When’s the Fun Ghana End?!

Sorry for the mix up, I accidentally posted last weeks blog on the wrong wordpress…you can read it here if you’d like though! http://coletravelsabroad.wordpress.com/

Anyway, time for my update of my second week in Ghana!

As time goes on and on, I feel more and more welcomed into the community.  Adaklu Anfoe is such an accommodating village! Every time I greet someone in Ewe (the local language of the Volta Region) they all laugh and respond with a pleasant, jovial smile.  They coach me through the small talk, teaching me little tips and tricks, and then wish me a lovely goodbye.  Today, as I was walking home today in the morning, a man actually invited me inside of his hut.  It turns out that he was a bee farmer, and he gave me a free sample of honey; it was absolutely delicious. I love this place, I can definitely get used to life here.

I’ve started going for runs every morning, around 6 am.  I really do hate running, but there’s something oddly peaceful and relaxing about running down a red dirt, African road watching the sunrise behind the tall blades of grass and luscious greens.  Also, all the villagers see a sweaty white boy running while on their way to their farms, and they chuckle at me as a pant and gasp out a measly “andi!” (good morning) to them as I trudge on by.  

As for terms of progress on the Water for Students by Students Project, things are going marvelously!  The original plan that was approved was to design and build long term, effective and sustainable water collection and cleansing methods to five different primary schools in the Adaklu district of Ghana.  Initially, the first step that was planned was to collect in-depth, high quality public health surveys and interviews that would accurately represent the sample population of each village that we travel to. 

So far, we have worked in the small village of Adaklu Abaudi.  With a population of around 300 people max (80-100 of which are enrolled in the school), we have collected and done data analysis of 65 members of the community.  With the contribution of the chief of the village, the headmistress of the primary school, and many villagers, we feel confident we have determined the most effective method of water sanitation that will not only benefit the Abaudi primary school, but also the community at large.

Now we just need to get some funding for our project! If you want to help out in any way, we have a donation page here:https://www.omprakash.org/DonationForm/form/WaterforStudentsbyStudents and a blog about the project here if you want more details:https://www.omprakash.org/blog/Story/check-out-our-new-campaign-water-for-students-by-students?blog_user_id=173&cf=p

Also, in the future we plan on teaching at a local primary school, shadowing in clinics, and doing just a bit of touristy things 🙂

Two days ago, we had the amazing opportunity of being introduced to the students at the primary school we would be teaching at.  Some of the kids already knew us from seeing them around the village and playing football and games with them, but it was great meeting all the other kids! They swarmed us, and tried to teach me Ewe, laughing every time I pronounced something incorrectly.  Then, we all went on an “Anti-Child Labour” march through the village, which was really fun.  All the kids marched in line, played the drums, and sang songs about God the whole time.  It was an incredible experience to take part in.

Also, I had the chance of going to a funeral! Funerals in Ghana aren’t the same as they are in the U.S.  They are more of a celebration of life, rather than a mourning of the dead.  There are large black and red tents (national funeral colors), loud music, people dancing and singing, and children playing everywhere.  We got to walk and see the corpse too, which was kind of strange..but apparently its very normal in Ghana! Apparently, sometimes they place the corpse in strange positions, as if they were still alive (like sitting them down in a chair outside) and people visit the corpse this way.

One thing that I can’t get over here is the beauty of the night time sky.  The sky is so broad, so clear, and absolutely gorgeous! You can see the intricate details of every single constellation, every shine and glimmer in the sky, and the illustrious moon always shines bright, no matter where you are.  Its a really breath-taking view, and something you have to experience to understand.  Sometimes after everyone goes to bed, I sit outside, read my book (this is my 4th book this trip! Currently on Open Heart, Clear Mind) by flashlight and just sit and think.  One thing this trip has taught me is the delicacy of life.  These people we are helping literally have to struggle every day to get clean water, but yet in the US, we are so wasteful and take it for granted.  I don’t want to get preachy, so I’ll stop here, but it just has helped put everything in perspective.  

Anyway, I’ve written a lot and I don’t want to bore anyone.  Hope everyone is doing well! Remember, if you want to help our project, click the links above and donate 🙂 Thanks so much!

 

-Cole Friedes

 

 

 

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