Monday, 7 September 2009

The only vegetarian in the village

'Vegetarian' is not a concept well understood in Ghana and constantly ridiculed. I usually try and explain it along the lines of "I don't want to eat animals, I like to make friends with them" but this is just used as excellent banter material against me. Yesterday I held a debate with thirteen men sitting outside by my office which I am pretty sure I won although no one else agreed.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a village with Sulley my boss, did you usual necessary work, and as we were leaving he was translating the pleasantries ("Thank you for making the long journey to Ghana, may you take us back to your country so we can roam around there", etc etc) when suddenly he announced they were now going to slaughter a guinea fowl in my honour. My face sent him into giggles and he told me it was their tradition, because they had not fed us and tradition is very serious business in Ghana. Although they could not understand me I started whispering and hissing and waving my arms insisting that NO animals were to be slaughtered in my honour, which amused him even more. The end result was that we drove off with the guinea fowl tied up ALIVE to the front of the motorbike which was probably worse, so Sulley could have it for dinner with his wives (he has two, men here can have up to four.)
Another strange day in Tamale.

By Jess

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