Posted by: mhirdyounger | May 5, 2012

Greetings from Ghana

Greetings from Ghana.

Greetings from Ghana can be seen on Kente, wooden cut outs of the country, keychains and anything else that tourists buy  – as well as greetings, these souvenirs often feature the face of the same woman, smiling and holding her drum. Anywhere that you can find Obrunis, you can find this woman, either offering a friendly Akwaaba or simply Greetings From Ghana with a toothy smile.  If you have ever been to Ghana or received a souvenir from someone who has been to Ghana, I’m sure you know the woman that I’m talking about. This is her here:

Greetings from Ghana

After having walked past a relatively large display of door hangings featuring this woman, I wondered: What is her story? That woman, did she dress up for some artisan specifically to take this picture for tourists or did someone just see her walking down the street or find her picture and decide that she would be the perfect face of Ghana? She would the one to greet everyone for Ghana.

I wonder if she has ever travelled? I can almost guarantee that she has not travelled to as many places as her picture. I know that her picture has travelled to Canada, having seen it myself before ever coming to Ghana, hanging on the door of the EWB house in Toronto. She welcomed me each time I came home from work or training, even before I had come to Ghana her face and greetings were familiar to me.

Does she know the responsibility that she carries? That she has come to represent the face of Ghana for tourists looking for a souvenir of a time when they visited a place where people greeted you in the street. Plain strangers, never seen them before and probably will never see them again, but they greeted you. You appreciated it and got used to it and even started greeting them back. And back at home, you held your tongue when you started to greet a stranger in the street. Back on your own street, you greet your neighbours that you see everyday, they look up surprised and then return your greeting.  At home you open your front door, looking at the woman in your door hanging, maybe not realizing that the same woman hangs on countless other walls and doors, and receive her greetings from Ghana. Greetings from this spokesperson you have never met and will probably never meet. But you appreciate them all the same.

Greetings from Ghana.

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Responses

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  2. First off I want to say superb blog! I had a quick question
    that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself
    and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
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    • Dear Seymour,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I am glad to hear that you are reading and enjoying the blog. You can follow it to receive notifications of new posts on the right hand side tool bar. It’s always great to receive positive feedback, very encouraging and motivating.

      I totally know what you mean when you say it can be hard to write in the first ten minutes. That’s the point when you have an idea, but you don’t know where or how to start. What I find works for me, when I have an idea in mind, is to do what I call “fingers to the keys”. Sometimes you don’t know where to start, but if you just say to yourself “start typing” it comes. So you just put your fingers on the keyboard and start typing, even if what is coming out is not great. Because you can always go back and edit. By then you’re in your groove!

      Try it out and let me know if it helps.

      All the best,

      Miriam


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