New Home, New Family

With the help of many friendly Ghanaians, I was able to find an available room in the compound seem below. My room has the middle blue window.

The family I’m staying with is very helpful and extremely patient with me. There are a total of 15 bedrooms – half build in 1992 and the other half in 2005. The second half is completely vacant due to lack of electricity, except for the communal bath, toilet, and kitchen (somewhat of a misnomer as everything is cooked in the central courtyard).

There is also one other renter, named Fatawu, who comes and goes. He is a cattle seller in another area.

Below is a family tree of my host family. The solid paths represent current or intermittent members of the household. The dashed lines mean that the family member lives elsewhere.

Seidu has his own room. Ajara and her other two children stay in one room.

Dawudu has his own room. Afista, Fatima, and Issmail share a room together.

Satamatu has a double room, with the entrance having the only TV.

As you can see, there is a large presence of mothers and their children, with no fathers, where I live. Also, this is far from a complete family tree, as the ‘old lady’ (as most people call the grandmother – Salamatu) has 6 children in all. I have met most of them either in passing or at length. All of the family members come to greet her at one time or another as she is held in such high regard. I even feel bad on those days when I forget to tell her that I’m going to work.

My goal is to try and get a family picture, so that I can give it to her as a gift. Sadly, it is very difficult to get the household together in one spot and before the sun goes down.

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