My wife and I visited the village of Goyire yesterday, about 30km from Bolgatanga in northern Ghana, home to the Builse subgroup of the Talensi ethnic group. We were looking at a malaria bed nets project that I will discuss more in a future post. The community had organized a skit to dramatize why bed net utilization is so important to prevent malaria. The amateur community Thespians doing the skit really hammed it up and the villagers and us almost died laughing. Hilarity increased further when everybody started performing music and dancing after the skit. A certain middle-aged white male blogger displayed a deplorable lack of self-restraint and attempted to execute various jerky dance maneuvers that might have not been perfectly in time with the music, which most of the audience seemed to find deeply amusing.
A certain three-letter word not usually associated with aid projects seemed to be happening: f-u-n. We were all having a lot of fun, and I think malaria awareness increased more on this occasion than on other deadly boring health education lectures I have seen other times. As someone once advised me, take your work seriously but don’t take yourself seriously. Fun is allowed in aid.