Thursday, September 25, 2014

Day 8 Ghana

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We got up at 6 AM, had a breakfast of toast, omelet (already made and sort of warm), cold pork and beans, and purchased juice at 7 AM.  I really wanted some kind of cereal, but then we didn’t have a choice.  We departed at 8 AM and went to the District Offices and eventually met with the councilmen and women in a building that was finished on the outside but wasn’t really completed inside, but their main building, although not large was where their offices were.  The appointed Mayor of the District is a woman, pretty sharp.  We are once again surprised at the difference in working in Ghana, that the government agencies actually do their job and therefore must be supported by the main government of Ghana.  We went over our criteria with them so they’d be able to support us and the communities.  E/S Panter had already seen 6 of 16 communities, but we needed to see them too and we got further than we thought—seeing 8 of them.  It was interesting the variety of communities and villages that we visited—some had lots of decent block/cement buildings, and some were in the very poorest of villages, but all needed more water systems.  We were surprised at how easily the poor villages agreed to raise money to put in a bank account before we were to start any boreholes.
A home in a very poor village, but one that is anxious to save money for a well.

This is in a wealthier community but wouldn’t fix their broken wells, get a bank account to be transparent, or willing to pay a penny for a bucket of their clean water; but they did come up with money to build this community center.

The most ridiculous community we went in (by contrast) had lots of good buildings and was obviously way better off than some of these villages in the bushes.  They had no open bank account, said the people didn’t want to pay (but then, who would if the collector was not transparent?), had 4 boreholes, 2 of which weren’t working because they said the technician couldn’t fix them, and they wanted us to give them more stuff when it was shown they were completely unorganized and lazy and perhaps a bit crooked.  I did find one good use for them though--I got to use their rather decent facilities…

The day was overcast so the morning was pleasant enough as we sat under trees or in buildings, but in the early afternoon it was hot.  At each place as I listened to them droning on and on in another language I found it difficult to stay awake.  At one point we ended up sitting inside a building that they used for a church—it might have been Pentecostal because they had a drum set and giant speakers at the back of the room and had a couple of pictures of Jesus.  As we tried to visit there was a cloudburst and it thundered loudly and the rain came down like a fire hose on the tin roof and no one could hear anything.  Eventually it was time to leave and we made a dash for it as it let up just a little—our umbrellas were in the car of course.  It was nice to be cooler again.

Eventually we’d seen all we could for the day and made for the hotel.  When we arrived it was pounding rain again and the staff came to get us with umbrellas to get us to our rooms, but the power was off and it had gotten dark and we couldn’t see a thing—Jim suggested they not wait for the public power but turn on their generator.  In a few minutes the power thankfully came back on. 

So, after waiting for our dinners, we eventually were able to get to our rooms, get a shower and get ready for bed.  It has been exhausting to say the least.  Tomorrow we will be repeating yesterday’s schedule.  The only difference is that we’ll be up in the hills.  If we can’t finish all the sites we’ll be doing a half day on Friday.  Since we will have one more night at the hotel I wonder what my body will feel like after 3 nights on this bed...                                                      
Another pool that we won't have time to use.
The section of the hotel that we're staying in.

One hard day left to go, and then we go back to Accra.

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