Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Travel and Day 1: You are welcome to Ghana

Akwaaba! This summer's first travel team of Mira, Caitlin, Kerri, Andrea, and Kabir reporting from an internet cafe in Nsawam. We arrived yesterday evening May 14th after 24 grueling hours of traveling from JFK to Istambul to Accra on Turkish Airways. Sammy picked us up from the airport and we spent the first night at his house, where he has just received electricity as of two months ago. We are currently working on arranging accommodations in the village Obodan where we work, and should be moving in tomorrow.

Today, Mira and Kerri went to Accra with Sammy to pick up our mentor Steve Forbes. In case you haven't heard, Steve Forbes has been working in Obodan with Columbia since 2004 on the very first CUEWB-Ghana projects. He is a mentor to many EWB student groups and his expertise in development work and particularly with pump testing will be vital to the success of our trip this time around. Mira and Kerri also got to see the construction site of a substation Sammy is overseeing to bring electricity to parts of the Nsawam-Aburi area. Sammy has many community development projects underway, as part of his commitment to improving his home town. Before heading back to Sammy's house, Mira and Kerri picked up some groceries from the Nsawam market to cook so that the travel team will eat food that is not granola bars and Nutella.

Kabir, Caitlin, and Andrea spend their day exploring the area around Sammy's house because the taxi could not fit everyone. Sammy's wife, Beatrice, made them a lunch of rice and fish and vegetable soup. "It was really good," says Kabir.

In the late afternoon the entire team converged and went to Obodan. We inspected the two latrines we built in Obodan last summer as well as the pilot latrine. The pilot latrine is due for a pit-switching this trip. The two newer latrines need backfilling, steps, improved draining for the urine diversion, and to be put into greater use. The sun set before we could look at the latrines in the satellite villages so we plan on visiting them at a later date.

We met up with Sammy's mom, the Queen Mother of the village, and his sister Faustina, who was instrumental to our trip last year and will be helping us out again this year. They welcomed us to Ghana and to Obodan. We are looking forward to a productive, safe, and meaningful trip.

Photo updates next time.

Signing out,

Mira, Caitlin, Kerri, Andrea, and Kabir

Caitlin and Andrea exploring around Sammy's house


  1. Yayyy glad you've made it safely. Is there a reason they aren't using the two latrines as much in Obodan?

    Yay good food! Be safe and don't eat the orange fruits!

  2. YESSS. so much happiness in this post
    non granola bar foods! steve forbes! travel team!

    see you guys soon

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