|I have loved this mat since I first came to the village. They know I love pink so they had this made for me.|
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
Never in my wildest dreams when I came to learn a culture and try to help out would I have thought so much
of myself would be in this little village. As I pack my bags with all the Ghanaian things I am taking home I look
at the 2 years in the things I have learned.
I met people who have worked so hard just to put food on the table and get their kids in school in the hopes of a
“better life” for their families while doing it with a smile and a song. The culture dictates they take care of each
other and they take that to heart. You never see someone eating that they don’t say “You are invited”. The children
have a small cracker they will share in small pieces with the other children. The woman always come to help another
lift a heavy bucket of water to her head. The children learn early they work with the family by helping to get a meal,
get water, or clean the dishes. Families and friends work together to get the ground nuts or maize in from the fields,
and daughters and wives at home making HUGE pots of food for them to feed them when they come in with the crops.
The children all want to go to school but it is not easy in Ghana. In primary and Junior High School you have to have a uniform,
shoes, paper and pens. To get into Senior High you have to pass a test at the end of JHS and wait for sometimes up to a year
for your grades to come back. Then you again have to pay to go to Senior High School. Next step you have to have good grades,
a little luck, and the help of someone that has influence to get you through to a college, or technical school. Young people take
time to “friend” others and encourage them to stay in school and keep trying when things get in their way. Many of the adults who
have jobs help with fees and encouragement because they know how it made a difference in their lives.
Who would have dreamed the people would be so welcoming. They would greet me with a smile and want to tease a “white” lady that
has come to make a home in their village. When I came to the village they would look in amazement when they find out I am here to stay
for 2 years, and so sad when I say the 2 years are up and I have to go.
Yet in two years I have seen growth in so many places. They can take a small loan, 100 Gh cedis (about $50) and turn it into a fowl or two,
seeds for the farm, and reeds for a basket, the beginnings of a small business and they come in every two weeks with their money to repay
the loan. Here in Nyariga it is seldom you see a child not in school. We have more small businesses in the village, more animals, more places
to sell their baskets, more children going to private schools, a computer lab for the girls school, and that is in the two years I have been here.
The possibilities are endless as they are seeing the rewards for their hard work.
This village has been fortunate to have a few volunteers over the last 5 years, and community leaders that listened to the village about their needs.
Leaving the village is exciting because I can’t wait to be with my family again and it is also exciting because I know this one village in Ghana for sure
has the right leadership, right attitude about education and the willingness to do what needs to be done.
Peace Corps says that this will be the hardest job you will ever love and that pretty well says what my two years was.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
When I first came to live in my village I was involved in a
shipment of baskets for Blessing Baskets. We had a scanner
and new tags to try and make sense of for all those that work
here in Ghana.
Now two years later and it is my last one.
We worked 7 am to 7 pm (okay the guys spent
the night finishing up the leather while I slept and
I went home when they started loading the truck)
but I was there and working!!!
working hard to get the handles finished on the bags as
I got there that morning.
basket, scanner in hand and look at all those behind me I
still have to scan (oh alright I had a helper).
through the baskets a SECOND TIME I thought if I scanned
myself it could just quit, did not work. When I complained
that we were scanning a second time to find missing baskets
Abdulai the director said hey you white people made the computer
and we can’t help it if it does not work. Oh what can you say when
he is right he is right!!!
and we have scanned all of these. The truck is outside
but to dark to take pictures. I was so tired, dirty and hungry
but I knew it was another last for me.
30 more Days!!!!
My last Feast in Ghana
corn dropped off so the men get together and shuck the corn. That is
my bedroom window where the green leaves and ground nuts are stacked.
My room smelled good when I went inside.
then they will push the kernels off then it will go to mill to make flour.
sachets fill our mouths full of water and spit at you. See the cooler in the back
that will be full of food for the feast when they finish cooking.
eat and sneaking bites. Sounds like Thanksgiving at home.
to be ready. Peter in back got food somewhere but they did
not want him to share they were waiting……
Everyone had a wonderful Sallah and my last.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Paint Maps on School walls sooo… Olivia and I started She lead, I was “gofer” since she has done
this so many time. This is at one of our JHS in our village.
James has helped us get this together. Our work platform did not show so here we are getting Olivia safely up into the
air..but since she could only reach so far we were not able to make as big of a map as we wanted. This is Ghana also.
unbelievably hot today. I know we were in the 100’s with humidity at 96 we sweated and were so hot that
we just ate a kind bar until we quit for the day and had a bath.
so we got a chair for each of them and they started going. We ask him to take off his shirt
because he has just come from Church and we did not want it to get ruined. He helped with
the WHOLE Map of Ghana.
a hat out of liquor sachets. I was laughing so hard he started to leave but I told him I
was not laughing at him and the older kids told him it was okay that I take a picture. Nothing
goes to waste it is either made into a toy, tool, or something to read!!!
We have another couple days of work especially on the world map. If you do Facebook you
can see the beginnings.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Won’t write much as you can see it was a very successful day. Face paint took a while to get started
so I did it too. Peace Corps girls were so wonderful in doing this. Baskets, kente cloth from the kids
vocational class at the Deaf School in Volta Region where Kyndra volunteered at booth,
Food, (Allison and Dwayne my wonderful friends and family in Accra), drummers, David with small
coin purses I bought, children learning how to play African
instruments. My baskets craft men were very pleased with the days work, Scott from the School for the deaf, and Allison were very pleased with the turn out.
400+ people showed up. Was well worth all the work they did and I was so pleased to be involved in the setting up. We are all tired but very happy.
Friday, September 20, 2013
on his first day of school so proud!!!
and Tahiru had made for her. It is huge sort of square and really beautiful.
2nd Stop we went to see Sofia. She has started
helping women learn to weave with Junk that she has cleaned disinfected and they make
these beautiful baskets. Hopefully we can find her a market.
meeting and we were invited. They greeted Leslie told a little about herself, then ask them to
ask her questions. They wanted to know why Americans buy their baskets!!! Same question always!!!
sit in a box so I will stay put.
in our honor they did not get to loud but they clapped and sang for us. So sweet so risk their crops just
to say good bye to us!!