When Sunday morning came and it was time to leave for Dagbamete, the Yiri Lodge was in panic as many of the girls tried to cram the last few pieces of clothing into their overflowing suitcases. Once everything was packed away into the van, we embarked in “the fridge.” The Fridge is a large white van with “air conditioning.” It guzzled gas like a teenage boy in the kitchen and held the cool air like our depleted ozone layer.
As we ventured onto the crazy roads leading into the village, the urban landscape turned into countryside and the asphalt turned into clay. The van was excited, but there was no way to anticipate what was to come.
We crossed the might Volta River, stopping to get some photos.
The villagers greeted us eagerly talking a mile a minute while we mumbled “yoo” and “Ee,” the few responses in Ewe that we had learned. Within minutes the kids attacked. They surrounded us and Dennis was decorated like a Christmas tree.
We got to meet many of the residents including a woman over the age of 100, and the famous “13”. We stopped at “the Spot” and had our first taste of the local gin called Akpoteshie, made from fermented palm wine.
The lifestyle in the village is much more relaxed and the food is a million times better than in Accra. We’re staying in the Kathy Armstrong Lodge, part of Kwasi Dunyo’s West African Cultural Exchange (WACE) , and couldn’t feel more at home.
Our first lesson in drumming today, Monday, was a real challenge. We studied a piece unfamiliar to everyone, called Gota, with a far more layered learning style. It was a very new experience for many of us, but as a group we stuck together even through fire ants. This will be an amazing two weeks! Can’t wait to share more with everyone later.
Dennis and Sam
P.S. The beers are $1.50 CAD!!!!!!!!