Thursday, January 9, 2014


After getting more comfortable talking to shop keepers and Ghanians that I met here and there, I was able to get into discussions about disabled people and how they are viewed in the Ghanian culture. I had mixed feelings in terms of if people understood what I was asking, and if they were being honest or if they were telling me what they thought I wanted to hear…. Depending on who we talked to and seemingly their level of comfort with me and the girls I was exploring with we were able to get some honest answers. Overall, people do not know a lot of disabled individuals—they are here and there most mostly they are beggars or homeless…. Even when I would try to ask about a disabled person sometimes the person I was asking did not know what I was talking about and I had to be more specific (cripple, blind, cant walk, crutches and make physical refrences to get the point across).
How narrow is this sidewalk, how high is the curb ,can we all fit??? INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

While walking on the street towards the Post office and business district I was approached by 2 local men who ultimately led us AWAY from the post office even though we were clear about our intentions.  We did not realize until we were almost at the art market that we headed the wrong way because of course, they were trying to guide us towards where we could purchase goods from them (NOTE TO SELF: BE WARY OF PEOPLE ALWAYS TRYING TO SELL YOU STUFF AND BRING YOU TO THEIR PLACE OF BUSINESS NO MATTER HOW FRIENDLY AND PERSISTANT THEY ARE). Regardless of the detour we were able to talk disabilities, mental health, notice and measure sidewalks and  think about transportation some more... the issue of getting around popped into my head often because of course, if you take the public trou-trou you would need help getting in and out and there are not lifts or wheelchair accessible options so when I asked how one would get around the answer was Taxi... 
Isi and new Ghanian friends who facilitated some conversations and chatted with us for a bit about disabilities 

Oh Hi Christina and Sheila... meet our new friend lets all take a picture!! 

Our new friend walks us ALLLLLL the way back to the bus even when we insisted he really did not need to come with us... :)

That ramp at the vodaphone store surely is not long enough for the steepness... is it just for show and who is enforcing the laws regarding proper access... oh yea... no one..........ALSO THE SECURITY GUARD PROMPTLY KICKED US OFF THE PROPERTY WHEN HE SAW US SNOOPING AND MEASURING, WHOOPS

...And what if you can not afford a taxi or can not get in and fit your chair etc etc, I asked... well, then you don't go out or someone must wheel you and put you into one I guess? never became clear what the solution was.. this because a common theme (not getting a direct answer which means there probably isn't one) anyways, it all sounds pretty difficult, discouraging and unempowering to me... 

Our friend insisted on taking a picture of Darci and I in front of our magic school bus after the one we took of him 
OH YEA.... There was a nice older woman in a wheelchair on the sidewalk heading to the marker who we spoke to for a bit which heading to the Post Office... well actually one of the men we were with spoke to her and translated for us. This was nice because without him there she would not have spoken to us at all. She is a seamstress but her hands have arthritis now and she is not able to do the work she once was able to do. She is trying to start a business and work in an office even still but she became uncomfertable with the questions after a while and we thanked her gave her a few cedis and parted ways.... She was being pushed on the sidewalk by her daughter and indicated that her daughter must always help her to get around. She also seemed to have the financial means to get around and take care of herself, which of course makes a huge difference. 

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