Thursday, January 28, 2010

which one doesn't belong?

A whole lotta nothing lately. I did set a new personal record and wove an entire patterned strip in a day yesterday. Marcus came over for his birthday last weekend and we played some basketball in Ho, went to the beach, and lots of darts.
Hopefully next week will be a little more productive for the basketball court. GO Blackstars GO!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Laughable moment in Ghana:
this has been up for 11 months now

I would kill to have all my power tools here. Not only would it be another hobby to keep me busy but it would make things go a lot faster with the basketball court. It has taken literally 3 days to get the school carpenter to cut a board in half. With the lack of progress on the court I’m glad there have been some steps taken in my primary project.
I work with a new NGO called the Kabor Foundation that works in many fields to fight poverty in Ghana. In November I wrote up a proposal for a tourism customer service workshop for them and didn’t think too much of it. Suzy, the chairwoman, took the proposal around and got it funded and set up the entire workshop. She found me on Thursday and told me I was going to be presenting on Saturday. I didn’t really want to but I figured I could make an opening presentation. Friday I wrote up a good (at least I thought so) presentation with lots of info but figured just do a handout and cover the main points. I show up and find out I am the ONLY presenter. Suzy had 30 people there from the District Assembly and local tourism sites which is very impressive (including 5 of my weavers). My buddy Sylvanos translated most of my presentation and we ended up covering everything I had written down and then came a million questions of very good quality. It took almost 2 hours! People really seemed to get a lot out of it. To top it off Suzy made me the Project Coordinator (like 5th in charge) of the NGO which is a nice resume boaster.
This was probably the most influential thing I’ve helped with for my primary project besides the rubbish bins and my mom’s stationery and I did minimal work for it. It was definitely a nice change of pace from the usual time/payout ratio here.
I’m also getting help from a GVSU international marketing class. We’ve had people from over 30 countries come to Kpetoe now so it’s about as international as you can get. This lets the class work with a real project and above all helps me where I’m the weakest; marketing. Last semester Dr. Pope’s class helped us advertise our Kente Festival and we ended up with our biggest festival yet. They help with brochures, flyers, posters, tour groups, internet references, etc. It’s a good thing for everyone involved.
Without like our top 6 players the Blackstars still snuck out of group play and are in the quarter finals of the African Cup of Nations, go Blackstars go!

My weavers that attended the presentation.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Back in GHANA

It was so hot and the kids were bored so obviously it was water gun fight time.

While in America:
“Are you excited to go back to Ghana?”
“I’m excited to go back so I can come back to America again!”-PCV Julie Nguyen

Home was full of family, friends, laughs, supermarkets, hugs, cold weather and delicious food (gained 12 needed pounds). I answered more questions about Ghana and what I’m doing than I thought I knew answers to. It was motivating to see how interested people were.
Transitioning back worried me but within a day I was back into my routines. I’m not saying it was/is easy but it helps that I also got to bring 100 lbs of American goodness (dart board was 10).
Ghanian Moonshine (Akpethesie) wasn’t such a great item to transport. My brother and Joe (basically brother) both did a shot and didn’t feel well. The one I did was bigger and I was fine which makes one wonder about my stomach. Joe bounced back like a champ in a couple hours but my brother ended up going home for the night! Joe made the wisest choice of the night and dumped out the rest.squirt gun fun
My assignment is getting more convoluted yet it’s still calmer here. If everything doesn’t get done today there’s always tomorrow; just be sure to get something done. We aim to break ground on the visitors centre within a month. I’m hoping/praying that the basketball court will be done before. Today I’m taking the dimensions for the backboards to the school carpenter. Put those together with the rims and poles we already have, throw them in the ground, find even more sand, pave and paint it and we’re good to go. Easy right?
Dry season is in full swing (last night it got down to 88). That means bush fires to burn out animals. Therefore power is on and off and cell phone service has been horrid. That normally wouldn’t change my day much but I had to get a message from PC to everyone in my region. I rode my bike all over the district sending out 1 text message at a time if I was lucky. Still it’s great to be back and I think I’m ready. Being nonstop at home reminded me that this laidback lifestyle is pretty sweet. 10 months.

NEWS: The President of Ghana has forbidden all Government workers from watching TV during work hours. This sounds legit but that means they can’t watch the African Cup of Nations going on right now, which is all anyone is doing, especially after the attack on the Togolese team. They are not happy. We set up a radio in the weaving centre and the guys even found an English speaking station for me.

Sorry it's sideways but Desmond is a reader favorite. I had to pick from like 6 good shots of his moves..