Officially Closed

This blog is officially closed.  Enjoy the archive.

I have been home from Ghana for 10 months.

I have started a new blog – RoamingAbout, featuring photographs from my travels – past and present.

I’ll leave you with one last photo taken in Sandema market – Cooking Cosi.

-vc

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2 July 2011 – Adome Bridge

 

The first time I saw Adome Bridge I was on a Peace Corps bus traveling to Ho from Accra. We turned a corner and the bridge came into view. I was stunned by the silver suspension bridge against the dark green and azure blue background of the sky and forest. After my boat ride on the Volta I tried to capture the bridge in all it’s glory.

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I googled the Adome bridge and discovered it was first used in 1957. We share the same birth year!

 

-vc

2 July 2011 – Boat Ride

 

I wanted a boat ride on the Volta River. It seemed like a 4th of July weekend kind of thing to do. The Dodi Princess left out of Akosombo but I had mixed reviews on the experience. The trip was 6 hours long and the boat would stop on an island for 1 hour. A BBQ lunch was provided. This sounded like a perfect way to spend a day. Then I read my guide book and it said that the music was obnoxiously loud. Then a PCV and a German volunteer said the same thing. Well I could stay on campus and hear obnoxiously loud music for free! I didn’t need to pay 30 cedis for it.

 

My second plan was to hire a local canoe. The taxi driver tried to talk me into the Dodi Princess and so did a receptionist at the Adomi Hotel when I went to ask if they had a boat. So I decided to go to Aylos Bay Resort. Have breakfast and ask them if they had any boat rides on the Volta.

 

I struck gold.

 

The breakfast was good and the environment lovely. It was so lovely that after my boat ride I stayed, wrote and had a coke. And they had a canoe and someone to paddle it for me all for 10 GHC.

 

Check out a few pics from that trip.

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-vc

2 July 2011 – Resorts

In Atimpoku I saw three resorts and there maybe more. I visited Aylos Bay because I heard you could eat on a shaded platform on the water.

 

 

 

My first course, pineapple. I had a good breakfast. I think the presentation made it taste better.

 

The view from my breakfast table.

-vc

-vc

2 July 2011 – Hawkers

People selling things off their head have been a continual joy to me from the day we arrived in Ghana. I love it that I can buy frozen yogurt, boiled eggs, water sachets, bowfruit, minerals, toilet paper and even a flash light out of the window of my tro tro. When traveling through Kumasi to the Sub office I always buy plantain chips a one specific intersection and spring rolls at the next one.

 

Atimpoku, being a major crossroads, has plenty of hawkers. Their wares are a little bit different because of the river. You can buy a kebab of oysters or snails and onions. You can buy a sleeve of prawns. And my favorite Bolo.

 

 

Bolo is a white corn cake cooked in a leaf the size of two hands. The batter is put on one half of the leaf then the leaf is folded over. Many leaves are put in a pot to steam. Oh the bolo is so sweet.

 

-vc

2 July 2011 – Crossroads

 

 

Atimpoku is a major crossroads between Accra and Ho, the capitol of the Volta Region. These signs are typical of  signs you find all over Ghana. They are usually hand painted. I don’t think three are any size or height regulations except maybe in Accra.

It’s everywhere you go!

-vc

7 July 2011 – Form 1 at the Vodafone Internet Cafe

I was so excited I woke 15 minutes before my 6:15 alarm. I took my bath, dressed, ate breakfast and organized the things I wanted to take to Koforidua. Werner got up. Time dragged and at 7:25 I couldn’t wait for them to come at 7:30 so I walked down to campus. I found two of Vida and William sitting on the pump at the bore hole. They sent two of their mates to get Deborah and Frank.

 

Up at the house I had bread with margarine and some cold sachet water. I know it sounds awful but the kids love bread and never get cold water. I also know we were going to Goldie’s for lunch and there they could fill their bellies.  On my way to get Eric I walked by them eating on the porch and I saw Frank give his second piece of bread to one of the water boys.

 

If it takes 1 person 10 minutes to get ready to leave, it takes 2 people 20 minutes etc. After what felt like an hour to me we were all ready to go. The mentors, Werner, Eric and I and the children, Frank, Vida, Deborah and William headed down the path to the junction. At the junction we were lucky enough to find a tro tro that we could all fit in. I held back as Werner, William, Deborah, Frank and Vida disappeared somewhere in the tro. I dubious that the tro would hold us all but the other passengers urged me to get in. The five of them were in the backseat meant for three, Eric was in the jump seat in front of them and I took a seat behind the driver. I think Werner might have felt like he was in a clown car.

 

When it came time to pay the mate only made me pay for 6 of us instead of seven.

 

On the ride to Kof I heard Eric telling the children about the Vodafone Internet Cafe. “It’s air conditioned!” “You will meet big men there.” “The connection is so fast!” I think Eric was just as excited as I was about this trip.

 

We arrived at Kof and the cafe safe and sound. When we entered the cafe I took the kids step by step through buying the time, getting their Username and password and logging in to the Vodafone network. I proudly introduced the kids and my fellow mentors and told the Vodafone employee about the contest.

