Monday, April 19, 2010

Court is Done!

Great Aunt Ann Acker Athletic Area is finished and being used! Armed with 3 years of technical drawing, a tape measure, chalk, some string, my last roll of duct tape, and some paint brushes and a roller Andrea and I set to painting the court on Friday afternoon.
We got a late start while we were tracking down supplies so the first afternoon we only did 2 perimeter lines. Goats came and ate some of our reference string too but it was worth it to see Andrea chase them away. I did take the first shot on the court that day. It was a pull up jumper from about 15 feet out..Nothing but net, after an afternoon beer.
Saturday we got an early start and by the time Julie joined us we had the perimeter and center circle outlined. Julie, our PC fashion expert, is also the premiere fingernail polisher in Tennessee. With this knowledge we put her to work on the detailed aspects of the midcourt design. All day somehow it stayed cloudy but didn’t rain even though I’m pretty sure it was pouring on 3 sides of us at one point. The clouds let us work all day and we were just able to finish the entire court. We used up every drop of paint but it looks good. I knew we could do it; but I didn’t know we’d actually do it this right.
People were literally watching paint dry, that’s how exciting Kpetoe can be. We were going to go out and celebrate finishing but we ended up asleep by 9.
Having the court done put me in the best mood. Sunday Afternoon I went out to shoot around. In no time there were 6 of us, then 10, then 15, etc. They think I’m the best player in the world so obviously we have a long ways to go when it comes to skills but I got a few more months to coach them up.
I wish all the people who donated towards this idea of mine could see the kids (and adults) playing. I really didn’t think we could ever actually build something this cool but here it is.

“Are you near a computer?”-My sister on the phone with me.
“Beth, my computer is right next to me but the nearest internet is an hour away.”

Friday, April 16, 2010

Court's Paved!

Hopefully today and tomorrow my friend Andrea and I will be painting the court. I used to paint the badminton court onto the grass in our backyard at home and am pretty good at geometry so it might look decent. Bright and Joshua have offered to help too. The wet season is just starting so it’s been raining almost daily which may slow us down.
The visitors’ centre has it’s tin roof on it now! Their prediction of opening in June may actually be accurate. We also just installed 4 ceiling fans in the weaving centre. Unfortunately they aren’t close enough to hit me when I’m weaving, but Joshua sure likes it. April has been slow tourist wise with only 9 so far but our sales are high. We haven’t put brochures in Ho for a while so we better do that before all the summer volunteers come.

This week I started my 5th strip outta 19 for my men’s cloth. After much research, (“Hey Bright, has a white guy ever wove a real men’s cloth?”) I found that I may be the first Caucasian to weave a patterned men’s cloth. I also gave my longest weaving lesson to Kristine, the Dutch doing research on kente. It ended successfully with a nice section shown below.

Wednesday I took the GRE in Accra. Taking the GRE in a developing nation is probably not a good idea but it’s nice to have it out of the way. Best part was Monday night Maria and I went to ice cream and movie which was both of ours first date in a long time. We gotta start practicing for home.
Things have been busy and will stay that way for about another month. Then I go from meetings, socializing, having construction at 2 sites, and GRE studying to…weaving. I guess I’ll be able to start coaching too but I’m nervous that I won’t have all that much left to do. To top it off Andrea leaves for America in May and Julie will be going home for around a month too. The 3 of us have been inseparable. I hate it when people leave. Right now things are going great though so I shouldn’t complain.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Live life on the edge; jump off it

Each year on Easter Weekend Nkawkaw (“incocoa”) hosts a Paragliding Festival; the perfect festival for the type of people who do PC. We got there super early and I ended up being the 1st PCV to go. It was awesome. My pilot was interviewed on BBC and Julie and I got interviewed by a Ghanaian TV Station.

My takeoffSome of my flightMy friend Andrea's takeoff 1 (in her defense the pilot jumped on her back & had all 3 failed takeoffs of tandems)Andrea's successful takeoff. I didn't want to get another crash on video so the camera moves for a second.

I also went to “The Future of Dance” put on by the University of Ghana’s Dance Department. Interpretive dance isn’t really my thing though and I had barely slept the night before so I struggled staying awake. The girls liked it; I liked the set. They had a ramp coming down from a tree.
Lately everything has been breaking on me. Luckily my projects are going very well and I’m doing as much as I can in my time left here or else I might not be so happy. My Ipod, which is probably my most crucial possession next to my laptop and headlamp, fell out of it’s case while I was running and is dead. My ATM card was eaten by the machine when I had a friend try to get money out for me. My 2 favorite shirts and the kente shorts I wove may be spoiled by how trashed they got going up and down the mountain this weekend. The basketball court money finally ran out and I had to ask my parents for money twice in a phone call; a new record even for me.
It shouldn’t take much more to finish paving the court and then my friend Andrea and I will do the dimensions since the kids are on break for 3 weeks. We need the court finished by our All Volunteer Conference in Ho at the end of the month so PCVs can hop over here after for a tournament. The half of the court that is paved has been getting used and is already even a little beat up. At first I was kinda disappointed but another PCV was like that just means it’ll be used and it’s a good project.
The other money is going towards buying the rights for the website that Dr. Pope’s class is developing for my village. I really think that internet and the Bradt Travel Guide are the 2 most powerful advertising tools we could have. I will admit I also got a nice new shirt for PC Prom but I gotta look good.
The visitors’ centre has all the walls basically done. We’ve also had a good amount of big kente orders lately. Things are going very well.
All that's left to be paved of the court.
The visitors' centre yesterday