Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
I hope you have all been loving life since we were last together in Ghana. Sometimes I think about our trip and I can’t believe how much time has passed and sometimes it feels like just the other day.
Do you remember when:
Josh thought he had to pay 100 Cedis for a coconut
Zoe fell out of the canoe
You first met Destiny and Kofi
You made sand boobs for Balo
Amanda told the chief she wanted to deliver a lot of babies
Nidal beat Nora in rap battle
Balo came out dancing for the cultural performance
Josh would fight w Justine and Boots
We played pool noodle games
Courtney laid out at the end of the volleyball game
Rehydration flipcup still couldn’t make Nidal drink
Maddie and Zoe revealed their coffee mug collection
There was a cult parade that woke everyone up
David first said “Please… I don’t want any trouble”
We watched Bachelorette-Meet Me There Edition 😉
You all nailed staff impressions during the talent show
Each of these memories brings a smile to my face and I hope to your faces too! Again, I thank you all for an amazing two weeks and look forward to our paths crossing again!
Summer Blog Posts
August 2, 2016
August 2, 2016
Our students have all safely arrived in Ghana! While it was a long journey, everyone arrived happy and excited for the next two weeks ahead. We are all settling in nicely to our beautiful home here in Dzita. Our local staff have been amazing in preparing for and welcoming our students, and we are all so fortunate to be here! After some much needed rest, we toured the community and learned about the NGO we are working with, Dream Big Ghana. We also played volleyball with the local staff, which was super fun for everyone! Tomorrow we start at our work sites where we will be constructing 3 compost toilets for local families. Can’t wait!
Wednesday was an exciting day for us! We began the day in our little paradise (aka the Meet Me There lodge) with a super delicious breakfast made by Mama Rita to fuel us for our first day of service. We soon split into our 3 groups, led by our new favorite people Boots, Jasper, and Balo. Then we filled up our waterbottles, put on our sunscreen, and headed out to our separate compost toilet sites. We met the families who we would be building for and began to start our work, mixing cement, sawing pipes, lifting A LOT of blocks, and meeting the cute children that absolutely love to help out with the work. I can promise you we are all coming back way more muscular! When we got back to the home base, we ate lunch and shared hilarious and amazing stories about our work sites. We then jumped into our van and headed to the market with Dougal’s “shopping list”, splitting up into groups to do our shopping. We quickly learned that bargaining was a necessity, and with the help of our local staff, we managed to buy all of our supplies on our budget! We also bought cloth to be used to make our clothing at a later time, and marveled at the massive heaps of ply wood, the chickens and goats for sale, and everything else in the new culture we are being immersed into. We ended our shopping with sodas and laughs in a little market hideaway, and then headed back to our home base. We played “Indian Chief” in a group activity before dinner, where Jasper proved to be unbeatable. After, we ended our day with an Ewe lesson and fun market place skits (costumes and all), before heading to bed exhausted from our first day of work but also unexplainably excited for the next morning. Each day seems to be getting better and better. 🙂
Photos from 8/4
Hello all! Today was our fourth day in the lovely country of Ghana. We started our morning with a delicious breakfast (per usual) and headed off to the work sites. We spent three hours churning gravel, cement, water, and sand to create a mixture that we used for the floor of our compost toilets. While at our sites, we also practiced carrying the water on our heads and spending time with the local children. After our work was done, we spent time in the lagoon, playing cards, and napping just about everywhere. In the afternoon, a nurse named Rose from the local clinic came to talk to us about diseases, and health problems that she and her coworkers face day to day. Rose gave us the opportunity to ask any and all types of questions, which she gladly answered, expanding our knowledge of sanitation. We ended the day with a fun and hilarious game of volleyball including the students and staff. Life here is paradise, and everyone is doing amazing service work. We are coming together as a group, and finding the true meaning of teamwork every day. More blogs to come from the upcoming leaders of the day. So long, Grace and Zoe!
