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Monday, July 24, 2017

Let the Project Begin!

As soon as we left the airport in the North of Ghana, there was an overwhelming realization that we had entered a different world and that was in no way a bad feeling. On the car journey to the hotel (where we would be staying for the duration of our in-country training) we gazed out the window and took in the unfamiliar surroundings. I and my fellow volunteers saw a great number of bikes, women carrying buckets of supplies on their heads and a flock of goats that were free to roam the streets of Tamale. To say that we were tired from a two-day plane journey would be an understatement but never the less we were glad to meet more of the volunteers at the hotel Radach, who we had gotten to know very well at the UK training day.


As the first week progressed we soaked up as much as we could of the Ghanaian culture. On Thursday the 13th of July 2017 we were treated to a drum and dance performance which was hugely energetic and fun and by the end we were on our feet dancing along to the drum beats. I even got to have a go on one of the bongos which was really cool. Then everyone finally departed to their host homes.  

My host family was very welcoming and were eager to help, which I was very grateful for. My host mother who we call auntie speaks very good English which helped calm my fears of there being a language barrier. To my amazement I have begun to like spicy food. The sauces they use, mixed together with fried rice and chicken makes for some very tasty dishes.


Project RAINS is also shaping up to be quite an ambitious undertaking. The group will be going to various communities and raising awareness of subjects such as teenage pregnancy and ways in which it can be prevented, which will have a guided learning day run by volunteers, Florence and Tina. Disability which will be headed by Alhassan, Jeff and Blake, focusing on educating the younger generations on the different types of disability and how they can help integrate the physically and mentally challenged into  society. Every one of us is itching to get started and make a small but significant difference. There also some promising potential to go on various cultural day learning trips, to the Larabanga mosque to delve into its fascinating history, all being looked into by volunteers Chris and Tina.


The UK counterparts have also found the first week of the project ‘’Exciting and interesting” full of researching and participation. By the end of the placement the Ghanaian counterparts hope to gain more confidence in public speaking and leaving a positive impact to the lives of the people in the various communities. The Ghanaian counterparts have also expressed how they have enjoyed getting to know their UK team mates. I also think the same could be said for the UK counterparts. It has been an overall eye opening and surreal experience so far, from the extremely friendly locals, to the cars without seatbelts! We have a feeling that the best is yet to come.

Author:

Blake