Me ma wo aha (Good Afternoon)
Since our last post one of the volunteers Hermione went home :( and we gained a volunteer called Dot who is lovely. She reminds me of my mum - she is from Bristol, similar age, similar build and loves walking. We have a funder coming out with the CEO Neil mid November (with our new camera) and two more volunteers before Christmas. The last two weeks have been very different from each other, both great though.
My role changed with the charity for the time being as we needed to prepare the next stage of what we are going to do whilst we are here (focus on literacy etc - see previous blog). Martin continued to go into school to do some teaching of phonics with Basic 2 (ages range from 7 to 13) and comprehension with Basic 6 (ages range from 12 to 16+). I was also enjoying doing admin tasks for the charity (the organiser in me was coming out) with Hermione such as 'workers wall' (pictures and info of V by V employees) and updating the fact sheets that get sent home to new volunteers.
On the Wednesday Hermione and Dot helped out with baby weighing and general nurse assisting (not my cup of tea - hats off to nurses). This took place in the last village V by V worked with - Gboloo Kofi (where Aikins' family lives).
On the Thursday we all went to Koforidua (local city) to check out the bead and craft market (where christmas presents are coming from this year ;-) ) and Linda Dor for a triple birthday celebration for Martin (24th Oct), Hermione (24th Oct) and Scott (28th Oct). Martin made several attempts at making himself some birthday cookies/cakes - fortunately the mixture tastes amazing liquidy :)
The weekend was chocka with meetings about our project - we are so fortunate to be able to meet and work with such inspirational people. NGOs are doing great things out here.
26th Oct - 1st Nov
Last week we went away to Elmina and Cape Coast. We have been told by people here and back home that we must visit here and now I know why. The place we stayed was stunning and there is so much to do - we did our best. The first few days were spent travelling (7 hours door to door) and celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary. We were relaxing by the pool, eating great food, checking out crocodiles, swimming in the sea (so strong it was knocking me off my feet) and visiting Cape Coast castle. The castle was so emotional as we were learning about the slave trade. It is unbelievable what took place. The castle is still so intact that you are standing in the dungeons that they kept the slaves and you can go upstairs to the governor's room that was twice the size of each dungeon. Made us feel so sick. I have never had an experience like it.
On the Friday our friends Dot and Pat joined us for the weekend. On the Saturday Martin had a meeting with a lady who set up a language program called 'Phonics Ghana' and the rest of went off to visit a refugee camp. These people fled from Cote Ivore in 2010. It was a pleasure to meet them, they treated us so well. They were so giving and all they want is for us to know their story. They feel trapped - not safe to go back home but not able to be fully a part of Ghana (due to language barriers etc). We are hoping to set up some sort of a link with them and future volunteers of V by V. Later that day we went to Elmina Castle (just as harrowing) and then on to Kakum National Park. There we stayed in a tree house, went on a early morning nature walk in the dark and a canopy walk (so high up - Martin fought his fears).
After our long journey home it was nice to be back in Abenta. Waking up to Abena (our hosts' daughter) saying good morning, Margaret (our host) saying Madam in that beautiful way she does and hearing Akua's (our other hosts' daughter) giggle :):):):):):)
This week we are getting ready to do base line reading tests, set up a library system and I am doing netball training whilst Martin is teaching phonics. Loving it!!!!!!
Me da se pa (Thank you very much) for reading, sorry it is a long one. Pictures will follow when we have a connector for the computer.
Akosua [Liz] and Kwadwo [Martin] x
P.S. Ghanaian soul names are given based on the day of the week on which you are born. Here is how to find your Ghanaian name based on what day you were born.