Friday, January 9, 2015

Angelina Poolie and Brad Pit

Afwee Shepa (still relevant, still 2015). To celebrate the New Year, we've accumulated quite the selection of tropical fruits, root vegetables, and services. As of now, we've received:
- 9 pineapples
- 7 cassavas
- 2 coconuts
- 1 puo puo (still not sure what this is as it is currently rotting under our desk)
- multiple offers of prepared food
- numerous offers of marriage
- 1 offer of a kid goat for 10 dollars
- 1 new sister-in-law for Kiersten as her brother was married off in a "love at first mention" wedding by an eager lady from Obodan

All of these goods have come as a result of the commencement of our household surveying the past few days. This Wednesday, Faustina (the sister of Assemblyman Sammy, our community contact) arrived in Obodan to help us translate our survey questions from useless English into the local language (Akwapim Twi). As of now, our lexicon consists of:
- Afwee Shepa (Happy New Year, again still relevant)
- Medase (Thank You)
- Obroni (Us, foreigners)
- Ma Chi, Ma Ha, Ma Jo (Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening respectively)
- Me Din De (My name is...)
- Other basic terms like "sorry" are still in the works. We'll update you on that later

Our Buzzfeed lists are now over, onward to the good stuff!

The surveys have proven extremely helpful in determining the work to be completed for our source-separating latrines over the next few days. These modifications are instrumental in making the latrines suit the needs of the community. Some of these needs are (last list, promise):
- converting seated seats to squatting seats
- completing piping for urine diversion
- education workshops to improve maintenance and cleaning techniques

Meanwhile, we've had a couple celebrities drop by Obodan in the form of Angelina Poolie and Brad Pit (see title). These have become some of our team members' alter egos on the front line of sampling material from our latrine "Pits". These brave visiting heroes are extracting samples from the longest composting latrine to understand the power of poo. In other words, we are using field sampling kits to understand the progress of composting waste within the latrine pits. Poolie and Pit determined that the coupling of dry conditions and feces is a powerhouse, just like them. The current compost Pit was found to be at the borderline between the Ideal Curing and Mature Compost stages. Success!

Our team has also been busy working with Amanfrom and their assemblyman, Mike, to assess their water sources and needs. From our limited first impressions, the community of Amanfrom seems super excited to work with us and to form a partnership over the next few years. We also realized they have a lot of hair salons (note for future travel trips). The first step after this past Sunday's community meeting was to collect water samples from all six utilized water sources:
- Anofo Stream
- Tonto Stream (potentially a spring)
- Nana Obodan River
- Amoani Spring (that has catfish that look delicious but are according to the community members, essential to the spring's existence, and therefore are taboo to catch and consume)
- Primary Well (hand-dug)
- Cemetery Well (EWB's nickname, also hand-dug and taboo to use)

These water samples are being tested AS WE TYPE in Accra for coliform and inorganics. We are also testing the water system in Obodan for coliform (samples taken at the spigot by the pump, the borehole, and the pump inlet). We anticipate these results by next Thursday, watch out for them!

Water Testing/Sampling happened
Poop Testing/Sampling was gross but informative
Surveying was good

1 comment:

  1. Cool stuff, great to see you all are making a positive difference!