Monday, January 5, 2015

The Day(s) Without an End(s)

Afwee Shepa! (Happy New Year- in twi!) We are so excited to be here in Obodan and work with our partner communities. Today is our third day in Ghana. We got here on Jan. 3rd, and had a very exciting and productive first day! After settling in to our room in the Obodan community center, we met with Obodan's assembly man and longtime EWB community contact, Sammy Gamson. After catching up with Sammy, we went to a party in Fotobi. The party turned out to be a young woman's graduation event. After being set down in literally the spotlight of the party, the MC came up and suddenly we were the center of attention during this girl's celebratory party. We made the (ultimately positive) mistake of saying that our favorite Ghanaian song was Azonto (which is awesome) and then were brought reluctantly on stage to dance for it. After a heroic attempt at dancing with grace and poise, we were eventually, mercifully joined by children who taught us how to dance unterribly (for the most part!).

After the party we met with Sammy and our mentor, Steve, to talk about our projects and plan for the next two weeks. Then we received our mattresses, went back to the community center, and finally went to bed. After being up for 36 hours at that point, we fell asleep within 36 milliseconds of our heads hitting our pillows (stolen from the plane!). A well deserved nights sleep!

DAY TWO:  After an early rise to prepare for a full day of meetings, the travel meet met with Obodan's brand new Unit Committee (formally known as the water committee). We had a very productive meeting discussing Obodan's water distribution system, going over our shared concerns and goals for our future projects, and going over new programs to improve the latrines, including the implementation of a latrine ambassador program. The unit committee seemed very enthusiastic about the program and eager to take a role in latrine affairs as well as water distribution things.

Then we met with the Amanfrom community, who voiced to us with much enthusiasm that their biggest concern is water. We went around to all of their water sources and spoke with community leaders about the steps we need to take to decide whether we can help with their water availability. Then we went to Fotobi for food and drinks!

DAY THREE: After yet another early rise, the team went to collect water using buckets and carried them on their heads for the first time. We looked at the latrines in Obodan and Alata, and then went to Akwakapom and Kwasi Doi to meet with the communities and look at the latrines. It was a great day!

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