya, FumaFuma & Apatampa.

  • Children were appreciated by the public. They’ve got a lot of comments from many people. They performed really well. They even received some money from the president’s stuff…

  • I was responsible for the camera – film making & the photos. I had a really good place before the first row, close to our drummers, almost in front of the President. I had a really good view of everything what happened.

Day 7 – Sunday - LIBRARY

  • We spent this day at our rooms. Ben is leaving today for Accra, his home. So I moved to the room he occupied till now. John installed us more shelves and a moustiquaire, a net protecting from mosquitoes, for me. We did some cleaning, and I spent most of the day on arranging my room.

  • In the evening Ben, our landlord came to visit. He brought a TV with him because we wanted to watch the festival in the news. We thought we’ll see the Freespirit Group, but unfortunately, nothing of us in TV… We were quite disappointed...

  • We ate the supper and I offered Ben & Krystyna some French red wine. We were talking for almost 2 hours. Ben told us about Moree, the education, the politics and other things…

Day 8 – Monday - LIBRARY

  • We started the day by cleaning and arranging the costumes after the festival.

  • Lesson – What time is it? The kids have a lot of trouble to say the time. Only Emmanuel Akontsen knows it quite well. A few children made some progress today.

  • We talked about our impressions about the festival. After we wrote together about it. Krystyna wants to put it on the internet page of Freespirit.

  • My first day of raining here. It was cloudy all day with some shower, small rain…

  • John prepared us Kontomere stew with boiled plantains. He used the leaves of this vegetable for this dish. Plantains were quite sweet & a bit acid at the same time. Really delicious.

  • No light whole night, I go to the bed around 10pm…

Day 9 – Tuesday - LIBRARY

  • I woke up at 5am. Still no lights, no electricity. The silence time after the death of the President is over. Singing & praying from 4am in all over Moree.

  • I took the time to write my journal: 2,5 hours already… The battery of the laptop is almost dead. I hope the electricity comes soon…

  • John is supposed to come this morning to put the lock on the door…From Wednesday we can’t lock the room properly. We’re closing it with the nails… He promised to come at 6am, finally he arrived at 9am – it’s African way… nobody is in a hurry…

  • Today it was the first time I came alone at the library. Lots of children came, different level, it was difficult to manage… We did some work & educational games on the computer => children are really interested… Three boys are good designers…

  • I found a good place close to the library to put the slack-line; I’ll try it tomorrow.

  • Krystyna did some shopping in Cape Coast today: lots of fruits, vegetables & some other stuff….

  • In the evening no electricity… Ben proposed us his help with cooking African way: Coco jam which we ate with Kontomere stew, on desert – sweet apple

Maryla from Poland/France