6 December 2010 – Staying at BASCO

From my previous posts you have read that there has been some small, small troubles at BASCO. To add to the troubles the promise of my second room had not been fulfilled. Rob, the Programing and Training Office and my boss’s boss, and Mary, my boss, had told me a little over a month after I arrived that they may pull me out of BASCO for a while to show them how important it is to keep the promise of a second room. I agreed but the unsettled feeling it left me with added to my general malaise.

Through late October and early November I kept them advised of the progress of the second room. The last week of October I returned from my visit up north and found that the foundation ditches were dug for a big 4 room building. This is where my kitchen, what we called the second room, would be housed. But today is remains ditches only.

There were many phone calls between Rob, Mary, myself and the director. Rob and Mary were very supportive with all the problems I have encountered here at BASCO. At one point Rob even promised me cheese!

A week and a half before Thanksgiving I told the director that I was going to Accra for Thanksgiving and to have a meeting with Rob and Mary. Unbenkownst to me, that Monday Rob had laid it on the line. If you want a PCV then get that second room. I found this out in my next converstation with Rob, later that week. The director said he was going to have to fire a teacher and that I could have his room.  Rob asked me the likelyhood of this happening. I said “Zilch! The man he wants to fire is the Senior Housemaster and a close friend of the Headmaster. It won’t happen.”

The director came to visit on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and asked when I was going to Accra. I told him Wednesday morning. He said that I would have my kitchen by Tuesday. He also told me about dismissing the Senior Headmaster. I was still skeptical so imagine my surprise when on Tuesday evening, he handed me a key to a room in the building next to ours.

Friday, after Thanksgiving, I met with Rob and Mary. They were as surprised by the news as I was. Yet because of all the other problems they were still willing to consider reposting me some where else. We discussed all the issues once again and how they had been handled. I think they were giving me a chance to vent. Ultimately it became my decision to go or stay.

I decided to stay for many reasons. The biggest reason I decided to stay was personal and totally selfish. My German friends, Lousia, Werner, and Johan. I am enjoying gettting to know them and we form a good support group in this difficult place. The next biggest reason is that I know I am leaving Ghana in September 2011. I really don’t want to go to a new site and start again. The first three months at site involve a big investment in time and energy. The first term with a group of students is always a term for laying the foundation of the relationship and teaching that happen in the classroom. I have done that with these students and we will have two good terms of learning now. If I move I will have to lay those foundations all over again and it leaves me with only one good term of teaching before i return to America.

This project is different. It’s a pilot project and there is still so much to learn about working in a situation about this. Is it this particular school/orphanage that is so troublesome or is it something fundamental to the nature of school/orphanages. Even handling the problems gives Peace Corps information for similar situations in the future. I am nestled into a village here and there are many opportunities for working in the village. The location is also good if i want to work with training next summer. It’s less than an hour from the training site.

For all these reasons some expressed to Rob and Mary, some not expressed, I decided to stay. I think it is a good decision.



1 Comment

  1. kemah ep said,

    January 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I very much enjoyed reading your blog entries about BASCO. My wife and I are planning to move there in the summer. It’s been insightful to hear the “behind the scenes” stories. Perhaps we can stay in touch.

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