Today is pretty much my halfway point, I cannot believe how fast time is flying. Looking back we really have done so much in Tafi, but despite all of our successes, I am constantly facing the fact there is really only so much I can do. Something that I think a majority of volunteers throughout the world face is volunteers mean money. Specifically in Tafi, “white” people mean money. I have received a number of handwritten notes from students and even parents asking and even begging, for money, clothes, bikes, private school tuitions, etc.. It truly is heart breaking and sometimes a little discouraging. Of course I want to give them everything but I am realizing the greatest gift they can receive is the means to get it themselves. This is why our group is focusing a lot on projects that will provide sustainability. Through Compassionate Journeys, we have helped motivate and reorganize a women’s group to make a variety of Ghanian clothes and accessories to sell in the village and in the United States. This will hopefully create a steady income to allow for the continuation of the group and even empower the women. In a lot of cases the men of the family work but their income is not always used for the greater good of the family. Also, we are working on a community clean up/recycling project for the village. Tafi Atome has previously been awarded cleanest village in all of the Volta region. This was until the 500 ml clean water baggies came about. Yes they are much better for ones health but the empty plastic baggies are a nightmare for the villages cleanliness. We have found out that the government gives a little bit of money for the recycling of these baggies. So we have been picking up the trash around the village with the children and providing bins for the recycling. All with the hopes of a clean environment and providing a few jobs.
As for these coming weekends we are doing a bit of traveling around Ghana and I am so excited! I’m will be sure to take tons of pictures and cannot wait to share stories from what I sure will be an adventure.
P.S. Remember how I talked about the helicopter fans ability to amputate fingers? Well it was a bloody mess and my middle finger will never be the same….