Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
Monday, 29 March 2010
We got invited by a local family to dinner and there I learnt to pound Foufou - Foufou tastes wonderful especially with groundnut soup, but traditionally takes hours of laborious work to prepare. The plantain or yam and cassava is boiled first. Then you pound and pound and pound (these Ghanaian women are strong!), until the mix is soft enough to swallow without first needing to chew it. Apparantly I was just carressing the foufou with my attempt to pound it. I even found it difficult lift the pestle back out again.
While in Langbensi to go with the red dusty roads the only vegetable available were lovely red tomatoes and red onions. But there was enough of them even for me
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Thursday, 4 March 2010
Nii my programme manager said he had set up a meeting for me to meet all the network members - seeing as I haven't been able to get a definite answer to how many members there are, and the number varies from 10 -30 depending on the time of day I was a bit excited.
The meeting was arranged at the office of one of the members so that I could have a trip out.
Here in Ghana if you have an official work related meeting you get driven there by your own personal driver in a huge car - maybe VAC could consider a similar scheme?
Now the person whose office we went to was obviously there for the meeting, and it was productive, but without the other network members the amount we could discuss was limited.
I finally left after about an hour, only to meet one of the network members arriving for the meeting now over an hour late. It was decided that he would accompany me back to my office and we would meet there. Went well and once finished I showed him up to Nii's office, where I was told that Mr.... was on his way. It was now 4.50pm and office hours are 8-4pm. Anyway as it is only my second week i figured I better wait. Finally finished at 6pm.
When I was told meeting at three, little had I Known that it would be three separate meetings at three different times. No-one apologised for being late, people are just so laid back.
When someone says "I'm on my way" that could mean I will be with you some time today/ this week. This is going to take some getting used to
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Well I have now been in work for just over a week. I share an office with Katherine, who I met on my first day in Ghana, in fact we were sharing a hotel room during the In Country Training. We both started here on the same day. Katherine is from Canada and we are both here on short term placements and luckily we really get on well.
Our office is small but we like it.
I am here to work with The Coalition Of Volunteering Organisations as their Organisational Development Advisor. Isn't that a fancy title.
They have asked me to advice them on their:
- Policies and procedures
- Focus of Organisation
- Communication Channels
They would also like me to produce a members directory and do some capacity building of individual organisations.
To top it all I have a two day retreat to plan and facilitate at, in three weeks time. So I may be just a little busy for the next few weeks.
Am still loving it here, and am really getting used to the heat, food and people.
Monday, 22 February 2010
We moved out of our hotel on Saturday and were all shipped of to various regions of Ghana ready for our placements. Some of the new recruits had 15- 18 hour journeys.
The 7 of us staying in Accra still had no idea where our accommodation would be or who we would be sharing with and no-one could tell us. Whenever we would ask we would be told tomorrow you will be told and tomorrow never came. Apparently this is the Ghanaian way if they don't know they will never admit it they just say I'll tell you tomorrow - taxi drivers do it too no-one will admit they don't know - Welcome to Ghana as one of the existing volunteers here said when she was explaining this to us, but not everyone gets the British sarcasm as someone got up at this point and said thank you and genuinely meant it.
Any way got to my apartment finally. The water was off (no running water), the gas cylinders were empty and apparently you have to go and get them filled up, no more AC and to top it all the electricity went out- Welcome to Ghana for real.
So to make up, some of us spent a girlie day on Sunday at a really nice hotel lounging by the pool. Ahh this is the life.
Today first day at work, I traveled in on a Tro Tro, the only way to explain a Tro Tro is that it is a bit like a minibus that drives past and the 'mate' shouts out the window the direction or uses hand signals which I am just about learning. You then get on this Tro Tro and at every stop depending on where you are sat you could end up having to get off to let passengers on and off. It is the cheapest form of traffic and great fun as long as you have sense of humour and don't mind hitting your head- which is what I seem to do every time I get off.
I thought I would have a nice easy day the Ghanaian way, it was all going well I arrived at 8.30, was told to wait in the lobby and met my Line Manager (at 9am), who had just flown back from the Philippines the day before and he said he would see me around 10 -11am. Yes a nice easy day I thought and then I would go for some lunch.
Oh no he met me at 10 on the dot, and has now sent me 8 large documents to read and he wants to meet tomorrow at 1pm for my initial thoughts and ideas. I really have been thrown in at the deep end - I suppose this is Welcome to Ghana.
But not to worry I am still having a great time managing to laugh and hopefully will be making you all laugh. I will try and update more regularly as I now have access to the Internet again, and get some photos on, which is proving difficult for security reasons we have been advised not to publicly display goods such as cameras.