Greetings, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the Olympic coverage as much as I am. For those of you who watched the opening ceremony and saw the Ghanaian Olympic team, I have a little trivia. They were wearing kente cloth, which is a traditional cloth that is made only in ghana and is woven in strips about 6 inches wide and 9 feet long. The pattern of kente bears special significance, and certain patterns are only allowed to be worn by dignitaries or royalty — I’m told that that pattern was woven especially for that team.
I’m experiencing one of those things in life where I am forced to do something that I have absolutely no desire to do. I liken it to going to the DMV, sitting through a bad movie, or going back to school at the end of the summer.
In fact, that last one is pretty much it. I went to site, did my thing, enjoyed doing my thing greatly, and then had to get on a tro and spend 8+ hours getting back here. Why am I back here? To spend another week taking some tests, do the swearing in ceremony, and then go *back* to site. I’m ready to get to work, and to use a term my mother can appreciate, I’m chomping at the bit.
On a more positive note, it was really cool to see everyone again, share pictures and stories about our sites, and commiserate about traveling. It was also good to see my host family, who have become a second family to me here.
It was also interesting to see how different life at site was from life here. People in and around my site are much more subdued; they’re still friendly, but they aren’t as insistent to know everything about you. I wonder if that comes from the fact that there have been two volunteers at this site before me (the third white guy isn’t nearly as interesting as the first), or if it is just a difference in the regional culture. My site village is also much more remote — it’s about the same size as Old Tafo, if not bigger, but the road is much rougher and a 30 kilometer trip to the nearest big city takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Old Tafo, on the other hand, is right on the main road to Koforidua, which by comparison is much nicer and makes for much quicker travel.
The most surprising part of the whole trip to site wasn’t even at site itself. I stopped at the Kumasi Sub-Office to check the place out, and I was pleasantly surprised. The place is svelte. It has wireless internet access! and a full kitchen! and hot running water! and books that I haven’t read yet! It was incredible. I downloaded email, grabbed about 17 books, and talked to a couple of PCVs who were enjoying some downtime, and then got back on the road. Now that I know where it is, you can expect pictures in about a week and a half.
Alright. I have to get ready to cook this afternoon — Peace Corps is making us prove that we can actually make edible food so that we won’t starve to death at site. My menu is grilled chicken sandwiches with tomato, cocoa yam leaves, and a carrot, onion, and eggplant tapenade… I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll pass. As always, keep the questions coming.