My husband and I are 'retired' but travel all over the third world developing clean water projects funded by our church. We get paid only in blessings. Life is a joy when it has meaning, and life is truly interesting for us! We have been to Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nepal, Haiti, Mongolia, the Pacific Islands and Ghana. We come home to hugs from our children and many grandchildren.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Third Day, Ghana
Wednesday September 17, 2014
I went to bed late last night, getting less than 5 hours of sleep. I need to quit doing this! This morning we met in the lobby of the hotel
before to meet
Elder & Sister Dever (exports from Liberia, now being assigned to Kumasi, Ghana) and traveled to the District Office where the
District Chief Executive and his development team were waiting. They led us to four areas of possible water
projects, out in the poorer areas of the district. They will be doing the hygiene training, so we
are anxious to see their program later in the week. It was pretty much determined that this well
project would go forward, but we needed to meet with each group to ensure that
they would be willing to save enough money to achieve a portion (usually 10%)
of the cost of the well. This money may
or may not to be used by us, but to show that they can save money to be used
when the pump breaks. When a certain
amount is achieved, we will go ahead and drill or dig the well. There are many more boreholes here than hand
dug wells because of the depth of the water.
In every case, some very willing, some reluctant and had to be talked
into it, agreed that they could get the money.
Since they have had other water systems that they have kept working, it
is a good sign that they will keep another one going as well.
It was a cloudy day, keeping the sun at bay. We are thrilled with the cooler weather (it
is not cool, but just not nearly as hot as it often gets here). At the end of the day we saw a few other
wells that we had refurbished quite a few years ago, and then got back to the
hotel by 6, ate by 7:30, and had a little time to get other work done. Because we have to go earlier tomorrow, I am
hoping I actually get to sleep at a reasonable hour…yeh, right!
The lobby of the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi, Ghana
Another pool we don't have time to use.
One of the nice things about this hotel is that they have a lady who
asks new customers how they like their accommodations and then tries to fix any
problems. They are really trying to be
the very best hotel! So, if our beds
were a little too hard, they add memory foam liners. If Jim can’t get the ATM to work, she helps
him do that. If our friends, who aren’t
using the hotel can’t get the Internet to check their e-mail, she helps them
with that too. They are really very
accommodating! How nice.
Thursday: We did a repeat of yesterday, again meeting WATSAN
(water/sanitation government group), going out to see communities to see if a
project can be done, with them providing lunch.
I say this because it has not been our experience in other countries
that a group that works for the government ever does anything for you—in fact, we always had to pay them to come to do their job. If we wanted their help, we had to provide
fuel for their vehicles or take them around in ours. You can really tell how much better this
country is doing because of things like this.
It was another grueling day, and it is when we are finally back to our room after
dinner, and that is only because we got the buffet instead of ordering food,
which would have added at least 30-60 minutes to our dinnertime. We rode around with E/S Dever again, while Clarence & Bullocks traveled
together, again with Clarence driving.
The dirt roads are full of giant potholes that sometimes encompass the
entire road, and they are filled with water.
Sometimes it got surprisingly deep. More than half of our day we get tossed around
like rag dolls as we travel long distances between communities. Tomorrow we get to do it again—I can hardly
It’s been a bit
of a fun ride passing through a road riddled with giant potholes filled with
The funny thing for me today was that I couldn’t stay awake while we had
these meetings in the villages. I kept
passing out and even dreaming, and I did that 10 times in less than an
hour. I think my late nights, coupled
with jetlag, really have begun to affect me.
I was hoping that no one noticed.
But when everything is spoken in a foreign language, it is doubly hard
to stay awake!
The man below in the
yellow shirt is the chief. I had no
clue—obviously not a traditionalist. In
the next picture it is obvious who the chief is. The traditionalist chief had an opening
prayer and as was translated to us, he said that first we give thanks to God,
and then we can give thanks to others (such as LDS Charities, who are going to
help them with water). In the villages
not very many people spoke English, so in all our travels, Clarence spoke for
us. While there, he also promoted his
campaign as part of a polio initiative, which was to start Friday. He is a polio initiative volunteer, which the
church is highly involved in and is assisting the Red Cross just like they do
for the measles initiative. The members
work freely to try and get children into the clinics for their polio vaccine.