Parenting, Love, Loss

First thing Monday morning Joe intercepted me. He exclaimed I had to visit an infant he saw over the weekend. “What’s happening?” I asked. “A child,” he replied. “It’s not good, I can’t explain it. You just have to see it.” I didn’t press him. We hurried to a small village next to Sirigu. Word… Continue reading Parenting, Love, Loss

White Maggi

“Cynthia,” I called across the courtyard. “Tell me about the White Maggi.” Cynthia was a cook and an expert at helping me figure out the obvious—although she never missed a chance to tease me for asking silly questions. She laughed and shook her head, “Oh, Mr. Aaron, you don’t want it. It’s bad! It will… Continue reading White Maggi

An Introduction to Spirit Children: The Case of N’ma

The following is an excerpt from the introduction of my recent book, Spirit Children: Illness, Poverty, and Infanticide in Northern Ghana. The following ethnographic vignette introduces the spirit child phenomenon through the case of N’ma. [2,600 words] Outside his office one morning Joe was urgently awaiting my arrival. With a notebook and mobile phone in hand, he quickly… Continue reading An Introduction to Spirit Children: The Case of N’ma

Risk, Hope, and Help-Seeking: The Case of Leah

The following is an excerpt from my recent book, Spirit Children: Illness, Poverty, and Infanticide in Northern Ghana. I present Leah and the challenges that her family had while caring for her. Experience-near, ethnographic accounts provide a much needed "human" and "lived" dimension to the oft-sterile health statistics and stereotypes that are used to inform… Continue reading Risk, Hope, and Help-Seeking: The Case of Leah