 

The students successfully logged into their computers and we began our first task – signing up for an Email account. The tutorial they had watched at school had said it would only take 10 minutes to sign up for an account. No way, I thought. Because of my experiences in the library with newbies, I knew 10 minutes was way too optimistic! I planned 30 but even that turned out to be optimistic!

 

Boy oh boy did we all have trouble with the Email accounts. Everything imaginable happened. The students were slow typist but I wanted them to gain experience so we had them type the information requested. Once after Vida had filled everything out she clicked to get her account and the whole tab disappeared. Of course she had to start all over again. Werner was working with William in Gmail and they kept getting the message that this page is unavailable. Everyone had trouble with the hidden letters. If you can read them it means you are human and not some program registering many spam accounts. I guess we were programs because we failed time and time again to decipher the letters and numbers. When the student didn’t get the numbers correct then the registration page came back. They then had to reenter their passwords and remove default setting like, “keep me signed in” and “share my email address with advertisers”. Luckily all the info the typed didn’t have to be reentered!  After 50 minutes everyone had an email account and they had started sending messages to each other.

 

Werner sent them a congratulatory Email with a link to the trailer for the new Pirates movie. This was a good introduction to YouTube! I had a couple of things they could search for – cat and dolphin and guitar lessons. Then they had a free for all. Their interests were immediately apparent. William was watching shots from Wimbledon. Vida was watching a female Ghanaian pop star. Frank was watching football (soccer). Last, Deborah was watching a woman singer as well.

 

I pulled them away from YouTube to show them Wikipedia and the Daily Graphic (Ghana’s major daily newspaper) but after YouTube these sites were snoozers! Note to self: Next time show the students YouTube last.

 

The excursion was very satisfying to me. The kids gained concrete skills. The girls especially could manipulate the mouse better and navigate around the computer screen with more confidence. They saw three different types of websites as well as getting an email account. On a more abstract level I hope I showed them the collaborative nature of the internet and exposed them to a larger world. It’s funny how ICT tools are making the world smaller but also making an individual’s world larger!

 

-vc

Vida Tetteh – Form 1 BASCO

 

5 July 2011

          In these days ICT(Information and Communications Technology) tools are making the world small through the radio. It was our first technology and was rapidly followed by television. We listen to radio and watch television, yet both share the common characteristics of broadcast media.

 

Now a days, ICT tools have made the world smaller through phones because the phone can help us to communicate with our friends, parents and other people. And also ICT tools in the form of computer software have been available for children to use in their homes for some time. Also we can use phones to snap pictures and send them to another country.

 

Vida Tetteh

Form 1 (grade 7)

BASCO

Trotor, ER

Ghana

 

 

Frank Appiah – Form 1 BASCO

5 July 2011

 

The introduction of computers to the world has made the world very small. Some can ask how? This is because you can get information and send information. Now a day’s people hold the world in their hands. With the help of the Internet you can market your goods on this network and as well as buy goods from all over the world. You can see important personalities through Facebook. You can also chat with your family and friends.

 

The invention of the mobile phone has also contributed to making the world smaller. This is because you can get information and also send information to people all around the world. You can call relatives and loved ones through the mobile phone. You can also send text messages to people around the world. You can use the mobile phone to entertain yourself by playing music, games and so on.

 

The introduction of television has also contributed to the world becoming smaller. This is because the television has become very common and some are so small you can even hold them in your hand. The television has united the world in so many ways, for example, you can listen and watch news from all over the world. You can see your favorite stars being interviewed right in front of you. You can also watch movies and educational programs on television. Also you can share your views on television. Something like the 2010 FIFA World cup was watched on television and it was as if you were in the stadium.

 

The invention of the radio has also contributed to making the world smaller. This is because the radio sends news to people all over the world. The radio also helps advertise businesses and products and so many things. The radio helps us to listen to music and comments of people.

 

The introduction of the camera has made the world very small. The camera is a device that no matter where you are standing you can have a good view at what is near to you. It helps you take pictures of loved ones. It also keeps memories like Kwame Nkruma, Nelson Mandela and so many important personalities.

 

All these tools have made the world become very small so that you can get pieces of information from all over the world.

 

Frank Asante Appiah

Form 1 (grade 7)

BASCO

Trotor, Ghana

 

Deborah Amalalo – Form 1 BASCO

5 July 2011

I am happy that the computer is now making the world smaller. Through the computer we can communicate with anyone in the world. Using the computer we can send email and pictures to family, friends and other people all over the world.

Books also can help me learn the history of other countries and about famous people from outside. I can also learn many other things from books like – English, Social Studies, Mathematice. From religious books i can learn religious songs and dances.

The phone also makes the world smaller; through the phone, which we can talk on, I can message to my friends and listen to foreign music. A person can make a phone call from people outside of ghana and feel happy to chat with everyone in the country.

Deborah Amalalo

Form 1(grade 7)

BASCO

Trotor, ER

Ghana

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