News Post

HSC Volunteer George Gold on Goats in Ghana

22 Sep 2016

by George Gold. HSC: Ghana Volunteer

Goats, everywhere goats. Here in Bimbilla where the Humanist Service Corps Volunteers live, there are goats. I mean to say they are everywhere. Drive down the main street of Bimbilla, and if you don't see at least twenty goats along the way, you had one too many last night and didn't notice. There are goats on the pathways, there are goats in the marketplace, there are goats wandering around munching on this and that and yes, leaving a defecation trail all along the way. When I was in the Bimbilla hospital for a bug bite that got infected, a goat walked right through the main corridor.

And, goats don't like me. They often stare at me, clearly with some sort of disdain. I keep telling them that I'm a vegetarian, but nary a smile. A few weeks ago I was walking down my normal path to town and I came across a goat, and he was gonna charge me. Full on, head down snorting at me he was. I remembered my wildlife training of last year (what was the name of that documentary?) and so I reared up and made like I was gonna charge him, haha he turned and ran.

A few days ago I was with the HSC team in Kukuo village to interview a woman accused of being a witch. My job? Photographer. As we approached her hut, a goat, ok a REALLY BIG goat came barreling out of the fenced area around her hut, jumped the fence, almost took the head off my pal Warren Tidwell, and then headed straight at me. I tried to run backwards, but as I saw this blur of a huge white and black goat heading, nay flying, straight for me, I fell and ended up flat on my back, feet up in the air; but my trusty Nikon camera? Still in my right hand held up high and safe. Somehow that wily goat changed direction in mid-air (really!) and I ended up without a scratch. Several people gathered around thinking I was half dead and I grabbed at the arms held out to me as I heard the refrain of, “oh sorry, so sorry, oh sorry” which is the Ghanaian way of saying, “hey are you all right and sorry you fell flat on your back and we told you to watch out for those goats….”

Today, I was out picking up some food here in Bimbilla and on the way home, on Warren Tidwell's brand new moto, and after more than 30 years of motorcycling, I crashed into a goat. Help, I need a goat whisperer!

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