My apologies for not updating anyone the last couple of weeks! This is a lame excuse, but I have been soooo busy, in a place where deadlines don't exist and technology is scarce. Things are going very well though.
First off, I would like to thank everyone who supported me in my fund raising efforts. I raised enough to stay in Ghana for two more months and get the Women's Development Program moving forward. There are just so many things I want to do here to help, but I have more enthusiasm than time or energy :-)
To address the latest concern coming my way via email...the elections. I am safe and all is well. The election was held on Sunday and they do not have the results yet. This election was a big one for Ghana. The equivalent of Republicans were in office and much of the country was ready for change. The results are within tenths of a percent of each other...split right down the middle. So, we'll see what happens. It has been peaceful so far, and they don't expect anything major to happen. Our town has increased security just in case, but life is going on as normal.
Speaking of which, it is amazing how location means very little...you just get into a routine and life goes on. I have gotten to the point where this life feels more normal, and my life in the States seems like a distant land or dream. Just throwing that out there. I am very busy with teaching. My students have come so far. I literally get tears in my eyes when I see how much they have progressed. We go on holiday break the middle of next week, and I will start volunteering at the hospital every day. I am really excited for that. I am also helping a gentleman find office furniture for his school. He has computers, but no desks...should be an easy enough task. I have done my research and tomorrow will be having a brainstorming session for the Women's Development Program. So, I have plenty to keep me busy!
I am finding time for fun too! Two weekends ago I went to the ocean on the west side of Ghana. I traveled with two other volunteers and our intentions were to visit a remote village which is built on stilts above a lagoon. The village has a population of 500 people and they all live above the water...even their pathways and shops are above water. We knew it would be a long journey, but had no plan...not even bus ticket or hotel reservation (would I do it any other way?). So after 12 hours of traveling - including venturing down roads that would not be considered drivable in the States, in the equivalent of a 1989 Honda Accord - we found a nice little hotel on the ocean. It was fate! They had room for us...and it was beautiful! We asked around only to find that our stilt village was still another 6 hours away. So we decided to spend the entire weekend relaxing on the beach. It was totally secluded and pristine. One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen! The rooms were gorgeous, we had a self contained toilet, and they had a real live french trained chef! But, just as you thought it couldn't get any better...they also had red wine on the menu! I ordered a bottle for myself...which the bartender found odd...but I showed him and drank every single drop! So yummy!
The only things I have really missed are red wine and pizza...and today I had a craving for chicken fingers with ranch dressing. But, not having the option to eat any of those things has done wonders for my health. The pounds naturally shed and I have so much more energy!
Ok, back to the travels. Since this last weekend was the election we were not supposed to travel. But, we did get permission for a day trip on Saturday. A group of us went to a bead factory to learn how to make beads. The owner is a world reknowned jeweler...and really does some beautiful work. Unfortunately I do not share his talent, and may have made the ugliest beads known to man...but it was fun. They're slogan is "quality, not quantity." They hold true to that. Everything is done the old fashioned way...all beads are put into a kiln and shaped with stones and sticks. I'm simplifying the process of course, but it was amazing to watch it all and realize that this business is still very successful without giving in to the Western ways.
Well, it is time for me to go home and go to bed. I tend to babble when I am tired. I will write again soon, I promise! Please know that I am safe and truly enjoying every moment of life.