By: Alimamy Kolipha Kamara
Yes, it was a period of intensive fieldwork which included the daunting task of collecting, transporting, and concentrating huge volumes of groundwater samples, inspecting sanitary facilities, etc., but life in Dodowa and the project house at Salem left a balanced memory between fieldwork and the social interaction that was needed.
Dodowa was my first field research experience that lasted over a month from November 6th 2015. Before setting off, I hardly imagine or plan in detail, some of the other aspects of life that complements my main objectives in the field. This includes the social aspect. But as you move on, you fight to adapt to conditions that confront you. Frankly speaking, Dodowa experience was a fortunate encounter of the unplanned-for social interactions and adaptation in a strange locality. Notwithstanding, I was able to make many friends simply because of the coincidental friendliness of the locals. A better experience of the Ghanaian way of life hit me in less than 2 months in Dodowa than my year of stay on KNUST campus in Kumasi. How boring the night could have been without the music vamping nightclub close to the house which used to entertain us particularly on weekends with the latest Ghanaian music. The sprawling food joints with bankoo and tilapia, noodles (indome), kainkai, rice and stew, fufu and soup, were just in place for quality to meet our needs for dinner and sometimes breakfast and lunch. A permanent night guests we were at a night bar where we used to refresh with drinks like malt and Coca-Cola. These were like quenchers of exhaustion after a hectic day’s work.
Finally and most importantly, the sense of common purpose to achieve our objectives in spite of challenges that confronted us while trying to set things going in the beginning and adapt to some site conditions was the driving force that led to a successful stay in Dodowa, and my MSc thesis saw light at the end of the tunnel.
Photo: (left-right): Jack (mentor), Seth (a co-researcher), Alimamy, Janix (research assistant)