Thursday, 14 February 2008

Valentine's Day

Hi All
It's St Valentine's Day today, a big event on the Ghanaian social calender so we will all be partying tonight and buying red roses. It is hard to believe it is February already, and the temperature is 4o in Bristol. Here the days are getting hotter and hotter, the Harmatten wind, which was fresher but dusty, has mostly passed, and no rain expected till April at the earliest.

The good news is that we now have internet in the VSO office in Bolga, so I am much more relaxed than sitting in a busy internet cafe, although the electricity could go off at any moment and I'll lose all the photos etc.

The last few weeks have been really busy, mostly because of the visit of 2 close friends and my daughter, Jessie. We spent 2 weeks travelling around in the south, to the Akisombo Dam which supplies all the electricity for the whole country, to Anomabu near Cape Coast, on the coast, where the fishing boats are beautiful, surfing on palm tree lined beaches, and eating lots of fresh seafood, a visit to Kakum National Park with the canopy walkway, and a trip to Mole National Park to watch the elephants bathing. Then we travelled back up to the north, more aware than ever of the north/south divide as the ground gets browner and drier and the river beds are all dried up. The north has a special beauty, with the round mud huts, stumpy baobab trees, dusty red roads, and red rounded hills.

Jessie has been working doing some art work - painting a mural- at the school in Zuarungo where we are installing the borehole. She leaves next week, which will make me very sad to see her go.

On the subject of the borehole - this week the contractor, who has a lot of local knowlegde, has surveyed the site, and pegged out where the borehole will be situated. It is likely that it will be drilled in a couple of weeks, and the installation and cementing a couple of weeks later. The money raised was just enough to cover a borehole for this one school, plus 4 hand wash basins, so a HUGE THANKYOU to everyone who contributed. I am really pleased that it is all happening so soon. My only regret is that we can't all the other desperately needy schools I have visited. The first photo is of the nursery 'building' for 300 children at a village school.

I am now getting more stuck into my work, with lots of meetings trying to set up the school management committees and PTAs, and encouraging parents to support their children's learning. It is hard when the schools have no resources and the parents are so poor.

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