Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Ever Happened to .........

The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

...the New Year's gift of a live chicken from the Village Chief? It was delicious!

...the Ghana Black Stars in the African Cup? The Black Stars lost in the quarter finals to Zambia who was the winner of the Cup. Ghana was third, a huge disappointment to their many fans.

...the moto's, cars and trucks speeding through the village? A massive speed bump was built on the highway just in front of the house where I live. I am now adjusting to a whole new noise pattern as vehicles down shift, brake or skid into the bump and then hit the gas as they exit. It is safer in the village.

... the small garden I planted on the back porch? The goats somehow got up on the porch and trimmed the grass down, sampled the onions, and attempted to eat the pineapple plant. A little prickly. Did not think the herd could reach it, so I am considering more protection before the rainy season crop is planted.

...the building of a kitchen? I am now cooking for myself with more of a variety of foods. Trying to eat a little more American style to satisfy that immediate desire, but am anxious to begin cooking some Ghanaian foods. The caretaker of the house has promised to teach me the preparation of traditional foods.

...the computer skills classes with no textbooks or computers? I have located two computers which had been put away for over a year due to misuse. In the picture you see two of the total of ten teams of 5-6 students each from the 8th grade. There are another ten teams of 6-7 students for the 7th grade. Crowd control and time on task are challenges to making best use of the equipment. The machines are set up in a small building that belongs to the Catholic Church, has electricity, can be locked and is a five minute walk from the school. Amazing how quickly my great satisfaction of going from zero to two machines was replaced by, "wow, how can I do this with only two, I really need eight more." I really am grateful for the improvement and the chance for the students to see and get a little hands on time. The Parish Priest and the Head master have agreed that I may offer an hour at the end of the school day for students if they wish to come to the lab on a volunteer basis. Are two computers considered a lab??

A completed project or sustained progress has always been an encouragement to me and I find it even more so here. Needed materials are not always readily available, I may be one of only a few interested in working for a useful outcome, progress is often slow, so being persistent is a useful part of any plan. I have also been reminded that it takes more than a worthwhile mission statement to get me through a few days. While the Peace Corps has allowed me to do exactly what I volunteered for and in the great majority of situations I am aware of is doing something good for people who need assistance, I find I must sometimes rely on encouragement from family and friends, my faith, patriotic pride, or just a reflection on the agreement I made, to put some eagerness back into my day.

Hope this updates most of the events that have been going on during my six months in the village and thanks for your encouragement and interest in what I am doing.

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