Saturday, September 29, 2007

I cannot believe how fast time is winding down. Where has it gone?

August and September have been whirlwinds. My last month, October, I can already feel will be busy and end quickly. I am trying to wrap things up, so far so good.

I, along with another volunteer, presented a Financial Management Training workshop in August. The workshop was geared towards community members who are involved on their community's tourism management teams. The TMT is the body that operates the community based tourism project. I really enjoyed the training and learning about the various sites and their locations and histories. It's unfortunate that this happened so late in my service but I am grateful that it happened. It also allowed me to get a start on making my way back into 'American life.' I haven't been a part of a group, organizing and presenting material in a long time, and I am very rusty.

Recently, my friend, Shawn, from Alaska, dropped by Ghana for a four day visit. It was a lot of fun. He was in South Africa for his job and was stuck there, doing nothing. So, he jumped on a plane and flew to Accra. I received his message on a Wednesday afternoon, cleaned up my room, and Thursday morning made my way to Accra. We hung out in Accra and Friday headed to Cape Coast and Kakum National Park. We had lunch with Dixie and then went to my village. It was a long day of traveling. Once at my site we briefly greeted a few people and then relaxed and went to sleep. We arrived in village around 6 pm so it was getting dark. I live by daylight hours - I wake around 530 to 6 and am ready for bed around 1830 to 1900 - asleep by 2100 usually. On Saturday morning we woke up, and started the day.

We greeted everyone, which took most of the day. Half way through we took a break and went to farm with Sister Nana and Kukua. Sister Nana was pulling some yams up so we just went to watch. We (okay, she) also picked some oranges. The farm is really close to my house so we went back home when we were finished. Not soon after Mabenna, Cecilia's daughter came to call us that Cecilia had started preparing the evening food - we had arranged to eat fufu with my friends Alex and Cecilia.

We get to their house and sit. After an hour or so, the pounding of the fufu is going to begin. Shawn was a true sport and participated, despite the audience. After a few hours we finally ate. Cecilia prepared a wonderful dinner - fufu, palm nut soup, fresh mushrooms and smoked fish. It was delicious. Shawn even ate fufu!

The next morning, we went to church. Afterwards we hung out at my house and 15 or so children hung out also. I had recently been given a frisbee by a tourist so Shawn played around with a bunch of the children. One girl, Lucy, was a lot of fun. She is about 9 or 10 years old and is REALLY bossy. She has a real attitude but it's refreshing and fun. She has a spunky spirit that is rare in my village for a girl her age.

Once we were all exhausted of frisbee, another girl, Rebecca, called us to eat dinner. She had invited us to eat plantain and stew. We went to her house and ate - we left very full. Before going home I wanted to go to Sister Nana and thank her for the previous day. We went to her house and she was preparing fufu. We soon noticed something dead next to her mud stove. She pulled it up and it was a freshly caught rat. Yippee!!! I was hoping Shawn would see a bush rat. So, her son, Moses, came and was preparing it. When he was nearly finished we started to leave, so that we could fetch a bucket of water before dark. She insisted that we stay and eat, but we were both really full from earlier, so we declined.

We fetched water and received a lot of attention from women in my village because I just stood back as Shawn, the man, carried my water. This doesn't happen!

We got home and Sister Nana and Kukua come over and bring us fufu. We were SO full! However, we found the room and ate her bush rat, light soup and fufu - worth it because delicious! Shawn then took the bowl back to the village and thanked her - we're still not quite sure how he made it there, but he did.

The next day the trip was over. We went to Accra and tooled around and he flew out. It was fun and fast. The community was so happy to welcome a visitor from 'my hometown.'

Now, the big news is that we're preparing for my 'send-off' party. I've arranged for speakers and a DJ and tomorrow will discuss purchasing a sheep to slaughter. We're all getting excited to have the big celebration. It's going to be hard to say good-bye but I am ready for something new. The party will show my appreciation to the community for their support and friendships over the last two years.

I recently made my way to Techiman to say goodbye to my homestay. The first of many goodbyes. It was a lot of fun to see my sister, who I haven't seen since leaving in November 2005. Dorothy looked fabulous and is working with a friend of hers, preparing and selling food. My brother is also working for a construction company on contract for a couple years. I was so happy to see them both doing well.

This month will be busy and fun. I'll try to update a lot this month - keep everyone posted.

My village has a new website -
Also, if you have Myspace, check out Shawn's blog from his trip. You can find him on my page and link up to him there (hope it's okay Shawn).

Take care! I'll be home before I know it!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

rat?!?! does it taste like chicken? =)
so cool that you had a visitor!! can't wait to catch up! love you!

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it was a fast two years, i am so proud of you girl. hope you come to indy and visit. love anne

4:28 AM  

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