Funding Frustrations

So, once this week ends, I’ll only have three weeks left here in Ghana.  I know that sounds like a long time, but time really does fly here.  I can’t get over how beautifully simple life is here.  The roosters crow at 4 AM, everyone wakes up, sweeps the dirt outside their homes, and heads off to their farms or jobs for the day.  Meals are simple, conversations are genial, and the people are loving.  Sidenote: speaking of meals, I can’t stop craving hot pepper banku.  When I was in Cape Coast I got some fast food and it was absolutely delicious.  Anyway, I’ve been craving it ever since.  I LOVE Ghanaian food (even though I miss eating an adequate amount of protein).

Cape Coast Recap: We drove for around eight hours to get to CC. We stopped in Tafi Atome Sunday night to visit some of the other Global Scholars (SHOUT OUT TO DA TAFI GROUP! You guys are great), we fed some crazy monkeys in the forest, climbed West Africa’s tallest mountain, and swam in the highest waterfall in Ghana.  After that with some detours (and getting lost) in Accra, waiting in traffic, multiple bathroom and FanIce stops, we finally made it to CC.  It was gorgeous! The traffic was bustling, there were an eclectic mix of people everywhere moving about, loud noises shot around everywhere, and a relaxing sea breeze permeated the entire city.  The views were breathtaking–a slave castle highlighted the coast and sharp cliffs and homes on stilts peppered the skyline.  Once in CC we did some shopping and walked around the city, which was comparable to a Ghanaian New York City.  The next morning we went to Kakum National Park, which was awesome! Then we toured the slave castle and really learned some great history.  That night we went out to a fancy dinner and the next morning it took us about 10 hours to make it back to Adaklu Anfoe.  Overall it was an exhausting but great trip! I really missed the rural lifestyle while we were away though.

So we’ve been working in a community called Dawanu lately.  They have absolutely no water, no electricity, no education, no nothing.  The community has five surrounding “mini-communities” that also function just like Dawanu.  We were doing surveys one day and asked one of the community members to take us to their current source of water.  What  I say was appalling.  It was a small pond–no scratch that, it was a puddle–of dirty, sandy, brown water.  They said that it was the only water source for over 200 people, and that during the dry season they have to walk miles just to get equally dirty water.  Oh, not to mention they share the water with cows and goats and other wild animals.  I drank a little bit of the water and my stomach has been hurting ever since.  I could crunch the dirt in my mouth and it smelled awful.  It was heart breaking that this was their ONLY source of water.  I wish I could have just built a water filter for them ASAP, but this whole “gain funding by collecting appropriate data so you write a good proposal and get money from a big wig American company” thing is very frustrating.  These people are sick and need help NOW, its just infuriating that I have to jump through multiple hoops just to help these people.  Its truly sad.  

Well, I don’t wanna end my blog on a sour note, so I’ll just let everyone know that besides Dawanu, things are going great here! I hope that everyone is having a great time in their placements, and I hope things in the US are great.  

-Cole F.


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