Saturday, May 12, 2007
News Flash! Today the GCJ Ghanaian alums decided to host a Town Hall Followup to be held on third Tues in July, probably in the new WHH facility!
posted by Maryanne at 11:06 AM
Monday, May 07, 2007
Another excellent day. Spent the am working on James’ drafts of job descriptions, including one for the responsibilities of the Board. Not real exciting, but we want drafts to give to the Board on Wed.
In pm, we (Esi, Annie, Anastasia and I) went out to the Nursing Institute. There we met John, first of all, who introduced us to Patricia Odot and Sabina Bilson. They were most cordial. P and S gave us a very good review of the public health aspects of our children’s home—not just sanitation, but hygiene in general, medical examinations, nine vaccinations for children provided free by gov’t, need for bednets and general malaria prevention actions, inspections by various officials, requirements, etc. I will type up a formal report for Board and Esi. Anastasia took good notes—we’re practicing on doing the various duties of her job. The computer we brought for the Nursing School is not well—they sent it to be repaired because the charger is not working. The question is whether to order one from the company. Hmm. Does anyone have any wisdom on this that I could pass on to them? They seemed unsure if it was the battery that couldn’t be charged, or the actual charger. Are we sure it was ok for 240?
We also discussed water—they are for the pipe method. Annie is starting to think that way, too, although she still likes bore holes, because once they have them, they have water forever, power or no power to run the pumps. But, the public health nurses were pretty adamant that we should use the pipe, if at all possible, and have a polytank to store water for washing, garden, emergency, etc. Barbara, Bo emailed me the Mercer Is. Rotary “World Committee” is still reviewing our request for funds for the polytank and stand. Could you perhaps give him a call? I can send out emails, but laboriously only via the webmail site. # is (206) 275-0426. He has the pro forma invoice, description, etc.
While rendezvousing at Bentil’s and just before leaving for Nursing school, who should appear but Constance! She’d heard I was in town. She said at least 10 women wanted to meet with me to report on what they’ve been doing with what they learned in the women’s workshop!! Isn’t that terrific?!! So, she’s going to set it up and let me know. I told her about the DVD I have about the charcoal out of coconut husks, and they want to see it. Thank goodness I brought the little RadioShack portable speaker for my computer. I hope it all works. Where’s Tom when I need him, or Jeanie for nursing stuff, or Diana for women, or … where are you all anyway?? I could stand a little help, if you don’t mind…if at least a few of you could interrupt your busy, busy schedules….
Then back to my “office”—could do worse than working out of #13, overlooking the Atlantic!! We can’t use Word, Excel, etc., yet, because we’ll wait until Frank comes with the “real” disks. We don’t want to just get the 60 day trials going, only to have to redo the activation when he comes because hooking to the internet is a real pain. But, we started in with Quicken. Today we got all the deposits entered for the bank statements we had. One was missing, which Patrick will get tomorrow—Anastasia should be able to do that, but James hasn’t given the authorization for her, yet. We’ve decided to pretend the currency system is already done and the Ghana Cedi is in place (10,000 will equal 1 after June 30, I believe) so that the whole of 2007 will “work” decimal point-wise. She did very well. Had to be taught how to “round up” and “round down”, but basically she loved it. She wants shirts designed with the WCHH logo, etc. and asked if I thought Americans might buy them too. I said I thought maybe about 15 would (did I hear a “yes” just now…?). This because it’s the “in” thing here—workers are all getting shirts alike—here at ABH everyone wears “the shirt” every day, including managers, etc. They talk about “their team” now, too. And the bigger companies, like the port at Tema, have special shirts for Fridays, etc they told me. All the shirts seem to have the Ghana color scheme of yellow, green, red, and black. The only thing missing at ABH seems to be customers—we had quite a few but now they’ve thinned out. Too bad—it’s just such a nice place.
