Posted by: devonhamilton | October 19, 2010

Week 3 begins

On Saturday we headed to Busua Beach which is about 20-30 minutes from Takoradi. It was absolutely gorgeous there! Hopefully we can head back again while we are still here, because I don’t think one day was enough! It is too bad I don’t surf because the waves were massive!

On Sunday we were back into the swing of things, running a workshop for the Rotaract of Takoradi at night. We presented our MDG workshop this week and we are going back next Sunday to present on proposal writing and project design. The current project they are working on involves the children’s hospital, but unfortunately it does not begin until November 13 and we are due to be in Koforidua by then. The meeting this past Sunday was informal, and they told us that we need to be very dressed up for the formal meeting this upcoming Sunday. The vice-president was kind enough to guide us through the market in Takoradi so we have all picked out some gorgeous fabrics to have made into dresses! There were so many fabrics to choose from and the one I chose ended up being 12 cedis for 4 yards (when I left the exchange was 0.70 CAD to 1 cedi, I’m sure it is more or less the same). On Tuesday afternoon we are going to the seamstress to design our dresses, which is expected to cost around 10-15 cedis. Needless to say we are all very excited! I will definitely have to post pictures of the end result.

This week should be a bit more interesting because we are covering a few of the MDGs in-depth whereas last week was an overview. Last week we surveyed the students on which MDGs they were most interested in, so hopefully we can have some good discussions. I should add that I learned a lot about Ghana, the MDGs, and possible courses of action from the students last week when we divided them into groups to brainstorm solutions.

We are still teaching English in the afternoons but this has presented its own challenges, especially in terms of engaging the students! We weren’t given much guidance as to what their English level was at, so it has been hard to design lesson plans. We know that they need to learn essay writing for their examinations, so that is what we have been trying to focus on. Doing back-to-back workshops is tiring, especially when we have to work extra hard to get the students to participate.

I have been feeling very tired the past few days and I am sure our diet is a huge part of that. Every day for breakfast, which we eat at the Worker’s College, we have toast with jam and some fruit with either tea or coffee. We usually don’t eat another meal until dinner which we have between 2pm and 7pm. We never eat after dinner because the portion sizes are fairly large and we are always really full afterwards! I have been eating a lot of chicken and rice but I am finding myself craving VEGETABLES all the time. I’ve been taking a multivitamin but it’s supposed to be taken after every meal (on a full stomach) and the only “full meal” I eat is dinner so I’ve only been taking it once a day! I can’t complain about the food though, even though we only eat at a handful of restaurants they are all very good!

Our midterm report for Takoradi is due on Friday – can you believe it? My stay in Takoradi will already be half over as our current date of departure is November 4. I think we will know by the end of this week whether we are extending our stay here or not.

Running water is out again but I am enjoying the sunshine!

PS: Thought you all might like to know I’ve been trying to learn some full sentences in Fante. It’s not easy because so much of it is dependent on which syllables you put emphasis on. So far I have mastered “I’m full” and “I like little goats” (I think I have previously written about my goat obsession). I can also say “black person” – I know that sounds incredibly offensive but when people call you “obruni” (white person) its perfectly acceptable to say back! I’ve definitely gotten some kids to laugh with that one!

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