Friday, 23 May 2014

Week 2, Attempt 2: Or, why technology and I are not friends!

I can't believe I'm finishing up my second week here in Ghana! So far there have been a few challenges, but nothing I can't handle. The biggest challenge is perhaps the pace of life here. I'm so accustomed to a usual routine of go-go-go, which is pretty much the complete opposite of how things work here. This week began with a series of meetings in Koforidua. For two days we went here and there meeting with our local partners, which was great except what should have taken us maybe half a day took us two not quite full days. The 'workaholic' in me is struggling greatly, but this is by no means a hindrance on my experience!

On Wednesday we travelled to Nsawam to meet with the partner we'll be working with there (and where I had the pleasure of experiencing my first bout of diarrhea - yeah, you're all welcome for that image!). The drive to and from was beautiful, despite being smashed in the back of the trotro! While in Nsawam, we visited three of the schools we'll be working with- all of which were quite different. The first was a wealthy-ish Catholic school. The second was a newly forming school for youth unable to afford private school in the area. Now, when I say newly formed, I mean they are literally building the school piece by piece as the students are studying. The third school was an all girls school, which was stunning. The drive to and from was beautiful, but was also where we all got a glimpse of "poor Africa". However, the most eye-opening point of the day was the realization that this third school, along with the surrounding neighbourhood, relied on boreholes as their main source of water. In this moment I felt this heavy overwhelmedness (which I'm fairly certain is not a word), that I have so much work to do, and none of it relates to why I'm a actually here! Writing about these issues briefly in my thesis does not compare to the reality of the situation staring you in the face. David (because I know you're reading this) - why did you encourage me to study water issues in Africa?! 

Thursday was semi-similar to to Wednesday, except we spent double the time smashed into the trotro headed to Asamankese. Again the drive was spectacular, and the purpose of the visit was the same. The highlight on this adventure, however, was our brief stop at the YMCA school, where we were surrounded by tiny children excitedly waving and trying to touch us... except for that on little boy we made cry because we we're white! (Still got it!) Seriously though, this quick stop was one of the most delightful moments of my life!

I look like a giant!
Check out those tiny little faces waving good-bye!
So, that's what life has been like for me this week. We have a long weekend ahead of us, so we're hoping to do a little hiking and sightseeing over the next few days.

Before I sign off, I want to address two things:

1. A number of you have asked what the washroom situation is like at the home stay. Well, we have two rooms - one has a toilet in it, but there is no sink (thank goodness for that excessive supply of hand sanitizer we all brought!). The second room is a shower, which just so happens to be home to the most amazing waterfall-like shower, thus making it incredibly difficult to stick to my 5 minutes or less rule. 

2. I had fully intended on uploading pictures to each of these blog posts, but unfortunately, the cord my tablet requires to attach to my camera isn't working. I am hoping to be able to fix this soon, but rest assured I am taking plenty of pictures and video to share with you when I get back. Handled! ...I hope!

I hope you are all doing well back home! Until next time... the Orange Canadian


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! And you are on your toes. It is great reading.

  2. Hey Emily!
    I love keeping up with your blog, the trip sounds wonderful!
    Can't wait to see pictures.
    Have fun darling.

    <3 Trevin.