Sunday, February 19, 2006

So much has happened since I wrote the last entry. I went to Accra in early January to attend the Peace Corps Art Show, which is put on by the Peace Corps Ghana art teachers. These teachers work at various deaf schools in Ghana. The show was beautiful and I purchased a sock doll. The doll makes me smile. I’ll be sure to bring it with me in 2007.
After leaving Accra I went back to Mesomagor. I am happy to report that Dixie has come back to Ghana. I’m not sure if I said before but she left for about 30 days and is now back. Last week I came to Cape Coast but spent the whole time catching up with her. It was fabulous!
So, since January I have had the opportunity to participate in many things in village. I fetch my water every day or two. Usually this means taking my bucket to the borehole and carrying it back to my house, on my head! I usually do it twice (go, come, go come, as we say here). It’s a great neck and shoulder workout.
I am also happy to report that I now have a cat. The cat doesn’t really have a name, except cat. I started calling it on thing and decided against it. I am now considering Gi-Gi because cat in Fantse is egy-amu-wa (this is not the correct way of spelling it). Also, it resembles another cat I knew named Gi-Gi (Keebler).
On Sunday’s I attend church. There are four churches in Mesomagor, and I take turns at each. I started this to help with my language skills and to show support for the community but I like it now. Two of the churches have a lot of drumming and some dancing, which is very sweet. The church members are always really welcoming.
The third Wednesday of every month the Jakai Health Clinic comes to village to weigh the babies and immunize them. I record the weights of the children.
Speaking of health, I am happy to say I now consider myself a hypochondriac (thank you Peace Corps). We are provided with a wonderful book about all sorts of diseases, illnesses, medicines, etc. So, in my spare time I notice little things that are new on my body, run to my handy book, and consider myself to be infected with various things. Last week I told my father I thought I had a worm in my leg. Needless to say I didn’t and the insect bite has since healed. I also thought I had ringworm, scabies and now maybe some other skill ailment. It doesn’t help that my face has broken out since coming to Africa, maybe it’s the dirty roads or excess heat, who knows? This leads me into another subject-questions. I am asked various questions and some days I want to scream. Questions I am frequently asked:
Do the mosquitoes bother you? (they ask this as they look at my face and point to my pimples, I then have to admit that no, it’s pimples)
Can you…..? I am constantly asked “can I” do something. Can you stay for two years? Can you pound fufu? Can you walk to the junction (approx. 4 miles)? Some of you may know that I like a good challenge and rarely admit that I can’t do something. So, when I’m asked this I assure the person I can do it, I might choose not to. It’s just a difference in language but some days it’s frustrating.
Have you eaten fufu or will you pound fufu this evening?
I also love when I’m told I’m getting fat, I am fat or I will get fat. It’s usually said with a great smile and joyous tone. Regardless this doesn’t help a girl’s self-esteem. I am happy to report that other volunteers half my size are also referred to as fat – I think it’s a compliment.
Various things that women in my community do that I’ve participated with are going to the farm, I’ve gone to weed as well as plant tomatoes and various other “farming.” I’ve also de-scaled fish and fried the fish, made palm oil (which is an all day process), and made kenkey. I had a dress made. It’s a pata-pata dress, but basically a moo-moo. My mother would hate it but it’s quite comfortable. I went to the forest the other day to see the tree-platform. The platform is about 30 feet up and you can sleep on it. It is currently broken so I needed to see it to understand how it was damaged.
On Thursday I had the opportunity to go to the Junior Secondary School to present a class on HIV/AIDS (middle school). I was invited by the teachers and will present again on Monday and possibly Thursday, it may become a regular event. School is different and the language barrier was hard but it’ll get better the more I present.
Okay, I am going to post even though I have more to say! My time is almost up on the net and it’s slow today so I want to be sure this posts.
Thank you to everyone who has sent me emails, letters, packages or posted comments on this. I love hearing what’s happening. Chris and Lisa (8701 ladies) congrats! I am so excited for both of you and Diane and Sarah – beware of the water in that building (big smile)
Alright, here goes…..

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, Chelsea and I have been watching a movie this morning and laying on the bed with GG. We got a kick out of you naming your cat the same. We miss you. Sounds like you are doing well and learning what you need to make your stay there memorable and useful. Love you, Ramona

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're so funny!!! i miss you, thanks for the email, and i'm so glad you finally posted. love you much, i'll email you my address, and i'm sending you a package!!!
maja

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Sara Hicks said...

Oh my gosh... you of all people could never be ugly. You have so much inner beauty that it poors out of you. All the pimples in the world wouldn't make you ugly. It was great reading your blog. What an interesting world out there. I can just see you with a big bucket of water on your head. :) Take care!
Sara

6:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, your mom gave me your blog this AM. It was 5 deg. this AM. Bright sunny days ,tho. Safer to be paranoid about infections and such in my opinion. Stella is walking now. She is cute and smart. Mom & Dad see her often and seem in good health. Take care. jeff

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, you have a real literary talent! You write so very well. I hope you plan on publishing a short novel about your experiences. How fantastic! So you now have a "Cat House"-and I thought you were perfect!Zits and Cats, sorta go together!

We miss you around Founders Road. Big news is-the Foundation will move its office 6/1 to 3905 Vincennes Rd.-1/2 mile west of IH.

Thanks for being you and being such an outstanding ambassador for the old USA!!

Gale Wilkerson

6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah,
I feel terrible that it has been so long since I've checked your postings! It sounds like you are really settled there and enjoying yourself. I talked to Rachel a few days ago and we both agreed that this is you! We are very happy for you, but we miss you more than you know! Make sure you plan on a trip to Arizona when you get home so the three of us can catch up! I can't wait to hear from you again!
Love you lots!
Kelly

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah,
I figured I should team up with kelly and give you a "group hug" from afar! We love you and miss you...
What wonderful experiences you are having there. I'm sorry to admit that I got a little smile out of the "fat" comments. Obviously you
were being complimented but never thought that fat to them equaled beautiful and healthy which you are!

I look forward to hearing about more of your experiences there.

Rachel

8:52 AM  

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