Elias Mohammed took his first flight out of Ghana this year to join Divine Chocolate as an ambassador for Kuapa Kokoo on a tour round UK for Fairtrade Fortnight. Here he remembers his impressions of the visit:
Bayerebon No. 3 society, where I am recorder sees a lot of visitors from all over the world every year! People in my village always asked me one question I was never able to answer “da ben n’abrofo be ba abe fa wo ako won kuromu?” (when will the whites invite you to their country)? I had heard many tales of how beautiful “Abrokyire”(abroad) is and I always imagined myself there.
My dreams came true early this year when I was selected to participate in the Fairtrade fortnight! I was so excited. My wives were elated when I informed them about the trip. I was in high spirits until I was refused a visa! I thought that was the end but thanks to Divine Chocolate, I was eventually issued a visa after an appeal. This problem cut short my stay by two days!
The flight was good and the food was even better. I thought the Airport in Ghana was big and beautiful until we reached Heathrow. I couldn’t believe my eyes! It is so big, beautiful and busy! David of Divine Chocolate whisked me immediately to my hotel after going through immigration process.
My days in the UK were very interesting. I met many people: Fairtrade officials, other producers like me, school children etc. We had a very busy schedule travelling from place to place in England and in Scotland to attend events and give speeches. I really enjoyed the encounter with school children. The enthusiasm of the supporters of Fairtrade and their love of Divine Chocolate encouraged me to always produce beans that are Pa pa paa (best of the best!).
Upon my return to Ghana, everyone calls me “Burger” (a term used to describe people who have just returned from abroad). I feel proud when people call me that. I admit I would have liked more time to go shopping and more sight-seeing, but I think my trip was very successful.
The high point of my visit was people smiling and saying thank you after my presentation.