Then, just as I was walking Anastasia to the taxi stand, who should appear but Benard from the Ghana Water Board, who Ravyn and I had met before!! He had come up to email Ravyn and also to see if I was here. The network is percolating, I guess. We talked briefly about developments on the water stuff. He said the World Bank is getting involved, but not in the “main” town of Axim, where the need is so great. He needed to go, but we agreed to meet with Stephen at their office on Thursday or Friday, and with my map. So, I will before them review the school notebook with Ravyn’s notes before that. Thank goodness you gave it to me, Ravyn!
And some more learnings: Old Soldier wants Hillary for Pres because he thinks America needs healing and therefore a woman will be best. Anastasia also wants Hillary, because if we get a woman maybe Ghana will, too. She and I are learning internet searching by finding contact info for Oprah, because she wants to invite Oprah to our dedication (I explained the concept of “long shot” to her!). There are a lot of one-man boats out there line fishing (in open ocean)—for some reason I hadn’t seen them before. Seems dangerous, but they say not when the water is calm.
I put out the word that I will not ride in a taxi without a seat belt. They not only get the seat belt working, but rather elaborately wipe it off with a cloth and the seat, too, for good measure, and they circle me a lot, hoping that I succumb, I guess, and will need a ride. And I haven’t mentioned the weather, but succumbing would be entirely a natural thing. It is hot, and very. very wet. I think it’s worse than before—it’s fairly dry in the morning and by about 7:00 at night, there’s water on the tables, but it hasn’t rained. In picking up Old S yesterday, I heard a call and it was the Queen Mother herself in her very ordinary house, cooking a meal outdoors in front for her grandchildren, including beautiful twin girls, that she proudly introduced to me. A happy humble, very basic woman I think, with piles of wrapped kenke around, etc. She told me Mahara said her food “smells of Africa” and gave me some to smell. I asked her what her responsibilities were: she said anything the king asks. She said she also has land, and if anyone needs it, she will give, even to me. Barbara, she would make a good interviewee for you, I think. And at church Sunday, we “Amas” (all the people born on Saturday) won the offering! The custom is to dance up to the offering basket with your birth day mates, and you do this several times. It’s kind of a contest to see which birth day mate groups contribute the most. Hmmm…I threw in 10,000 (US $1 but quite a lot here). Do you suppose….?
Annie told me they tried to teach the children how to sit in circles and “share” when they had the Easter party, but instead of the 50 or so they had in mind, 600 children showed up! Forget circles!! Justine was there and said it was really fun, but a madhouse. Finally one of the young guys came and just put on some music, loud, and everyone danced and had a blast. They had chicken meals, which the adults broke apart with their bare hands to try to have enough. Justine said it was a “loaves and fishes” day. They are new to all of this and learning as they go.
Didn’t go to the site today. Just too much else going on. Tomorrow, Manye School, then James is coming to work on site and Board stuff, and A and I will continue to work on the financial recordkeeping.
And yes, the sunsets are gorgeous, the magic is here on this bluff over the ocean. Did I mention how much fun this is?
Goodnight. Next time…Maryanne
posted by Maryanne at 2:06 PM
Sunday, May 06, 2007
posted by Maryanne at 10:52 AM
These are our kids that were at Manye the day I visited. Many were not there—it was the first day of the new term. Annie can’t WAIT to get them into the facility so she can make sure they go to school every day. I met each of these kids, matched their names to my little photo album, gave them a letter from my wonderful book group friends, and in general it was a great day. We were yelling “bozo”. One of the teachers practiced with us, and then took this shot.
posted by Maryanne at 10:38 AM
Below is yesterday’s—Esi, Annie, and Old Soldier just left. I went to church with Esi and Annie—to the Catholic church. Really nice service, and I appreciated that Father Paul summarized his sermon to me, during the service, in English. Great music. Esi spoke a few times during the service—she’s really a gifted speaker, I think. She also introduced me and mentioned WCHH which I appreciated. I spoke briefly with Father Paul and both extended the invitation James had asked me to extend for him to join the WCHH Board, and also asked him to contact Jerome with a specific project with objective, problem that would be solved, bill of materials, costs, etc. He laughed and said he would, and that he knew Americans always wanted all the details. Yes, we do!!! Then I brought the three of them back here for lunch and a good talk about many things, esp. politics, water in the community, etc. It was fun, a day of rest and relaxation which I was really feeling the need for, and informative, too. Such great people—we call ourselves “the four old soldiers.”
