Amongst the first day’s participants was 15 year old Ama Akpo, who we recognized from the Grass-Track Race meet held here last weekend. Ama finished 2nd overall amongst the women, and is seen here below winning her first round heat.
Ama, who lives in Apeguso on the Hohoe road, was born deaf, and speaks only through her own special touch and sign. She also never stops smiling, and had no problems following the workshop led by our instructor, Abokyi Samudu.
After demonstrating a puncture-repair, Ama was the first participant to successfully reassemble a tyre and tube to the rim. After showing Abokyi, she turned around to the class and showed everyone else.
During the other practicals, where participants are asked to revise each demonstration on their own bicycle, Ama was always looking around her, copying what others were doing, and not returning to her seat until she had fully understood and completed the task.
It’s not unusual for our bicycles to end up shared between families or households, and our host in Apeguso, Vida Vivie, told us that Ama had been borrowing her bicycle, after only learning to ride 4 months ago.
At the end of the session, Ama chose her own bicycle – an old Specialized Hardrock mountain bike, which will test her newly acquired maintenance skills, and save her the 8km roundtrip walk to her father’s farm.