Monday, June 4, 2012

Days 16 - Infinity: Mike and Christine Edition

After bidding farewell to the rest of the travel team, we (Mike and Christine) spent the day with Steve Forbes, mentor extraordinaire, and Sammy in Accra.  We had the opportunity to meet up with EWB-Ghana members at the MTN (one of Ghana’s major cellphone carrier companies) building. After a blur of hospitality in which mugs were brought in and taken away twice, tea cookies were spread out, and an assortment of drink mixes were offered, EWB-Ghana, Steve Forbes, and EWB-USA CU talked about different means of collaboration for the future. Mike and Christine agreed that the Ghana Program will definitely be reaching out to EWB-Ghana in the future for mentorship and networking.  Sammy, Mike, and Christine dropped Steve off at the airport, and the goodbye was cut short as a security guard obstructed Mike and Christine from going into the actual airport after Sammy sneaked by.

5/31 and 6/1 (These two days have become one muddled 48 hour period)

The next two days were spent finishing up the work needed to be done on the latrines. Instructions (in both Twi and English) were painted next to the stencil drawings we had put in the latrines during prior days. After struggling a little bit with the idea of manual center alignment, Christine started getting the hang of painting and 6/7 latrines were finished, the walls of Anoff being too wet to paint still. Additionally, we had noticed that some of the jerry cans meant for urine collection had been stolen from one of the latrine sites so we decided to label them all. We imagined it would be difficult to steal a jerry can that had “PROPERTY OF OBODAN” and “URINE COLLECTION” plastered on its sides. Mike worked on installing ventilation pipes in the remaining latrines (which our awesome carpenter Bempo did in half the time that we took and without a need for a wooden bracing) along with the side pit doors.

We tried to gather water collection data from the two boreholes to gauge Obodan's water usage. After a few setbacks, we were only able to get a vague range of daily cedis collected from one of the boreholes. Money collection is definitely something that needs to be looked into during an assessment trip. Last, but definitely not least, the pits on the pilot latrine were switched! Turns out said awesome carpenter Bempo is also a mason (keep in mind for future trips) and he completed the job for about 1/4 of what the other mason was asking for. The toilet seat was taken off from the right pit, sawdust was added, and the pit hole was sealed shut with cement while the toilet seat was attached to the left pit hole. After a quick celebration, Mike and Christine ran to pack/clean up/ingest all the things left in our living quarters (ex. Kabir’s shoes, lonely socks, Nutella, etc). We left Obodan under the cover of darkness, which Mike noted made things easier (albeit sadder) since the kids were asleep and we couldn’t say goodbye. The night was spent at Sammy’s house, enjoying Sammy’s wide taste in music and his wife, Beatrice’s, jollof rice. However, the past two weeks must’ve taken a toll on all three of us since Christine left the dinner table to curl up on a couch before she pancaked on a plate from exhaustion. A few minutes later, Sammy leaned back and fell asleep, which prompted Mike to lie down on the other couch and immediately pass out. 

Everyone woke up on 6/2, fully rested, and after a quick bite to eat, Christine and Mike were off to Accra. We attended church service in the morning, then headed to the same crafts fair that the other group visited before they left. Between Mike being a self-proclaimed “man of jokes” and Christine’s last attempt at dancing a little Azonto (the popular Ghanaian dance for the year) with the shopkeepers, we got away with some serious steals. Afterwards, we had a late lunch at KFC, and Christine was dropped off at her hostel, while Mike continued to the airport to continue his adventures for the summer in Germany. 

Anti-Theft system of Jerry Cans

Poultry House that another EWB Chapter built

Instructions on the Latrine Walls


(Pictures of Pit Switching on Christine's Phone which is currently not cooperating. To be Posted ASAP)


  1. ^Someone sounds jelly. Haha aw i miss obodan already maybe i shoulda gone hmmm. Yay for pictures