Drum Roll Please...

Trip Start Sep 22, 2005
1
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41
Trip End Dec 19, 2007


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Flag of Ghana  ,
Saturday, October 15, 2005

Hi all!

We've been busy eating fresh pineapple, cocoa, bananas and oranges under the mango trees in our homestay's front yard. I know it sounds like a rough life, but we've had a couple of days of down time until we found out where our site will be for the next two years. Speaking of which... We'll be serving in Damanko in the Northern Volta Region. So your homework is to find out as much as you can about our location. We actually have two houses - one for me and one for Sayward (just kidding). The first is in Damanko, a city of ~7650 next to a river which flows into the large Volta Reservoir. The second house and site which we will be calling our summer home is in Sibi Hilltop, ~8 miles to the south of Damanko. Both homes are very rustic (we've seen pictures) and do not have electricity or running water. YES! It will be much like camping for the next two years. Needless to say, we will be traveling to Tamale about once a month to use the internet, update our travelogue, buy cheese from the Fulani (nomadic herders), type my quarterly reports for my research, and recharge our batteries. Our site assignment entails working specifically with the Carter Center to help eradicate Guinea Worm disease from the Volta region. Your second homework assignment - find out about Guinea Worm. The zones that Sayward and I will be working with are quite vast and cover about 40,000 people in a large area, so our work will be challenging, especially as transmission season will be in full swing when we swear-in as volunteers. When not passing out filters and pulling worms out of peoples legs we will be working with the School Health Education Program, HIV/AIDS education in the community and the Water/Sanitation Community Board. More info to come on our site - as we're still learning more everyday!

On another note:
WHERE ARE THE LETTERS & PACKAGES?!!!
Maybe some of you forgot those magnets that we gave out at our wedding... but for the rest of you, I want to see some snail mail. Seriously, if you have time to write us a letter, send some pics, a postcard, anything; It would definitely be appreciated. Next time we'll make a list of goodies to send to us that we can't get here.

Love,
Chris and Sayward
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Comments

kgpaterson
kgpaterson on

quarterly reports
good to see Quarterly Reports made the list of 'things to use a computer for'. let's see....you send me quarterly reports, I send you care packages. who's getting the short end of the guinea worm in this arrangement?

marksimms
marksimms on

Guinea Worm Disease references
When you get to the internet cafe next...here are some good links to check-out. The first especially is some extensive research done by a chap in England....not sure it's worth the $30 though...your call.
Otherwise, I've discovered the peace corp executives need to contact the BASF company and get a 'donation' of a larvicide know as ABATE. This, of course, will require much 'red-tape' as well as a huge proportion of public relations. It appears as though ABATE, although not a long-term solution, is a good interim 'fix' until you build the necessary water treatment facilities which according to that 'chap in England' have profound social barriers towards acceptance. Here is an exerpt from their (BASF) site:

Another example is our larvicide ABATE®, which kills mosquito larvae. It is not harmful to humans and - unlike many competing products - is approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the treatment of drinking water. BASF works together with the WHO, UNICEF, the GTZ (German Society for Technical Cooperation), the Carter Foundation and other organizations to treat the worst-affected areas. ABATE is also used to fight Guinea worm, a parasite that can cause serious illness in people who drink water contaminated with larvae. In 2001, BASF provided the Carter Center (a nonprofit institution) with 12,000 liters of ABATE worth 275,000 euros to fight Guinea worm in Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan.

It's important to note the above implies BASF has NOT contributed for over 4 years. Question: Why not ?

You're not going to believe this, but guess who is giving out grant money to support this effort ?
BILL GATES !!! See more below.
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/GlobalHealth/Pri_Diseases/OtherInfectiousDiseases/Other_Infec_Grantmaking.htm

LINKS BELOW:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VBF-3YS8D9V-4G&_coverDate=08%2F31%2F1995&_alid=324016392&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_cdi=5925&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=21391e3c6d2d08e0940a2d4cbbcb3795

http://www.cartercenter.org/healthprograms/program1.htm

bphenry
bphenry on

Address in Ghana??
Hey Chris and Sayward!
Cheers from the Keweenaw...We need your Ghanian address up in these parts. Can anyone out there please reply with their address? The packages are piling up without any address labels!!
Thanks eh!

I heard Guinea worm is excellent with a little garlic and butter.

carimel
carimel on

hi!!!
hey sweeties!!

did yall get my postcard? i hope so. i can't stand hearing folks whine about not getting mail when I KNOW I've sent it;) If anything, I should be whining about not having heard from you guys yet! you think you can just send a few mass emails and expect tons of snail mail? well, i'm sorry, it just don't work that way. It takes blood, sweat and tears for that to happen! Trust me, I know ;) Hey, listen, the fun's just beginning!! got nothin but love fo yall!
mila

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