Hello, our names are Alex and Winifred.
I’m (Alex, 21) from a town called Muswell Hill in North London. I’m loving everyday of my experience in Ghana with Lattitude ICS. A couple months preceding my departure, I graduated from the University of Nottingham after three years of studying. As a opposed to getting a job straight away, I couldn’t resist the temptation to take a year off for travelling, to have invaluable experiences you simply wouldn’t find back in the UK. I’ve been living in Adaklu Waya, Ghana, for more than two months now and couldn’t be more happier and appreciative of the lifestyle I’ve come to find. It’s the pure communal nature of this town, the wildlife, the work we’re conducting, there’s so many things to value.
I am Winifred from the Volta Region of Ghana . My hometown is the legal route and the final destination to the Democratic Republic of Togo. Being a product of University for Development Studies I really love community development works and have passion for humanitarian projects. In fact being on this ICS program has helped me to be open minded and integrate into other people’s culture.
We will be describing the previous week, just a snippet of our grand experience here in Adaklu.
Every Monday, two members of the group (one UKV and one ICV), are tasked with performing an ACD (Active Citizenship Day) presentation to the rest of the group. The turn was Ruby and Alberta’s. Their subject of choice was poverty. This is a very interesting and informative presentation where the group learnt far more about extent of global poverty, the differences between relative and absolute poverty, and ways in which poverty can be eradicated. It was the type of presentation which really makes one comprehend the importance of the work they are conducting. The whole team became fully engaged in the discussion over the issue of poverty. Even after the presentation had finished, we stayed behind to debate and understand our different conceptions of poverty and how best to eliminate it.
Tuesday saw the commencement our weekly team meeting. In the first few weeks of the cycle, these meetings would last about 40 minutes. It’s a chance for each primary team (Groundnut, Maize, vegetable and Kente) to inform the rest of the group of their recent activities, what they’ve achieved, what’s next ect.. This also applies to our secondary teams (media, planning and logistics, safety and security, marketing and events). The meetings which were once 40 minutes however now last almost 2 hours. It’s a potent indicator of how much more work we’re doing now that we’ve matured into the cycle. On top of the usual group catch ups, we also discussed our upcoming first aid event in Anfoe and our approaching visit to Cape Coast.
Wednesday is usually a more relaxed day for volunteers. There’s no meetings or presentations to be given, only a social to attend to in the evening. This is not to say we’re not doing anything. Most of us will be engaged in meetings for their farming groups or their secondary groups. Some of us also choose to go teaching at the local primary school, I (Alex) enjoy this very much. Usually 3 or 4 times a week, I will teach my P5 class math, history or English. When I initially started teaching, I was supported and aided by a Ghanaian teacher. However, as a result of maternity leave, she was no longer able to teach her pupils. This unfortunately left the P5 class without a teacher. As result, I try my best to go into school as much as I can, to teach and set the pupils homework, to offer what I can in the absence of their teacher. Several other volunteers also perform a similar task. Rahim for example has been teaching in Waya JHS. He has been doing this since the start of our cycle and is one of the few to still do it.
On Wednesday evening, all the volunteers attending Matt and Richard’s social. Much to the delight of the group, there was a bonfire, as well as drinks and food prepared for us. We played a game called assassin which soon became very popular. It’s a fairly complicated game in which each volunteer is secretly designated a role, it’s a game of mystery and deceit. The aim is to decipher which two volunteer’s are the assassins before the entire team are eliminated. Even after the social had officially finished, we continued to play a few more rounds. As it got later, many people started to leave, however a small group stayed behind to listen to music by the fire, we talked into the night.
We had our MCD (My Culture Day) presentation on Thursday. This is a chance for sole volunteer, or a group of volunteer’s, to tell the rest of the team about where they come from. This week, it was Tilly, Ruby and Chloe who educated the group about the South East of England, they focused largely on the City of London. It was a fascinating presentation which taught the group about events such as the fire of London and the bubonic plague. As a team, we also learnt more about the culture of this part of the UK.
In the afternoon, we group conducted their first aid event in Anfoe. Having performed the same presentation in Waya the week before, each volunteer was far more confident about their role. You could see this by just how swiftly and professionally the presentation ran. My (Alex) designated topic to inform the local community about was small cuts and epilepsy. Epilepsy was a very interesting topic because there is a very strong stigma against the mental condition. There were many things to address. For example, that epilepsy wasn’t contagious, furthermore that it wasn’t anything to do with witchcraft or the devil. This is very rewarding to educate the community these facts since a housemate at university had the condition. It was fulfilling to know that perhaps people in the local community who suffer from epilepsy will now be better taken care of.
On Friday, we had our KWIK (know what I know) presentation. This was performed by Alberta and Tilly. The first half of their KWIK was focused on how to make a particular type of Ghanaian jewelry with fabric
which involves a lot of buttons. The group were split into groups of 4 and were tasked to design a piece. When we were finished, all pieces were displayed and we voted as a team which one was the best. The second half of the presentation was headed by Tilly, it was focused on human anatomy which was very interesting, we’re sure each member learnt something new about the human body.
After a fairly long week, the weekend was welcomed graciously by the team. But there were few sleep ins on Saturday as most of the volunteers were up and ready to play football at 6am. We can definitely see major improvements in how we play together. It’s a very enjoyable way to spend the morning. Bring on Cape and Abro teams! In the afternoon, some members of the team also practiced a skit they will perform in the upcoming awareness event on marketing and branding. Aside from these, most of the volunteers were free to relax and enjoy the weekend.
It’s a weird thought to consider how little time we have left in this beautiful community. But we cant wait to utilize that time as much as possible before we are both home. It’s been a pleasure to catch you up on the activities of our previous week. Thank you our lovely fans for reading our snippet of our journey. We hope we have the best of luck as we enter into the last few weeks of this cycle! Akpe name!