Sunday, June 27, 2010


After Ghana LOST to Germany 1-0 Wednesday the entire country went into a crazy party. The streets of Ho were absolutely nuts. Thanks to an Australian upset, Ghana made it to the knockout rounds of World Cup to play against no other than the USA. Lots of my excitement was lost on the fact that everyone was so happy after a loss. One of our players was running around the field with a Ghanaian flag and the Germans, who won the game and group, just walked off the field. I’m still not used to that aspect of the World Cup.
The buildup to yesterday’s game against the US was huge. Everyone was telling me how much they were going to “score us.” They kept saying how they beat us in 2006 and they’ll do it again. I pointed out that the 2 finalists from 2006 had already been eliminated but that didn’t change the amount of taunting. Actually even now I’m still not sure who I was really cheering for. I mean Ghana got me hooked on football and I’ve seen the Blackstars play 30 times more than the US but still US is home. It was definitely a fun night with the weavers watching on a tiny tv. Now I know I’ll be pulling 100% for the Blackstars again on Friday. Last night after the game, however, I played it safe and came straight home as the street in my village was packed. It’s a great atmosphere but dangerous. Up in a northern region there were a few fatalities; I love football but not that much!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Days

The weather has been wonderfully cool or at least for Ghana. This morning I thought it was cool and it was 83. I’m not sure if it’s the wetter and cooler weather or what but lots of my stuff is breaking. My pipes have a leak so I have to turn off the water when I’m not using it. Right now, however, that doesn’t matter since there is no water. My fan finally gave up after a 4 month battle but that’s fine since it’s been so nice out. My surge protector started making noises and stopped working but that’s alright since I don’t need it if I don’t have a fan. It all works out.
The newly arrived 70+ PCTs just got their site assignments. My replacement is named Chrissa. I haven’t met her yet but I hear she’s from Nebraska so she must be cool. I think having a girl will really be a good change of pace for Kpetoe after almost 5 years of guy PCVs. Hopefully she can pick up where I leave it and take it even further. It’s weird to think that someone else will basically take over the last 2 years of my life. We’ll overlap some so I can teach her the bit I’ve learned but then I’ll hopefully leave Ghana in September.
Thanks to having an Ipod again I’ve been putting more hours in my loom lately than ever, setting a PR for weaving twice within the last week. 21 squares on Thursday and then 24 yesterday; my previous record was 13. I have over 10 double strips out of the 19 I need for my men’s cloth. I wasn’t even able to get out to the basketball court for 2 weeks due to traveling, weaving, World Cup, and training for a regatta in October.
When I did finally get out there it really was astonishing. I was expecting it to be empty and I’d have to go round up the kids. I ride up to the court to find a full game going on with plenty of kids waiting for next! They stopped the game to welcome me and ask where I’ve been and then Wisdom drained 2 middle range jumpers when they started back up. Wisdom is the hardest worker of the lot, not the best athlete by a long shot but he practices his shooting all the time. He’s easily got the best jumper inside the arc and it’s something else to see his confidence rise. Seeing that the court is still being heavily used even if I’m not pushing it was really gratifying.
World Cup matches haven’t really went my teams’ ways so far but tomorrow that could all change. Go Blackstars and USA! Julie comes back from America tomorrow too so I get my closest neighbor back! It’ll be great to have someone consistent to talk to again.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World Cup!

World Cup has totally changed the daily life here. School was canceled to watch the opening match and any time an African team plays. Every house that has a tv has it turned to the match with the constant vuvuzeela (horn) noise becoming part of your day. Normally there are a lot of Ghanaian flags on houses and cars but this week it has been insane. Some cabs can barely see due to 7 flags on their cars. We set up a tv in the weaving centre so we can still get some work done.
I was actually in Togo and Benin for some of the matches but they were still extremely interested since all of Africa is cheering for any African team. So far Ghana is the only one to win but Ivory Coast plays this afternoon. Ghana’s win was huge and puts them in great position to advance.
Togo and Benin are both Francophone countries so communication was hard but the food was absolutely amazing. Peace Corps Volunteers there should weight more than here in Ghana but Ghana is a little better off financially. Crossing African borders is a painful yet humorous process. They wouldn’t believe that Sinae was American because she’s of Korean decent and they all wanted bribes. Luckily we knew the prices and are well traveled. I also forgot my Yellow Fever card after making sure to tell everyone else to bring theirs. I sure as heck wasn't getting a shot in the hut they were giving them so I just acted like I didn't speak english or french and repeated. "Yellow card?" "Yellow card" and walked on by despite them yelling after me.
Stilt village in Benin. So big..

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mountains & Goodbyes

Michael, and if you look hard his girlfriend struggling in the background; great pic!

My great Dutch friends left on Saturday. Since February we’ve been having good times. While I will be visiting them in Holland on the way home (3.5 months!) it was still sad to see them leave. The day that they were to leave they decided to climb the mountain that dominates the horizon around Ho. I had never done it so Marcus, who was visiting, and I went with them. A light rain made it a rather dangerous climb and we even had to climb a HUGE tree upside down because it had fallen and blocked the only way but it was so worth it.

That’s close friends Julie, Andrea, and Kristine all leaving within a month. Luckily I’m going to Togo and Benin with Cynthia, Sinae, Rachel and Lindsey tomorrow for a week so I won’t get too down. The weather has been amazing lately too so I hope it holds for our trip. Rainy season is marvelous; like, I don’t sweat 24/7. It looks like that was my last dry season and I can’t say that I’ll miss it.

Summer’s always fly by, even here, so I’m trying to get as much work done ahead of time as I can. I made our new brochure and sent it in for revisions this week. Compared to my 1st brochure this one looks great (not saying much). You can really see the progress I’ve made in Photoshop; not exactly a skill I thought I’d develop in PC. May also set an all time record for sales and guests with GH 1,202 ($850) and 75 respectively! Lots of those guests came from the basketball tournament but they still count, just not sustainable. We’ve also been setting up arrangements to deal with the overlap of the new volunteer and myself. My top weavers have been so busy with orders that I have Guinness stocked up in the fridge (the commission the guys give me for each cloth I sell) so we’re all pretty happy here. I even got an Ipod from the Hubbells which will make my weaving, running, and traveling 100xs better! Thanks guys! World Cup on Friday too, GO BLACKSTARS GO! USA!!

(At a BBQ at the Canadian Embassy)
Cute girl as leaving: So maybe I’ll see you in Grand Rapids sometime.
Me: Yes please.

The PCVs I was with got a good laugh outta that but I need to get back into the social life…
Kente made for an Apple Laptop. We had an appleoff between Bright Joshua and me to see who got to do it. My apple took second to Joshua's shown above.

Old Brochure

New Brochure