Home of Cross-Cultural Solutions Volunteer

Trip Start Jun 21, 2012
Trip End Jul 21, 2012

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Flag of Ghana  , Volta Region,
Monday, June 25, 2012

The 3 homes where about 36 volunteers stay are not what I expected. They are comfortable and neat.  They are in Hohoe, a remote place with the dirt road.  I thought they wudda be shacks, outdated, dirty, and out of my comfort zone.  The only things dat I need to be adjusted are no air conditioner and toilet dat ya can't flush toilet papers in, and cold shower.  There is a bin where ya throw 'em in.  Yes…  I admit I did forget to dump ‘em in, but I had to use toilet brush cleaner to pick it up and throw it in the bin, eww!  I didn’t want to screw up the toilet for the other volunteers and me to use!  There is a poetic poster on the door in the toilet room saying,

"If it is yellow, let it mellow…
if it is brown, flush it down." 

Poem about it, huh?  I thought it’s phunny…and gross.  However, I try to remember not to throw the toilet papers in the toilet!

We have bunk beds with nets covered to keep mosquitoes away.  So far I only see 2 or 3 mosquitoes.  I had 2 bites and hope I don’t get malaria!  I’m still takin’ anti-malaria meds everyday and even when I return to the U.S., I need to continue takin’ ‘em one more week.  And take blood test for it, too, to make sure I don’t get it, accordin’ to my travelin’ nurse. It’s my 4th day here, I’m feelin’ OK.  Just sometimes I have headache.  No runnin’ stomach.  Knock the wood! 

We have Ghanaian cooks, cleaners, and drivers that take us to placements where we volunteer and to other places such as market, bank, and drummin’ & dancin’ show.  That’s why I (and donors) paid for the volunteer program, but also for meals, transportation, travel medical insurance, and room.   The meals I had were delicious and also sometimes spicy!  Everyday we’re served with rice and chicken but they add different flavors and ingredients to ‘em.  For instance, one dish is called azidetsi (chicken and peanut soup) along w/ banku (maize with cassava). Ya dip the banku in the soup but it doesn’t have much flavor.  The other one is called cotombre (stew) which is made of spinach, tomato, and coyam (a kind of leaf).  Ya probably think I cudda spell Ghanaian terms.  No, I had to ask the cook to name ‘em for me to write ‘em down through my interpreter! Not to mention, I eat tropical fruits everyday:  mango, watermelon, pineapple, and banana.  No desserts.  I drink bottled water and we also have water jug where ya can fill it up as much as ya want.  No tap water for me!  The water is treated for us to take a shower and brush teeth.

Mawusi (in Ewe language) or Gerard (in English) is my interpreter.  He goes with me to Volta Skool f/t Deaf where I volunteer, activities provided by the CCS (Cross-Cultural Solutions) program, and different places.  I’m blessed to have him ‘cos I’m only deaf in the volunteer group.  I was told dat the program never had a deaf volunteer and they learned a lot how to meet my accommodations and needs.  I hope in the future more deaf peeps will join in the CCS program.  The volunteers are eager to learn sign language from me as I teach ‘em some basic signs.  Two of ‘em know some signs.  One of ‘em and I are the older ones in the group.  Most of ‘em are from the U.S. and one is from Ireland.  Some of ‘em volunteer at skools, hospitals, banks, and clinics.  I wuz impressed when some of ‘em asked me how my placement went.  A good-natured group!

Next blogs will be town of Hohoe and Volta School for the Deaf.  More pictures in my Facebook.  This blog takes forever to upload the pictures.
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Deidra on

I am enjoying your travel blog, fear living vicariously through you! It sounds like you are having a very rewarding experience! Keep writing and I'll keep reading!

Deidra on

I just read my posted comment, seems auto correct changed my sentence....it should say, "I'm living vicariously through you"

Staci Miller on

Love reading about your adventure. I love that you find out the names of the foods, the volunteers and that you are opening doors for other Deafies to come volunteer.
The table cloth looks SO homey! You got mosquitoes to deal with, I got a line of ants crawling from my sliding door to inside my apt. Already found 2 on my feet. We need to sent some of our Austin bats to Ghana, ha. I'm working on a small vacations with boys to visit Kyle at Stephenville, then to stay at Dallas for 2 days. I want to visit the J.F.K. museum at the Dealey Plaza. Will ask my Aunt to tell me where exactly I was born in Dallas. Keep blogging. It is SOOOO interesting!!!!

Kathryn Menchu on

Very interesting... I am still enjoying to read your story.

Jari on

Love your posts!

cheryl on

keep writing the post it is fun to read about all that you are doing and experiencing over there!

Avonne on

I love reading your blogs and keep writing!!!

Cindy Beery on

The food looks great. I'm happy that things are going smoothly on your trip

Patty Hetzer on

Your photos are wonderful visuals for us readers. I was glad to see the camera on your list of things to bring. Almost a necessity for a trip like this.

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