Thursday, February 01, 2007

Out with the old, In with the New?

Hi Everyone!

First off, I would like to sincerely apologize for the lack of updates since I've been in Ghana. The internet on camp is not worth the time or money so the only real option is to come into Accra which can't be done daily. I will also be using a different email for my time in Ghana and that is My hotmail account doesn't seem to get along with Ghana and will not cooperate with me here.

Overall, things are great. Very up and down but good. School finally started January 15th and I've been tutoring 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades in the mornings and then running recess programs. I've been somewhat frustrated by the lack of other activities this past month as the Care and Support with HIV/AIDS is not really what I hoped it would be. I will be much more pro-active this coming month as I have taken on some of the things that people who left were working on. This includes the role of adminstraor who acts as a laison between the international volunteers and the Children Better Way administration. Another volunteer started and funded a water filter program which she was not able to see through to completion. It is something I view as very worthwhile so I have decided to put some addition funding towards it and make sure that it's not just picking up dust. On top of that I also hope to help out another international volunteer working at the UNHCR Clinic who is starting a daycare type program for kids with mental and physical disabilities which would be 2 afternoons 2 days a week. So i'm really looking forward to being busier and feel like my time here is a bit more wothwhile.

I find that I'm still struggling a bit to open myself up to the people here. I think I put up this wall upon arriving due to some things that took me by surprise and I think it's still working it's way down. I think that's my real goal for this next month: to make myself more available to all the people on camp. I have been absolutely awed by some of the relationships other volunteers have formed and hope to open myself up to that. I think the expectation to provide money was a real shock to me and I didn't really know what to do about it so, unfortunately, I just closed up.

With regards to money, I would like to update you as to what some of the money you donated has been put to so far. The principle and a teacher of the CBW School put together a list of 25 kids who had paid for the 1st term of school but were then unable to pay for the 2nd due to lack of funds. I have found that my respect and apppreciation for education has greatly increased over my time travelling and I see it as one of the most wothwhile investments we can make to day to ensure the future of this crazy world. I used approximately $350 of my allotment for my time here to send those 25 kids to school for both 2nd AND 3rd term and provide copy books and pencils for both terms. I did this anonymously through the teacher who made the list and I feel that although unsustainabe, it was a great and worthwhile use of the money. I am also putting some money for the water filter project as I mentioned above. It is unclear of the amount necessary to complete the project so I will play that by ear but it will be a minimum of $150. We are hoping to start a pilot program in the school which would give the kids water during recess and again before they go home. The filter will allow people here to drink the well water and not have to purchase purified water for drinking.

It's been a bit of a crazy couple days as a group of people left yesterday and a bunch of the new batch came about 2 hours later. I felt it was a shockingly quick and rushed transition as it was very hard to say goodbye to some of the people who left and before there was time to recover, more people were here. They all seem great though and I can't wait to get to know them better this coming month.

I think that is all I've got for now. Please feel free to email me at the yahoo account although I can't promise a quick response.

Live it up everyone, we've got it fucking MADE!


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