VWB/VSF Student Project: Ghana

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lengthy Update


Please excuse the long delay between posts, long days at work followed by festivities surrounding the world cup and weekend excursions have kept me busy. There is also the matter of a varying internet connection. In regards to the project, everything is running smoothly as we are starting to see how it may develop in the future. As this is a pilot project our main goal is to get an idea of how it can expand. We need to take into consideration the goals of VWB, the needs and wants of the villagers as well as the feasibility of it all. This past week has been spent having general meetings with the villagers to figure out exactly that. We presented them with different ideas on how to improve their guinea fowl production and we then get their input on what they think may work and what not. Besides identification and treatment of disease their main wishes are to improve the housing and feeding of their guinea fowl.

The farmers are very willing to work with us and upon every visit I am informed upon the importance of guinea fowl to them and their families. Guinea Fowl is a type of insurance for a family. When difficult times come, such as illness, school fees, holidays, the bird is sold in order to pay. Improving their facilities and means to rear goes far beyond helping the animals; the significance of poultry is tied in with the success of the entire village. It has been very exciting to be a part of this project. It has given me a whole new appreciation into the work involved with sustainable development. I am very hopefully this project will continue on in the future as the well being of the people is strongly linked to the well being of the birds. It will be some time until we are capable of determining the cause of deaths. Samples will need to be shipped to Canada for proper analysis. I am hoping that we are able to determine the cause and recommend proper treatment or vaccination.

In other news I have been really enjoying following the World Cup. The Black Stars have been doing tremendously well, clinching a spot in the Quarter Finals, representing the whole of Africa. I was quick to dawn a Black Stars jersey which always enthuses the locals. We have made weekend trips to the Kintampo Waterfalls and Mole National park. Both were incredible and highly recommended to any travelling Ghana. We were able to stand 20m from wild African elephants, something I will never forget. We have also been inserting ourselves into the culture. We had the opportunity to attend a local funeral; a 3-day outdoor event filled with mourning and celebration. The end of the funeral was celebrated with cultural displays where I had the opportunity to dance and play drums in front of 300 people. I am now known as the dancing/drumming white man in the village of Charia. I hope to spend a couple days in this village before leaving as they have been very welcoming.

I regret not keeping up with my posts as I know I am forgetting more stories. I also wish the internet speed was quicker so I could post video and pictures. Please keep reading as I will better document my last two weeks in Wa. After that I will have some time to travel Ghana where I hope to visit the famous Cape Coast and also try some surfing on Busua Beach. I hope everyone back home is enjoying the summer. I encourage you all to cheer on the Black Stars tomorrow evening as they take on Uruguay. I have also adopted a puppy from a village which who had lost its mother and was struggling. I am working to nurse it back to health and if all goes well he may be following me back to Canada!

All the best,

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