– Zoe and Grace
The day started earlier than usual for most of us with the promise of getting to help fishermen pull their nets in from the ocean under the African sun. It was strenuous work but the chants the fishermen called out were a good distraction from the reeking scent of fish and stinging hand pain. After returning to eat breakfast the entire group joined together to leave for a tour of the Keta Slave Fort, located 45 minutes away from the lodge. During that 45 minute drive we got to engage with the people simply through a passing by wave and smile. The people here are all very friendly so getting the opportunity to learn about their difficult past and struggles at the fort only made me appreciate the Ghanaian people even more. On our way back home we made a pit stop at this beautiful resort/spa for drinks and conversation. The view was so amazing that we could have easily stayed there for the rest of the night. However if we would have stayed we would’ve missed out on some very intense games of soccer with not only the mentors and staff joining in but the village children as well. We spent most of the afternoon there playing with the kids, primarily losing to the kids, until it was time to go home to another one of Mama Rita’s delicious dinners. Stuffed with food we ended the night with a wonderfully energetic group who introduced us to some traditional songs and dances. They got us involved pulling us up from our chairs to dance until finally everyone joined into one big circle where we walked and clapped keeping the rhythm of the drums. Dancing under the Ghanian moon was a wonderful way to end such a memorable day.
-Amanda & Daniel
August 8, 2016
The day began with the African sun rising upon the Meet Me There Lodge, our leaders of the day Joshua and David then arose to wake the rest. Everything from reminding the team to take their anti-malaria pills to getting everyone together for breakfast, were their responsibilities. As usual we left for service at 8:45, building the compost toilets in the fight against open defecation. Working hard we finished plastering the structure making a huge stepping stone in finishing our project. We then proceeded back to the lodge for lunch. For our afternoon activity, we made our way to the local vocational school to make tie-dye shirts and batiking fabrics. Batiking is a form of stamping different designs with wax, which then were dyed into a color of our choice. Returning back to the Lodge, we proceeded with our Leader of the Day activity of ” Heads Up” ( paper version ). We ended the night with dinner and an appreciation circle where we opened our hearts to show how we felt about the program. With a general consensus from everyone, we’d agreed that we had become a family within our first week and that there were more memories to make along the way here in Ghana in the coming days.
– Joshua and David
August 9, 2016
Everyone’s day began with a military wake up call from Elon. After breakfast we made our way to the site where we began plastering walls and building the steps for our compost toilets. After service we returned back to the lodge for lunch. For our afternoon activity, the local chief came to visit us and speak about local traditions and beliefs. The evening activities included a relay race and salsa dancing before the day concluded with our evening discussions.
– Kourtney and Elon
Wednesday August 10, 2016
Ghana is gorgeous. We’re absolutely in love with the culture, people, food and atmosphere of this beautiful place. Today was quite a busy day. First, we had service like always; most of us were building steps at this point. We then came back to home base to get ready for our afternoon adventures. We went to the market to buy bracelets, clothes, and snacks. Joshua even bought a melon that we learned healed paralysis when we met the Medicine Man last Friday. After the market, we all squished into the van to go see the clinic. The clinic is where Rose, the nurse who came to home base earlier in the trip, works. It was different from what a lot of us expected. They specialized in women and children, and public health. There were two beds for labor and delivery, then two beds for recovery. They had multiple rooms for different patient needs. Their records were all kept on paper, so everyone in the area had a hand written medical history. Most of the nurses lived on site, in houses behind the clinic for 24 hour service to their patients. After the clinic, we got ready to go play some games with the local kids. We played a name game, a couple group games, and ended with soccer. Those kids are so much fun; going Sahara park (where we play) is definitely one of our favorite things. We came home and ended our day with an appreciation game. We all sat in a circle facing away from the center with our eyes closed. Meghan would say something along the lines of, “Tap someone on the shoulder that has a trait you admire,” and two people in the middle would do as directed. It was a really cool way to see how meaningful every single person on this trip really is. We can’t believe that our little family of 14 and all the staff are so close. We’re so thankful to have had this incredible opportunity in Ghana. So, here’s to four more days in the most beautiful place on earth.
We love and miss you,
Katie and Emmanuel