Ive been gone to the Northern Region for the past few days on a work trip with the CDD. From Accra to the North is 10 hours of driving! And thats making good time. The thing is, the roads can be bad, accidents are frequent, and the lack of adequate lighting makes travelling by night a poor course of action. For this reason, its very common to have Ghanaians who live in the South all of their lives and never make the trip up North to Tamale, Bolgatanga, and the like.
The stereotype about people in Northern Ghana is that they are violent, aggressive people who are not too enlightened about what goes on in the South. And it is true that so far, the few bouts of political violence occurred in the North, in Tamale and Gushiegu. And it was in the North that people advocated for phone ins to be banned in 2004 during those elections. For my trip, I was helping to educate the Northern journalists on how to cover the elections peacefully. We briefed print and radio journalists on conflict reporting, issues of good governance, and economics. It was a successful turnout, and I am working on the report now.
Speaking of reports, Im starting to feel a bit....taxed. My project alone is a lot to think about, and now I find myself working on a lot of other things with the CDD. Tommorow, for instance, I have to do a report from the weekend, finish working on the account budget, work on a newspaper monitoring assignment, and then potentially work on something for the Election Watchers here at the CDD. Jeez. I may take some time off to really refocus myself and think about how I want to spend my time here. Im a people pleaser, so sometimes its hard for me to say no when Mr. XYZ needs help with something in the office. But at the same time, I have a Fulbright project to do. The last thing I want to do is feel burnt out by the experience. I didnt travel across the Atlantic to be stressed out! I can do that very well in the United States!