Monday, January 10, 2011


Today Winnie, our professional advisor that lives in San Fransisco, arrived in Obodan with a friend named Stella. Winnie and Stella have been friends for many years as they both completed their undergraduate studies at the same university in Ghana. We quickly got acquainted with one another though Suraj, Garrison and I had only spoken to her in conference calls and in emails beforehand. After the usual preliminaries, we prepared for a day of teamwork.

Our main goal for the day was to gather information about the water distribution project and to explore new options. First we took a tour of the planned water project, while continually debating the best course of action. We examined the feasibility of our original plan against the constraints of cost, elevation difficulties, the desires of the community and other issues. Furthermore we tried out new thoughts and ideas to add or change the original plan in order to best help the
village of Obodan at the most reasonable cost. A lot of time was spent deliberating various points including the difficulty of cutting a water pipeline through the main road. As Winnie was speaking about the problem of traffic control and safety regarding roadwork, Sammy jumped up screaming and we looked up to see what was the matter. As if to prove Winnie's point, a child had been hit by a car because he was being chased across a sidestreet under construction and couldn't see through the big work truck to the oncoming car.

First aid was quickly applied to the child thanks to Winnie, Suraj's Neosporin and the first aid kit that my mom grabbed for me before the trip. Although he was distraught, he wasn't badly injured. He was still taken to the hospital as a precaution. When the situation had been dealt with by all of the adults in the village that had suddenly appeared at the whisper of bad news, we resumed our conversation. A design has yet to be officially decided on since we need information
about the cost of cutting through the road and the cost of deepening a borehold, but a general plan has been set.

We proceeded to set stakes in the ground at 10m intervals to be markers for surveying, which should be occurring soon in the next couple of days, depending on when we can get equipment. The markers represent the basic path of the pipeline from borehole 2 to the central water tank that will be located at the top of the road, near the junction.

The day ended in spectacular fashion as Winnie's friend, an architect living halfway between Obodan and Accra, invited us to dinner at her house. Not only were we spoiled by fresh coconut (which I admit to not enjoying as much as Garrison and Suraj) and cold water on the ride to the house, but we receieved a small feast of rice with vegetable sauce, goat, fried red fish, hard boiled eggs, beans and freshly cut pineapple. Garrison, Sammy, Suraj and I left with full and contented
stomachs. According to Garrison, "this is all that I need to be perfectly happy, a delicious meal and time to rest after."

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