Monday, September 29, 2008

This is us on our last night in the states. Gonna lie to ya, I'm not nervous.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tomorrow we're Ghana go to Ghana

Tomorrow morning we get some shots then bus to New York and fly out. It was just yesterday that I left home but it's definitely something how much things have changed already. Being here with 40 some other people that are the same type of person as I am is crucial to me not freaking out. Inside my heart is beating like crazy but mentally, I'm perfectly calm.
We're a good bunch that likes to have fun and laugh. There's a girl from Nebraska named Hannah but last night at the pub I would only call her "Nebraska." It caught on and today when the instructor tried to call on her she said, "I don't know what you're name is but I know you're from Nebraska." We got a lot of people from California and Texas, I'm the only Michigander. It reminds me of that scene in the 1st Lord of the Rings when all the guys are coming in from different lands. I'm the youngest one here but I rarely notice that.
Katie Phelan would be proud of me, I haven't opened any of the letters yet but I get to tomorrow! That offsets the fact that tomorrow I will take my last shower with running water and maybe electricity.

I've had some requests for why I'm doing PC. If you listened to JFK's speech when he was introducing it, you'd want to do it too. I personally loved the few weeks that I spent in Mali over 5 years ago now. Seeing how they live and what they value has really formed me into the person I am now. I promised I'd be back, tomorrow I go back. I really hate how America is viewed in the world right now. I know that even if I do as well as I can I will only be able to improve a few people's opinions but if a few people change a few people's opinions it quickly becomes a lot of people. I know that I'm pretty dang lucky to have all that I have in life and I got to do what I can to share that. Let's be honest too, it's just an interesting thing to do and great stories and friends will come.
This might be my last blog for a while so that's my excuse for it being so long and unorganized. Thanks to all those back home that have kept me in their thoughts and prayers, you're in mine as well.

PS I do have a skype account dan.vainner if anyone else does and would be interested in video chatting sometime let me know.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I was doing so swell with goodbyes. I would be like "cya later bye" to even my closest buds and family. Then came mom and dad at the airport.
On my flight to Philly there were 2 other Peace Corps soon to be's, but both going to Kazachastaniania, I made that country up but it's close. Lady on the plane wanted me to marry her daughter, this PC stuff was looking better already.
There are 40 some trainies here and they seem like amazing people, it's going to be fun. It's kinda weird this happening in Philly since this is a very emotional place for me already with Vails (rowing) being here. I thought I saw Ross Anderson on a bike, turns out I didn't, nuts.
Thanks for checking up on me. I still have my phone until Monday so text away (sorry Dad).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Under a Week

My 9 week training is now going to be in the booming metropolitan area that is Kukurantumi. I tried looking for it on a few maps and it took a while to find one with it on it. We will not be doing the traditional training method in classroom but rather live in community do most of our learning individually, only meeting with the other trainies like once a week. My language lessons are coming along pretty well due to Renee's cassettes, Twi is a fun language.

My family and friends have been way too good to me. Katie, Amanda, Mexican Lightning and Cody organized a going away party and presents that I can't describe how they made me feel. These 4 are all you could ever dream of as friends. You ever think that there should be different levels for the word "thanks"? When a server (I always wanted to be a server) refills your coffee cup you say "thanks". When we pray we're like "thanks for everything". I'm just saying that I don't think that word does justice to how we really feel sometimes yet we use it so casualy others. Matt Maletich also gave me the most witty presents I have ever recieved. For example, a lighter with "use to create fire to make bush people think you are a god." I have been awed by how far people have traveled or how much they'd do to be able to say goodbye.

I expect that teaching euchre will not be an easy task and I won't have Lisa to table talk with. Other than that I'm trying to limit my expectations. I did have a nightmare that all my fellow volunteers were middle aged men but I don't think that counts as an expectation. Mailing addresses for people who would like letters would be great before I leave. That way I'm writing people that want to be written and not just to mom, she'll be getting plenty.

"I'm at the safest spot on the course." -Doc King while standing next to the pin before I try a chip shot in the father/son scramble today.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blog Set-up

First blog attempt so bare with me.
I leave for Philly on September 27th. I will spend 3 days there training and receiving vaccinations. On the 29th we will bus to New York, where we have a direct flight to Accra, the capital of Ghana. We spend a few days there, including a reception at the the residence of the U.S. ambassador. Then, for 5 days I will shadow a current Volunteer. From there we move to Techiman where I will live with a family for 9 weeks of training.

My mailing address for the 10-week pre-service training will be:
Daniel Vainner, PCT
Peace Corps/Ghana
P.O. Box 5796
Accra-North, Ghana
West Africa

Letters would be absolutely amazing. Please number the letters and date them so we can get a feel for how long mail service takes and how often they "lose" the letters.

I will not know too much about my assignment until 3 weeks into training when they assign me to my site. All I know right now is that it will be Business Advising of some sort. My assignment will determine if I have a cell phone with constant reception, availability of the internet, and if I have power or running water.

The next few weeks will be hectic as I try to see as many people as I can and get all of my legalities in order. I've already said good-bye to Scotty, Malcolm, Lindsey, and Ry-Guy and it's not too much fun. I have had the best summer ever due to the fact that I knew I was leaving however.