Sunday, November 09, 2008
Nothing Succeeds like Success - Given the Chance....
Chris's home, Chris and brother, Jenny, Chris's father.
A particular success story is that our support for Chrysanthus, our neighbour's nephew from Dondomoteng (see photos above) is proving to be very worthwhile; his school exam results were very good and we are now supporting him with some extra studies, some accommodation and a bicycle to get around on in Wa - we sense a long-term investment coming on here! He is a very capable and decent young man, from a very poor family, he is the first one to even go to Secondary School. What we would like to do is to try and find some sponsorship so that he can progress to University, either here or in the UK - We are sure that he would acquit himself well and any sponsor could be sure of making a sound investment.
In general life is pretty good here, about 90 degrees inside our Teachers' Resource Centre, in Lawra (where we work) today, just a little different from the October snow in the UK. We have beeen working hard here but we have also made sure that we have travelled and explored Ghana and surrounding countries.
We are now entering a season called the Harmattan - it is very hot and windy during the day - coming from the Sahara desert - but quite cool at night, we even have to put a blanket on sometimes!
We have a few months (5) remaining in Lawra and we are beginning to wonder how we will cope with the luxury and prosperity of the UK.
Our way of life here is very different: at about 4.00 a.m. the call to prayer at our local mosque is the first thing to disturb our sleep, followed soon after by the many cockerels (they do not seem to be able to crow at the same time here!), then we hear the first villagers and school children pumping water at the borehole, then it's the school's wake up alarm (a piece of wood banging on a big metal bar), then it's the Guinea fowl, turkeys, goats, and cows that parade by and graze around the house sniffing, snorting and scrapping; then it's our neighbour's motorbike (about 6.00) as he goes off to the village shop, then it's Jenny showering pouring luke warm water over herself with a cup from our bucket of bore hole water - such luxury! Breakfast at 7.00 - work at 08.00; and we are supposed to be retired!
Amongst the things we will not miss will be the snakes (four around the house to date), scorpions, the myriad of flies in the evenings (inside - May to October) and the long dark nights - 6.00pm - 6.00-am every day throughout the year; but UK is a long time away yet as we intend to finish here on March 31st 2009 and then travel south, arriving back in the UK, probably at the beginning of September; more of that another time.
Jenny is having a very domesticated week this week; she works really hard at the TRC but she still made a date and walnut cake, a chocolate cake and some hummous this week - fantastic, a real treat. My contributions, over time, have been home made mango chutney, lime pickle and orange and lime marmalade. Enough for now, if we start talking about the food that we do and do not have we will be here all night.
Jenny and her VSO colleague, Ruth, are facing a bit of a quandry at present with the Kindergartens (KG) project they are involved with; the KG staff have not been paid for 10 months and have just embarked on strike action (wouldn't you? , they are paid only £6 per month!) - unfortunately this is just the time when vital training and investment is being put into action - a real dilemma. Onwards and upwards!