Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's always sunny in Obodan

Well, it isn't really, considering that it was wet season so on most days it was somewhat overcast if not rainy. But there's something about Obodan - it's either the bright orange soil or the wide open space or the kids or the enthusiasm with which people greet you ("How are you?" "I'm good-" "Fine! Fine-fine-fine.") - that makes it look like the sun's out. Cheesy much? Maybe you just have to see it for yourself.

In retrospect, we probably could have accomplished everything we needed to do in two weeks or less if we had to. Having three weeks though, we were able to go and collect data for things we hadn't on one particular day, fairly easily since we basically lived within 5 minutes of anything we had to do.

Like in the picture- you can see Danny, Suraj and I in the back by the borehole... We were measuring the flowrate of the water artesianing out of some holes in the borehole- water constantly flows out of it because the borehole is built over an artesian well. Saving this water for use instead of letting it flow to waste is something we'll work on.
And in the front are Nicholas and Ismael, who, like all the kids love to pose for the camera. (Oh, but not just pose- they like to take the camera and take photos too. A good two thirds of my pictures are taken not by me but by the kids)

Living in Obodan for three weeks also gave us a sense of the villagers' lives which would have been difficult had we stayed only briefly or if we hadn't stayed in the village. And as the days went by we learned each others' names and faces and I reached that state where pulling into Obodan after a day out in town felt much like it does when you come home from a trip.

We also had time to meet with many people who are related to EWB Ghana, all of whom will be very important and helpful as we undertake our own project: not only the members of EWB Ghana but also people interested in partnering with them to form a stronger and resourceful organization, people we've worked with in the past, and students from other EWB student chapters.

What next?

CU-EWB Ghana meetings, extensive data analysis, constant discussions, neverending fundraising. Project designs. Project implementation!

Very briefly, through our assessment trip we've identified the following as potential projects:

-Water distribution system
-Waste management system
-another KVIP Latrine
-Rainwater harvesting system

(Erosion control we pretty much ruled out, since it would be quite a big complicated project beyond our scope.)

Ah, Obodan.
I already can't wait to go back.

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