In recent years, Ghana has become Africa’s largest consumer of marijuana and is third on the global lists. The increased demand has caused the value of the plant to skyrocket and the nation is now the biggest producer and exporter in West Africa.
Poverty in the region drives farmers to grow the popular plant-based drug. One Mamprusi farmer explained, “I get 50 cedis (12USD) for a small bag of dried wee, but a bowl of maize will only fetch me 3 cedis (0.75USD). Which will I grow to feed my family?”
Farms that are safe from authorities’ prying eyes are interplanting Indian hemp in their corn fields and some farms are completely replacing their acres of food staples with it.
When asked what was in the hand-rolled cigarette he was smoking, a marijuana farmer laughed and replied, “Ayi, taba! Vaari maa ya sa’am i zugu.” (No, tobacco! Those leaves with spoil your head!)
Just north of the town of Banfora, Burkina Faso and past the sugar cane fields there are some incredible rock formations. Geologists identify these cool domes as being Mesoproterozoic sandstone formed by millennia of erosion. As awesome as their geological history is, they are even more awesome to climb, hike and get lost in!
We visited the domes with Heidi’s parents in the late morning and the sun was brutal. After a couple hours of climbing and exploring (Ken even got lost!) we headed back to the hotel to cool off in the pool. Later in the afternoon, Ken and I returned as the sun was setting to get some better photos and drone footage.
It was epic.
In heart of Burkina Faso’s Kaboré Tambi National Park, lies a hilarious mystery. For the last three years a massive pile of broken ceramic toilet seats has been lying on the side of the road.
We have no idea how it got there but it’s definitely our favorite pit stop on our drives to and from Ouaga.
Our friends and colleagues the Cahills recently delivered their third little girl at BMC. Shortly after her birth, Lori’s parents and niece came to visit them. During their stay, they had a baby naming ceremony at Fulbe Baptist Church which they attend in Nalerigu.
Heidi’s parents were also in town so we all attended with several of the current volunteers at BMC. The church was packed tight and afterwards we all went by the Cahill’s house for a meal.
Trey’s birthday was in August but he postponed his party until all his friends and his grandparents were in town. So on September 4, we celebrated at our house and had our friend Baby bake another delicious cake for us.
Some of the games Trey and his friend played were tag, water balloons, capture the flag and a freestyle trampoline jumping contest. The most fun was watching Trey try to blow his trick candles out over and over and over again!
German NGOs Evivo & Weltwärts have sent two new volunteers to Nalerigu to work at a local private school and feeding center. We’ve served as mentors for each pair of volunteers for the last three years and it’s always been an fun experience.
Since we started, we’ve declared Sunday nights to be German Movie Night and we have the volunteers over for dinner and a movie (which is sometimes and actual German movie).
We’re happy to welcome Nils & Marlen as they start their year of service in Nalerigu. We look forward to many German Movie Nights together!