Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 4: Pineapple on a stick...and other wicked cool foods from Sunday 7/24

Each day is twice as long as we are used to and for that we aregrateful! Today was community labor day so all adult villagers wererequired to work on community projects (sort of like taxes except waymore interesting). Now we're sitting down on stomachs full of chickenand fufu dinners and we can finally rest from a tiring and excitingday. Almost every pit was worked on with many diggers, including Mike,taking turns.

Much progress has been made on the latrine pits andwe're ready to move on to the next steps in the building process. Toour surprise when community labor ended, it wasn't even noon. We hungout in the school field, playing with all the children who never seemto run out of any energy...ever. I have a feeling that we will wake upslightly sore tomorrow from that well-worth-it workout. When thethree of us needed a serious break, we went to Faustina's home wherewe were treated to a home-cooked meal of cocoyams (idk if i spelledthat right but they're a pink yam-like food) with a delicious peppersauce. We also learned a lot of Twi from her because we have built upa wide variety of questions about the language and culture that neededexplanation (one village's name translates to "monkey forest" andObodan translates to "huge stone home/room" based on an ancientstory).

Next on our agenda, PINEAPPLE ON A STICK!!! We followedFaustina to her farm while Sammy sorted out an accident with the sandtruck and we ended up eating about 8 pineapples out there. They weresmaller than normal and therefore left behind but no less delicious.The best pineapple cutter was Angel, a girl that came with us who'sonly about 11 years old. Dinner came in Nsawam where Eric and Miratried fufu for the first time. It seems as though every food we try isbetter than the last and we're hoping to find/make some equivalentswhen we get back home. Pictures to come soon, we didn't have time toupload them yet.

Till next time, I'm Mike Wazowski, I'm Miriam and I'mDP. Peace out from Ghana!

Day 3: Circle Rainbow Across the Sky

This morning Mira and Eric did laundry by hand using buckets of waterand soap. The local children were eager to help by fetching water andwringing out our clothes.
The central Obodan substructure was completed and a mason began workingon plastering the inner walls of the pit with cement.The northern satellite village (Akwakupom or Monkey Forest) had acompleted pit that was longer and deeper than specified in thedesigns. The extra length accounted for room around which the masonsneeded to work, but the extra depth posed questions for the structuralintegrity and ability to access at the side. Akwakupom also hastrouble with water distribution and have been getting their water froma nearby stream that looks quite dirty.

On the way to the villages we saw a circle rainbow. CIRCLE RAINBOW. Itwent around and around the sun. MIND BLOWING. CIRCLE. RAINBOW.
The eastern Obodan (Alatta) pit has been dug more but we have yet tosee anyone actively digging it. It needs to be deeper; the length andwidth are fine.At the eastern satellite village (Kwasi Doi) Mira played Waving Flagon the ukulele and Mike and Eric sang along. Some villagers danced.Most knew the song from the world cup. It was a heartwarming moment. Also on the way back Mira got her hair braided by some local women whothought her hair was fake.We showed our Waste to Power video to Sammy who respondedenthusiastically. His sister brought us dinner, corn paste (banku) and fishsoup, homemade. Always delicious.
That's it for today. XOXO.Eric, Mike, and Mira

Day 2: Blockheads

Today is the first full day we are in Obodan! We slept kinda late watching HP and the Philosopher's Stone...but we did enjoy bread from the local village Fotobi and played frisbee til Sammy had to pick us up to go to Obodan. We looked at the substructure of the second pilot latrine but it needed more blocks for it to be completed. So surprisingly, we all carried blocks from across the road to the site. I think my head is still slightly sore but it was fun, especially since the kids kept saying Obruni and kinda laughing at us. lool. Not only that, we saw how strong the villager's heads really were. Some people were carrying two on their heads. =O After that we chilled with the kids at school, and although we were going to live at the teacher's quarters, we ended up sleeping in the administrative building's conference room that night. The kids enjoy grabbing...

Since Sammy couldn't always be around, we decided to look at some pits ourselves, measuring them and whatnot, even digging a little bit (they did leave the pick axes and shovels there...) When we got hungry we went to the center of Obodan and bought some bags of rice filled with a spicy red orange sauce that has some vegetables in it, then she put a hardboiled egg in it as well. A good thing to note about food in Obodan is that it comes in a bag. Always. Water? Bag. Ice cream? Bag. Rice and egg? Bag.

Anyways, after we were full, we had to talk to Sammy about the money situation. It seems that funds weren't transferring. So we had to wing it a bit. But it is still going rather smoothly; Sammy brings us to the digging sites as motivation! We are also taking lots of videos to aid in Marta's documentary. Some of the measurements are a bit off but we will be able to manage. And at night we again ate at Sammy's favorite bar in Fotobi and had some drinks and chicken and rice!

I guess that's all for now, hope you enjoy the pictures! I included some from our trip over!
-Eric, M&M

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Arrival in Ghana! Day 1

Hello everyone,

We arrived in Accra unscathed and ready to EWB! We met Sammy, our village contact and assemblyman/mayor
Of Obodan at 6am Ghana time this morning (right now its almost 6pm) and drove out of Accra, to Nsawam, and finally to Obodan. This
won't be a very long post cuz we're typing from Sammy's phone. Pics definitely to come! But so far we've
visited latrine sites with Sammy and met local chiefs along the way. We've enjoyed the company of a
student from umass-amherst during our travels (she enjoys rugby), jack daniels chocolate, satchet
water, and fruit snacks..

Til next time!
Mah joh (good afternoon) from Obodan,
Eric, Mira, Mike

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

8 Days

Hello allll!

We're leaving soon, next week in fact!

Just a little test post.

-Eric, Mike, Mira