Handshakes in Africa can last for an entire conversation. At first impression, the sensation of having hands connected throughout minutes of interaction seemed rather awkward. After traveling around the African continent for almost three months, such bonding tradition got under my skin; and the circle of perspectives has reached a completion point.
After returning from Sorano, I had an appointment with yet another community chief – this time around, Humjibre. A wise young man, Nana Kojo Twun had some valid ideas and suggestions to improve the community. At some point, he even suggested the creation of a game reserve within the dense forests of surrounding hills – all to induce local tourism. Furthermore, it was during his interview that one detail caught full attention: as he talked, his hands kept shaking. Whether fearing the camera, the questions, or even myself, I suddenly comprehended that just as nervous as I had been, these individuals most likely felt similar apprehension.
Documenting life in rural Humjibre has been a series of fortunate events – and an immersion into the rich Ghanaian culture. After obtaining the chief’s (locally referred to as “Nana”) permission to film in the village, the delicate process of interviewing volunteers and community members legitimately started. Differently from previous experiences, the entire community has been mobilized to participate in the documentation; from the organization’s core staff to community members, the interviews have opened doors to a cultural tradition distinctive to this region of the world.
If I had ever imagined that People of Change would bring me to such remote parts of the globe, I would have definitely fitted some essential items into my luggage (such as extra toilet paper). I am currently working in Humjibre, a rural village located approximately 450 kilometers/300 miles distant from Accra. Although such distance does not seem to be far fetched from normal standards, the documentation of Ghana Health and Education Initiative (GHEI) requires a journey of its own.