Today we tried to find gold. Months ago when Arnon told us about the country he liked to visit, and added he especially wanted to see the mines, I was shocked to hear we were going into a war zone. But he meant gold mines, of course.

We lost more than we gained at first: there was no sign of Dorothy this morning, and little hope she would answer his mobile, there was no gold for us to take home, Arnon’s watch went missing in a very mysterious way, and we lost a ton of sweat.
You will see little of that in the pictures, because the grounds and trees at the hotel were full of local birds shaking their feathers and generally being very nice to the camera. By the time we got to the mines, the batteries were low. Sorry about that. I must get my priorities right.
On the subject of love for birds, and convincing that you are their best choice, Arnon enlightend us by sharing a little secret (In Dutch): Is het jullie niet opgevallen dat waar ik verschijn, de rouw verdwijnt?

We were dressed to descend into the mines, and baptised the MIB – Men In Blue. We needed matching sunglasses really but there you go. The natural draft into the shaft was quite remarkable and sometimes the wind was so hard you hardly could walk.

We learned a lot today. You’re easier caught stealing gold than stealing a watch. The AngloGold Ashanti Mines are more than a hundred years old and run about a mile deep. The illegal mining is a much bigger problem then I had first thought it was. The General Manager Sustainable Development should really go into politics, evading our though questions easier than we had heard the Minister for Energy do a few days before, and throwing in much funnier anecdotes. Cyanide is not a danger to the environment at all, as long as it has time to break down under the influence of sunlight. People in Obuasi do not have bigger feet than size 44. You don’t often want to break your own legs but a four hour drive in Ghana might help. (Part 4 of our course will highlight Ghanaian distance, in which we will see a shortcut directly from point A to point B takes longer to negotiate than detouring via point C).

lutek Dinsdag 26 Juni 2007 at 09:38 am | | default
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