This post is about what happened last week friday (20th March).
I went out to lunch with the laser center folks. We had a good time talking about everything possible. After lunch, Dr Eghan, I and a couple of others decided to go to the head of the physics dept's house (the laser center is under the physics dept). He wasn't too well and so wasn't at school that day. As a sign of respect, Dr Eghan had to officially take me to see him and give a brief report on why I was in Ghana. Even though he knew already about why I was there, this had to be done.
The University of Cape Coast (UCC) is near the coast (as the name implies) and so there are a number of fishing villages within driving distance. Since our ultimate goal is to investigate the constituents of smoke from wood burning, especially in fishing villages, we decided to pay one such village a visit.
The men here go to sea while the women dry the fish over burning wood. This is known as fish smoking. The "oven" used in smoking fish is called the "chorkor smoker". These women spend long hours breathing the smoke which could be harmful to their health.
We wanted to see what logistical things we would need to have in place if we decided to deploy an open path system in the midst of these women in order to study the gas constituent of the smoke.
Dr Eghan (the coordinator of the laser center), Charles (the UCC master degree student I've been working with) and I set off at about 4:30pm in Dr Eghan's car to one of the villages in Elmina. Within about 12 minutes we were at our destination. We packed the car and strolled through narrow passage ways till we came to where all the fishing boats were docked. We stood there for a while watching the fishermen revving their (loud) boat engines and setting off to the sea.
We then went to the other side of the village, to where the women smoke fish. We explained to them what were trying to do and asked if we could take a couple of pictures. We spoke particularly to one woman who was smoking fish with her daughter. Their eyes were tearing with all the smoke that was coming out of the burner. After taking pictures of mother and daughter and the smoker, we asked the daughter to take a couple of pictures of us. Well, she kinda cut of both Dr Eghan and Charles head from the picture. She tried about 3 times. It was too funny. I've included one of her shots in the pictures. Luckily, a young guy walked by and helped us out. We then headed back to campus.
The pictures show us at Elmina, the chorkor smoker and then a woman and her daughter smoking fish.