July 18, 2007. Mole National Park, Ghana
Although the weather in Mole has been unseasonably pleasant, it still can get very hot. Water here is also scarce and only runs a few times a day, and then only for a very short period -- maybe only an hour. Just when the water is going to run is anybody's guess. Each of us has two five-gallon buckets, which we try to keep full. These buckets are used for bathing and flushing the toilets, and we've all been very good about rationing and sharing water when necessary. It's a valued commodity, though it's not good for drinking. After arriving and shooting for a few days in Mole, a few of us have gotten sick, probably from the water. Whatever we had, it zapped strength and resulted in cramps and dizziness. We all running a little slower than normal, but I think we're capturing some beautiful images that will help shed light on an important story.
When rain calls a halt to the shooting, we take refuge in an air-conditioned room. On this day we were all thankful that we had electricity, and we took this opportunity to take a brief nap together. Ghana is in the midst of an energy crisis. The country relies on hydropower, and most of the major reservoirs are painfully low. As a result, there are countrywide rolling blackouts. Power is provided from the main grid in forty-eight hour cycles, so that places get two days of power and then are left on their own. Many rely on generators to make up for the days without power.