Illova Blog #4: Village Experiences
Oct. 17, 2012
Senior women's tennis player Tatianna Illova is studying abroad in Ghana, Africa for the Fall 2012 semester, and will be blogging to share her experiences during her time over there. Tune in for updates over the next few months to see what she has to share.
Since the last blog, I have learned and experienced many new and interesting things. I learned more about Ghanaian culture and how people live and what they do for living in villages. My program group and I visited Kumasi where the the biggest market in West Africa exists. We drove through and people were moving everywhere so we had to drive very slowly. There were different areas where they were selling various things. For example, they had a section for shoes, fabrics, goods, clothes, food, etc.
Illova weaving cloth
We visited a cloth weaving village where we bought some very beautiful cloths. We saw all the machines which they use to make the cloths. It seemed very difficult, but it was not that hard, although they must spend many hours making them. I tried weaving, too, and I would probably spend the whole week working because I was super slow.
Also, we visited a village where they make stamps with many different meanings. The process of making their dye is very long. It takes a couple of days to get the dye which is made from the bark of a tree. I picked one piece of cloth and three stamps, which I dipped in the dye and then stamped on the chosen cloth. The symbols I picked meant harmony, unity, love and the presence of God.
Illova stamping a cloth
At last, we visited a wood carving village and an art center where they were selling beautiful wooden products. There were groups of men sitting under shelter and carving these products from big pieces of trees. They carved different wood products such as bowls, stools, necklaces, and many different souvenirs for visitors.
Man working on carving wooden products
It was nice to see how people in this developing country make their own products, how they live in these villages, and how they enjoy their lives doing these routines every day.