Thursday, May 26, 2011
So it May and I have been back in Ghana for a few weeks now:)
It has been great to see everyone again as they are now all like my family. The social culture here is so rich and I am constantly in trouble because I have not gone to say hello to so and so. I spent some time in Accra visiting the canadian consulate and our contact there and then came up to Wa, my favorite place in Ghana. The people here are so real and honest. Their values and ways of life I feel have not yet been tainted. The family units here are gigantic and family is the most important thing. Issues are presented to the fmaily and dealt with by the family. This time I am staying in a family compund in Nayiri. I am spending time with many of the elder women learning to do the regular chores, cook and other cultural customs. I have many african cloths now and am a "Walli po" a Walli woman now:) lol
The new students for the project arrived last week and they are doing very well so far. We got out to see the villages yesterday. It felt so good to see some of the villagers. I even had pictures for people and they were so happy to receive them. We will be meeting with two of the villages this Sunday and the girls will begin their work collecting the rest of the data for the proposal. Things are looking good! We are working with MOFA-Ministry of Food and Agricaulture-Veterinary department, ACDEP-the Assocaition of Church Development Projects who do a lot of work with rural agricultural and livestock/poultry projects and the University of Deveolopmental Studies-the Animal Science Department.
Dr. Hunter and Dr. Luginaah just left for Accra we had a busy but great week or so together here in Wa.
As for me I am so happy here in Ghana-I have definitely found a place I really enjoy and I hope this project will work out as it can really make a difference in a villager's life. It can mean food, school fees, hospital fees, etc.
Please read the new student's blogs and see how they are doing so far and what their perceptions are of Ghana!
Kirstin Jamie M
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I am now back home, I have been home for two weeks. It took me a few extra days to get home because of flight mixups and closed airports but I made it and went straight back to classes:) What an abrupt change! The Ghana trip went very well, I made it out to all of the villages and had successful meetings in all of them. The attendance of the women was remarkable and their participation was invaluable. It was so good to see all of the villagers again and they were so happy to see me. It meant so much for them to see me again. I had sent some pictures in the mail to Wa which were then distributed to the villages after my trip last time and some villagers brought these to the meetings to show me that they had received them. That made me so happy! Of course, they were all hospitable and even as I left villages, chickens were put in the back of the truck for me. What wonderful people. In Wa my friends all now feel like family, I am very comfortable in Wa and feel as though it is a second home. I am involved in both the christian and muslim communities and attended church while I was there and was also invited to a muslim conference which I also attended.
One of the most unexpected benefits of my trip were the discussions I became engaged in with adults after visiting a very sick patient at a hospital-we had some very interesting discussions about AIDS and hepatitis. It is not common to talk about such issues in Ghana therefore I was more than happy to be apart of these conversations and answer their questions to the best of my knowledge. I believe that awareness is the beginning to decease the incidence of devastating diseases such as AIDS.
Now, we will be working on the poultry and guinea fowl proposal to submit to CIDA. I hope all goes well and it will be accepted. We are proposing a train the trainer approach and improved management/housing/nutrition/care for the chickens and guinea fowl at the village level while establishing local contacts for them with their local extension officer. We hope to strengthen local bonds between MOFA (Minister of food and agriculture) while educating. As well, since our samples were denied access into Canada and they are waiting for us to process them in Accra, Ghana we would like to incorporate improved lab facilities and testing in Ghana, both in Accra and then in the Upper West. We believe that these aspects combined would be a sustainable start to alleviating the severe poverty in the Upper West Region.
Overall, great trip in all aspects. I still cannot stop saying what wonderful people I have met in this special region of Ghana and I hope to have a lifelong partnership with them.