Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tales from 'The Field': No time for Procrastination


For the past 4 days I was away from my precious blog in what we call at work “the Field”. Hopefully this does not conjure up images of:
  • Idyllic dancing amongst daisies
  • Working the land with a cutlass
  • Being a government operative working on an espionage case
*Alas* I was out and about doing high-brow medical research in a fishing area plagued by bilharzia. For me, field work basically means wandering through communities in the hot sun looking dusty and dishevelled, asking people for the oddest things like samples of their bodily fluids and usually in a language you do not speak. The field is always fun aside from non-stop work from 7am to 10pm and irregular eating patterns.
Kpong Power Station Statues...Ilustrious Workers

So, this past week I was the reluctant leader of a team of 10 right into the Volta River Authority heartland . The scenery was breathtaking, the locals extremely warm and our team, the biggest political debators on the continent. Well, I suppose this would be expected during political high season and an upcoming election that is supposedly too close to call. At some point there was way too much talky talky and not enough worky worky going on.
On our last night in the field we had a late evening breezy walk around 9pm with a torch-light and a megaphone distributing containers for samples. We went from house to house meeting perplexed people in their pyjamas. If I was them I would have had us rail-roaded outta town!
Pot Producing area.. Erm, clearly not the type you may be thinking
The community we stayed in was nice enough to put the 3 female members of our team in a guest house where we had electricity and running water. Of course our tranquility was disturbed by another house-guest in the person of a so-called “Evangelist”. I don’t mean to be critical of this man but judging by the level of music he was subjecting our ear-drums to, he must have been hard of hearing or not from this planet. He also had a fine collection of empty liquor bottles in the kitchen making him unlike any evangelist I had come across.
Mr. Evangelist was not a working man but was being fed and housed by the good-natured town people. He seemed to spend his days entertaining droves of people with the aforementioned unearthly loud music as well as Nigerian movies….winning combination for my ear-drums. Each night around 10pm, he went out to hold his evangelizing sessions and returned around 2am with a member of his flock presumably for a one-on-one session. Mmmm now here is someone who clearly needs to be railroaded out of town!
Tan and Tired: Resting in an enchanted forest

2 comments:

pablo said...

:D for a while I was with you in the enchanted forest

Nice writing

Abena said...

*LOL* Thanks Pablo!