Sunday, 25 November 2007

2 months in Bolga

Hi Folks
It's been ages since I last updated this blog - I've been very busy, plus the internet connection has been despairingly slow for weeks, plus electric power cuts, but today I'm going to be lucky.
Life here is wonderful, hot, much slower pace of life, everything just seems harder work, but compensated by the most friendly wonderful people you can imagine, and all sorts of unexpected quirky wonderful encounters with random people.
In the last month I have been to the NAtional Arts and Culture Festival in Kumasi, on the day that the Upper East Region were performing, lots of drumming and dancing. To Tamale for the 6 week meeting of all the volunteers who came out in September, really good to meet up again to exchange stories. Last week we had motorbike training, to get us used to the rather different road conditions here- dirt roads and clouds of dust, avoiding cows, donkeys, pigs, goats, sheep, hens and guinea fowl. All good fun, and the shower at the end of the day was the best bit.

my work has been a bit disrupted by these activities, but I am gradually iidentifying my role here, helping the schools to get effective PTAs and School Management Committees. There are 85 schools in the Bolga area, so I need to identify exactly which ones I will concentrate on.

On the subject of schools, my daughter Jessie, is coming out to visit in January and will be doing some craft sessions in our local primary school. The school, for 500 kids, does not have a running water supply, just a barrel which gets filled daily. The children go to the Head in tears because there is no water for them to drink - how on earth are they expected to concentrate on lessons???? I have found out that if I can raise 5% of the cost of a borehole i.e. 200 pounds, then Rural Aid, which gets its funding from the UK based charity Water Aid, will provide the 95%. So, for every 200 quid I can raise- with your help, then another school gets a water supply. If you can contribute, please get in touch with Jessie on 07969 256046. A little donation can have a big impact. Needless to say there's no electric supply either, but that's less urgent.

I've also been up to Sirigu, to the Sirigu Womens Pottery and Arts project, beautiful pottery, fabrics, painted houses and canvas paintings in the tradtionall house style, lovely, and inspiring. And to the Crocodile Pond at Paga where the tamest croc in the world posed for its photo.
I'll send this off now, I'm terrified of the internet cutting out before I publish it.
Love you all