Fun in the Ghana Sun

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

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hello All!

Well, here we are again in front of a computer at an internet cafe. Who knew it would be so soon after our last update! We actually came down to Ho, the regional capital of Volta Region, for a Volunteer Action Council meeting which just happened to be on Chris' birthday. But we were stuck waiting for tros to fill at each of the lorry stations along the route down that we actually didn't make it to the meeting and Chris had a less than exciting birthday. But what's so exciting about turning 24 anyway?! However, we did get to spend the night in an air-conditioned hotel with a swimming pool, that was paid for by Peace Corps. A/C is definately a nice change from the concrete oven we sleep in back in our villages! We are praying for the rainy season to come early this year, just so it will cool off the tin roof and we can sleep a little more soundly at night.

We've been staying pretty busy with meetings lately. On Tuesday we met up with all eight of the PCVs in the Nkwanta district to plan our Guinea Worm bike ride around the district. We're going to be biking to each of our villages that we live in and give health education talks in schools and churches for about 10 straight days. The main focus of course is on Guinea Worm, but we will also be talking about general hygiene and sanitation issues as well as other diseases such as malaria. The bike ride starts this Saturday in Kecheibi and will end on March 7 in Damanko. March 6 is Ghana's Independence Day, so we will be celebrating with the people of Sibi Hilltop with a parade and a football match!

On Thursday we held our first planning meeting to form a Water and Sanitation Committee for Damanko. The chief and several of the sub-chiefs were in attendance and after Chris and I gave our spill about the importance of a well-organized Wat/San Committee, they all seemed very excited to get one started. Especially since the River Oti water project is in the works, they will need to have a Wat/San Committee in place to assist with issues of payment, communal labor and maintenance of the tap stands. They decided that each of the sub-chiefs will select a man and a woman from their tribal group to be on the committee. Except for the Konkomba group will have about six members, three men and three women, since they are the largest group in Damanko, about 75-80% of the population.

That same evening we held another meeting at our house with the Guinea Worm Village Volunteers to discuss conducting the 2006 Census of Damanko. It was a very productive meeting and everyone was in agreement of when to start and complete the census. We just have to provide the paper, pencils, chalk to mark the houses, and a sample census form for them. We also gave them each a piece of American toffee (candy) for coming to the meeting. But most of them weren't satisfied with just one piece!

Another important meeting we will be attending is tomorrow with the Deputy Regional Minister and the Regional Director for the Community Water and Sanitation Agency. Hopefully, they will show up this time and we can discuss the Water Project more extensively with them. We especially need to know when the electricity will be coming to the area so the water can be treated and pumped the 15 miles to the last community to be receiving the water, Kpassa. Hmm, maybe we could entice these big wigs with some American toffee too...

Well folks, that's the news from Damanko. Where all the women are strong, the men are lazy and the children call us "Fadda!"

Thanks for all your support! Keep those cards and letters coming!

lots of love,
Chris and Sayward

P.S. Our dogs like packages too! (Hint: flea collars, raw hides, etc. But please no squeaky toys!)
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kgpaterson on

Hot tin roof
any chance you can make your roof into a 'green roof'? would lower the absorptive capacity, and perhaps lower indoor temps...

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