Keeping

Keeping

38.8 Degrees Celsius. This is not the temperature in Accra. This was my body temperature.

Early yesterday morning I fell ill. That meat I ate the evening before, I probably shouldn’t have eaten. Anyway, with loperamide for breakfast I went to the department of Molecular Biology & Biotech at the University of Cape Coast. Research supervisor Mr. Aaron T. Asare and his only MPhil student Samuel Acheampong received me with open arms. Before we started filming Aaron kindly asked me whether I would allow him to pray with me for my health. Like a skillful preacher he asked for the dissapearance of my aches. He did this with the same devotion as he would later talk to me about his research.

After shooting in their beautifully neat, yet small and improvised laboratory my stomach decided to seriously bother me again . As most of the staff of the University had been on strike and the washrooms had not been cleaned for a while, Aaron insisted to take me to his home on campus, a five minute drive away from the Science Building.

We crossed a cosy living room and I was guided to the toilet where it was made sure that it would work. As running water was not available from the taps in the house, Aaron assisted me in washing my hands by giving me some handsoap and by pouring water from a bucket over my hands. With clean hands I was proudly, yet with traces of regret, shown reseach samples that Aaron kept in his freezer at home.

Mr. Aaron T. Asare shows me the new strains of cowpeas (Ghanaian black eyed peas) he created. These are the samples he is using for his research, but he is currently storing at home. One of his research goals is to optimise the peas so that farmers will be enabled to have higher yields.
Mr. Aaron T. Asare shows me the new strains of cowpeas (Ghanaian black eyed peas) he created. These are the samples he is using for his research, but he is currently storing at home. One of his research goals is to optimise the peas so that farmers will be enabled to have higher yields.

To be able to continue research, he explained, he often has to put in his own money and store materials at home. The lab at the University does not hold enough facilities and funding is very limited if not obsolete from time to time.

However, as his student showed me, despite the challenges facing them, they managed to set up a functioning research lab from which valuable results are produced.

Can you imagine what these guys could do with a fully facilitated and functioning laboratory?

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