Ansoma (Good morning),
Since I last wrote our supervisors have made their way back to Canada. We are now working out our systems for the disease surveillance part of the project. We have been out to each village and had meetings with the farmers. They are very interested in the project and are happy to have us work with them. Our village contacts have been great; calling us when they find sick birds for us to pick up and necropsy. So far it seems as if we came at the right time as mortalities are increasing. We are getting good samples and are hoping they will help lead us to a diagnosis.
The village visits are my favorite part of the trip so far. The people are very friendly and are quick to find us a place to sit and serve us 'peto' - a local homemade brew that is drunk out of a hallow gourd halve. The children are always very excited to see us yelling 'Ensala (white man), how are you today?'. Simple gestures such as holding their hand, kicking around a football, or teaching them how to play 'tic-tac-toe' in the sand is all that is needed to put a great big smile on their face. I hope to be able to spend some extended time in the villages in order to better get to know the people. Our office and lab is set up within the Ministry of Food and Agriculture which allows us to also see any veterinary cases coming in. They have graciously allowed us to use one of their vehicles for the summer so we can drive out to villages to pick up sick birds.
For some more good news, I have tracked down a local watering hole that is close to our house. It is a small 'drinking spot' called 'Redemption's Drinking Spot' owned by Redemption and his family. He joined us for a beer and we had some great conversation. It will be a great place to sample one of Ghana's fine beers after a long days work.
All the best,