Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mardis: Ganhi

On Tuesdays we have a clinic in Ganhi, approximately 2 km from the Port of Cotonou. Last Tuesday, we were accompanied by a photographer from the ship, Deb. Deb kindly took a great deal of photos, some of which I will share with you here. 

The crowd was quite feisty last Tuesday, but Robert knows what to say...

I have learned a few important phrases in the local dialect from Robert. "Ay-o" means "No", "Minotay" means "Wait"... the most important of all, "YI RA ME!!" means "Get in the back of the line!!"
Notice the hand going for my left arm... my mobile phone was stolen on this particular Tuesday... I need to keep keep my eyes open while distributing tickets in the crowd...

I distribute tickets to the elderly and blind because they are unable to wait in line like the rest of the patients. One thing I have noticed lately are people pretending to be either blind or extremely old and unable to walk. Robert and I have come up with a few little tricks to test the legitimacy of one's claim to blindness/age. I'll share the tricks with you when you get here. 

This is very serious buisness... :)

Does the megaphone help, you ask? No, not really...it's just there for looks.

Some of you may be wondering why I have chosen to post my pictures here in Black & White. I find that when I convert the pictures to black & white, and adjust the contrast... it is more difficult to see exactly who the people in the crowd are. I do this mainly because I do not have consent from these people to invade their privacy and post pictures of them all over the internet. Any portraits I post on this blog have been taken with consent, and I therefore have no qualms about sharing them with you.
For example, these two young gents waltzed into the clinic and were overjoyed to have their picture taken:

Africans treat the elderly with a great deal of respect. Words like Sir and Madam are seldom used, though. They prefer to address them as Papa or Mama. "Papacheh" (my father) and "Ee-Ach-eh" (my mother)... are two words I have grown accustomed to using.

I hope you enjoyed the photographs. Many thanks to Deb for the ones in which I am pictured... Until next time, Au revoir!

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