The ROOTS ARTS Gallery and Cafe is the place to relax and have a very nice time. You can have a look at the art exhibition including pictures, poetry, bead and leather works just to mention a few. Enjoy your stay reclining in the comfortable cane chairs and couches, listen to Reggae and get to meet nice friends.
Take your own time to get to know some of the Northern culture and most importantly, drink a big cup of REAL COFFEE. There is no Nescafe at the ROOTS ARTS, except you ask for it specially.
You can also ask for trips to tourist destinations and get linked up to a local tourist guide.
An interesting thing to see in Bolga is the extreme catholic exposure in the north of the citycentre. At Bazaar Road you can see tens of large concrete statues once every 50 metres showing the apostels, Mozes, Jesus and other Biblical hero's.
The shops around this area also adopted this enthusiasm with names like "King Jesus Chemicals" and "If God Says Yes Who Can Say No Fashion".
We visited just before the millet harvest, and so I was able to capture images of the millet at full ripeness, and then we watched how it was harvested. Also, we learned about how the palm oil is made from the seeds. I was interested in the decorated mud house architecture of the farm families.
These images of the farm life in the area persuade the tourist of the bucolic lifestyle the Northern Ghana tribes people live. They are certainly not wealthy by the standards of the industrial world, but I didn't see much starvation or unhappiness here at all. Most people had plenty of time to sit and talk, a thing those of us in the industrial world wish we had more time to do!
In my earlier notes, I failed to include some great pictures of the high tech electrical source, as well as additional shrine and people pictures. The village uses solar panels for electricity, but still fetches water the old fashioned way. Nearby is another village of traditional houses and range fed animals. Very pleasant scenery.
We decided to visit the Volta river and see if we could spot some elephants, so taking a tro-tro from Bolgatanga, we headed toward the border town of Bawku. Tilli is about halfway, so you'll need to get off and start walking. The return ride might seem like a bit of a gamble, but its easy to hitch a ride back into town. We caught a ride back to the hotel in the air conditioned vehicle of an NGO. While we didn't find the elephants that day, the pleasant countryside of the region is worth a visit. One can rent a bicyle and ride toward the river, which we didn't do, or one can visit around some of the agricultural villages. We were there to watch millet harvested and be amused by the Ghana "cowboys". We talked to a Peace Corps volunteer who has a number of activities among the villages there.
Take a taxi out to Tonga Hills, any driver know how to get there. Bargain for a taxi in central Bolga. The drive itself is quite beautiful through countryside on adobe colored dirt roads. The Tonga Hills are a rocky and somewhat elevated region where the chief still rules. There's a school and a shrine there. The shrine, which is a cave in the a pile of precariously stacked boulders, requires that visitors remove their shirts and clothes up to the knees. Women are included, so those who are modest must be content with a walk about the chief's house and the school. The rocky outcrop is a fetish that the shrines priests will explain. The chief's son will also take visitors on a tour of the chief's compound. There's a mix of modern solar panels and traditional mud buildings. The chief himself speaks English very well with a pronounced English accent. See the Bolgatanga Photo journal on this website for more images.
In the weekend we took a lorry to Bawku in the north-east point of Ghana, near the border with Togo and Burkina Faso.
In Bawku was a big vegetable market, so an opportunity to buy some vegetables for our kitchen.
At the secundary school we cooked for our selves. We had a very spacious open-air kitchen, as you see.
The menu: porridge, sorghum, maize, a lot of dried ''red-cross'' fish and if available some vegetables.
After work, we just had a lot of chats and discussions at the porch of the secondary school about nearly everything .... our countries, our customs, our families, politics and of course - as usual- extensivily of all what happens that day.
South of the centre of Bolgatanga is the secundary school.
Here I could stay fro two weeks, together with the other volunteers.
There was plenty of space for our rather small group. There were not so many volunteers as expected, due to the transportation problems in the country at that time.
Sometimes the landscape was yellow, but sometimes amazing green.
Between the villages there was sometimes not more as a track.
Luckily our truck had no big problems to pass. We only once stuck in the red mud in the centre of a village.
After the ceremonial planting of the first tree, our work could start, to plant the other trees.
We had to plant the trees around a newly built storage building.
The small trees disappeared between the high crops. So the volunteers after us had to look very well, when they should come to give water to the trees.
These two girls lived behind the school with their aunt. Adjoa asked me , if I liked to be her mother during my stay in Bolga. Her parents lived in Europe. So she felt connected with me and through me with her parents.
Sometimes she brought me some tomatos or other vegetables from their garden.
The Volu-project in Bolga was the planting of trees around storage barns in ten small villages north from Bolga.
Only if there was a truck - a problem because of the lack of tyres and petrol- we could go.
First to the nursery to pick up the trees and than to the villages.
Labik, the local secretary of Volu, plants the first tree together with the chief of the first village.