Saturday, December 1, 2012

Just keep grinding the cassava

Technical training is at last over but training is not over yet. We spent 2 weeks in a hotel with air conditioning, a pool, bar, and access to pizza. That is now over. I have to say I think I'll miss the pizza the most. It became a big deal when it was discovered. Real cheese at a semi decent price? Of course I'm going!! We were staying in Techiman in the Brong-Ahafo region. It has the largest market in West Africa. We went to purchase food for our Thanksgiving feast. I was walking around with my packing backpack on full of food for 30 people and then I found the fabric section....this was a mistake. Everything was just so gorgeous I could hardly contain myself. I even found a fabric that had geese on it which I plan on turning into a fabulous blouse! I have a feeling that most, if not all, of my extra money will go towards fabric. I want to have a complete Ghanaian-made wardrobe. It will be interesting back in the states to walk down the street but I do not care.

I am just so excited to get to site. Training helped me focus onto what was even possible to do. I have so many ideas and cannot wait to get started. I feel the possibilities are almost endless. I can see myself always doing something. During my downtime, I plan on building a tree house! There are Bayabob trees all over which is the kind that Rafiki from the Lion King lived in and I will live in one too!

Earlier this week we went to a chicken and rabbit farm in Sunyani. Even though the baby bunnies were super cute, there were baby ducklings. Which automatically win over bunnies on the cuteness scale. The thing that made it even better was their foster mom was a female turkey. This is true. I cannot make it up. They got scared and all ran under her feathers. I just about died. I'm planning on starting a duck farm at site for the sole reason of being able to watch ducklings all day.

2 more weeks of training and then we finally get to swear in. I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holy Baloney!!

Holy Baloney the last few weeks have been crazy! We finally finished language classes and moved to Kumasi in Ashanti Region for the Counterparts workshop. The APCD was announcing everyones sites and then they would go stand next to their counterpart. He then started talking about how the next person's CP had not yet arrived. I knew it was me and of course the next name to be called was "Tierra Groff." They had no idea where the person was and why they were not answering phone calls. Everyone else was talking to their CPs and learning about what their new home was going to be like. I sat on the stairs. Finally, no longer being able to stand it, I walked around looking at birds and cried about 2.5 tears. After that it was all okay. There was nothing I could do but wait. Finally by the end of the day I was told that they were going to change my site and my CP was coming the next day.
I am so happy with the change!!! Technically I am not supposed to say exactly where I am but I can walk to Cote d'Ivoire if I so desired. The Wild West of Ghana!!! No electricity, my toilet is not yet completed, and there is no public transport to the nearest town that has electricity. I am oddly excited about it. Yesterday we went to visit a poultry farm. I have never seen so many chickens in one place! I helped collect all the eggs which numbered around 800. The hens were pecking at my feet and pants.When I tried to move one off an egg, it would hiss and fluff up its feathers! Quite an experience. Today we are all convening in Techiman. I waited for the trotro for 3 hours, they don't leave the station until they are completely filled, then sat with abosolutely zero room for my legs for 2 hours until I arrived in Wenchi. I am excited to see the other volunteers but at the same time I want to get back to site!! I have so many ideas of things to do and I want to get started right away!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The first month

This is weird and unreal but I've been in Ghana for almost a month!! It really doesn't feel like it. We arrived in the capitol city, Accra, at dusk and had a police escort on the bus ride to where we were staying. The VIP treatment ended there. We have to sit through hours of lectures on various topics that are important but extremely dull. We got our first taste of real travel through Ghana by taking a trotro (a bus) to Accra. This sort of system would never be allowed in the states. The number of health and traffic code violations are ridiculous! There are about 12 people crammed into an old, decaying van with their goats and plantains. You are forced to sit so close to people that it is unclear if all the sweat on your body is yours. AC of course is nonexistent so while in motion its lovely but as soon as you stop its a sauna! We are now staying with host families in a small village in the Eastern Region call Adonkwanta. The electricity goes out every couple days and its rains daily. Everyone is so friendly! If you ask for directions they will stop what they are doing and take you there. Its so different from the states that at first I was sketched out by it.

We are all have language classes 6 hrs a day 6 days a week. But I never have free time. As soon as I get home I have to study Twi and talk with my family. Everyone is looking at me when I eat and whenever I go anywhere. They say "Obruni obruni" which is the word for foreigner. At first it was cute but is now getting annoying. I've stopped responding to it. We find out where we will be posted in a few weeks and the suspense is difficult. The country is so diverse that trying to think about service and what programs I might want to start is hard.

Bird list:
Pied Crow
Black Magpie
Cattle Egret
Village Weaverbird
Yellow-billed Kite

There are several that I haven't gotten a good enough look at to identify.