So we just arrived at our home for the next three weeks. A great part of Development Studies 2 is the three week field work that is in the middle of the course. It is important because the following part of the course will incorporate our findings in a more theoretic module the last three weeks.
Our class was divided into six groups who all had a different focus, ours is changing households, others focus on topics such as environment or democratisation. The six groups were sent to 5 very different locations, some of them to small, small villages in the forest, others to medium sized towns by the ocean, two of the groups have gone to Accra (the capital) and we are in a small village by the beach. The village is called Brenu and is right next to Brenu Beach Resort, where we have been going every Monday and Wednesday for lunch. Because Kulturstudier already was working with Agnes Boger, the owner of Brenu Beach Resort, I guess they might as well could make it a field site.
Even though it would be great, we do not live at the resort! I think it would become too much vacation and too little field work 😉
Instead we live in the village in Agnes’ house. About 10 people live here, including us four, but it never seems crowded because people are usually home at different times. The busiest times is the mornings where everybody has breakfast at different times. We are so lucky that Auntie Mary comes everyday and cooks our breakfast and cleans the house as well as other tasks.
Agnes is treating us very well and we feel extremely lucky to be here. One of the best parts of staying in her house, is that we get to experience the family life and become friends with the whole family. This gives us a lot of inside knowledge about our research topic (the households). Nevertheless, it is important to notice that Agnes is more well off than the majority of families living in Brenu. Many people lives in houses without running water for instance and the house we are living in is very fine. Some people would argue that this is not the “real African experience”, but I think it is. A lot of people home in Denmark just imagines Africa south of Sahara as clay huts and hungry children, but Ghana has a growing middle class and the economy is booming. So just because we don’t live in a clay hut I’d still argue we get a very authentic experience. For instance, a gigantic cockroach was running around in the hallway last night and I was terrified. I told Agnes and she just went calmly to it with her broom, killed it and put it in the trash as if nothing happened.
Our garden is also interesting. Right outside our window 5 roosters, chickens and an enormous turkey lives. They do make a bit (a lot!) of noise from early morning, so no need for alarm clocks 😉 Fortunately we are getting more and more used to it every day. Also, instead of buying bananas and papayas, we just pick them from the trees in our garden. Very nice!
So field work has just begun and we are very exited about getting started and trying out different data collection methods. For starters we will do a series of small interviews to figure out what is going on in the village in relation to women and their work.
That is all for now, stay posted for more on village life in Brenu!