Ghana it is! Thanks to Linda, who suggested looking up Weave a Real Peace – I went to their website, devoured the many pages on textile travels, and decided to go to Ghana. (Peru also sounded tempting, but I really had my heart set on Africa.) A big factor in my decision was Aba Tours – they specialize in setting up cultural trips to Ghana.
There are a lot of handicrafts in Ghana that sound interesting – basketweaving, kente cloth weaving, adinkra (cloth stamped using carved pieces of gourd), indigo dyeing, goldsmithing, etc. I’ll probably base my tour out of Accra (the capital of Ghana), where the Cross Cultural Collaborative is located – they have a lot of artisans there, so it’s a good place to start.
Then I’ll go out to the villages – apparently a lot of their artisans are from the villages originally, and Ellie (the woman who runs Aba Tours) thinks she can get some of the artisans to take me to their home villages and teach me there. That sounds wonderful–I’d get my lessons, AND I’d get to stay in the villages. I could also spend some time hanging around the Cultural Center, learning from artists whose villages are too remote to visit.
And, of course, I could also strike out on my own and see what else there is to be seen. I plan to spend at least one portion of my trip going to a wildlife preserve where I can see hippos. 🙂
All in all, it sounds like it’ll be a fantastic trip – really looking forward to it. I hope I can get things settled quickly, so I can put it out of my mind and get back to weaving, chocolate, and the book.
Whee! Ghana! Sounds like it’ll be great fun.