Here are my notes from yesterday. The power was down, the internet finally came up, but so weak a signal that I couldn’t get anything, so. Here you are:
First THE HIGHLIGHT DAY OF KUNDUM IS OFFICIALLY SEPT 15. WE WILL PROBABLY HAVE A DEDICATION FOR OUR FIRST BUILDING THE 12TH OR 13TH. We’ve having a WCHH Board meeting on Wed., and I will try to get the dedication date nailed down, but Kundum is for sure, per Bentil..
I’m typing this off-line and hoping it will paste. My internet bill has been mounting. Finally got the “office” computer updated—107 updates. The power failed 7 times and I think Leif is a total hero for getting the UPS battery gadget in place! It took 13.5 hours to just to do the updates! I am now the Update Queen of Axim. To celebrate, we are going to have a durbar, and we will incinerate every Windows 98 and earlier computer within 50 miles of Axim. We will put the ashes in a fancy Ghanaian coffin, go down to the beach, and head it to America. Kind of a spiritual home for the souls of obsolete computers and perhaps the most appropriate moral resting place for the hazardous waste therein. Watch for it!!
The day started with a call from John A at 5:40 am, asking about how it went with my journey to find “veronica buckets.” He was disappointed I hadn’t see the biggest one, but I think I get the idea. It’s a little bit challenging to wake up and appear engaged over veronica buckets at that time of the day! He’s very energetic and passionate, though, about his work. So who was I to complain?
Then came the perfect breakfast, which I have discovered: koko (sour maize porridge), fresh pineapple juice, and Milo with a touch of instant coffee.
About internet–today the ABH got wireless back. The 35? km radius is not yet in place, but Jonas and James talked today about a signal sharing deal, so…moving right along.
Today James and I went to WTI, met Hajara (first time for us to meet), and had a nice little ceremony with the three “scholarship girls” — Elizabeth, Gifty, and Matilda — that Diana is sponsoring. They all three want to do catering, but they may change their minds when they see the options. James discussed the practical aspects of catering with Hajara and the girls, per Diana’s comments that the restaurants need people with practical hands-on cooking experience and not just theoretical. We made it into a nice little ceremony with the certificates Diana had made, and the check for whatever $645 is in cedias at 9100. Diana, James had not passed on the earlier wire to Hajara, because he thought it would be nice for me to give it all at once. James giving a little speech of welcome and encouragement, and Hajara and the assist. head mistress weighing in as well. Hajara was wearing her “HIV/AIDS avoid unprotected sex” t-shirt. We also visited the computer lab, which inspired the above comments. 20 computers, Here are the models: IBM 433x/s and Dell 425s/NP. Anyway, also gave Hajara pens and your package Diana. She was extremely pleased with the whole thing, I thought. She gave me costs, etc. for the girls for a three-year stint, which I’ll share with you later, Diana.
After WTI, on to stop in at the government resident of Mr. Ellimah, the mayor. Wasn’t sure whether or not to thank him for the barracuda, so I kept quiet. James said we were just dropping in, but he did come out wearing his GCJ shirt, so…it must have been planned. He was very very cordial. We sat on his little covered area, overlooking the town and with ocean view. He said the British had built the place as the governor’s house, and chose a good vantage point. We discussed the Town hall results, and I think he was a little surprised, and maybe slightly amused, when I hauled out the thirteen pages of notes which I have been carrying around for days in case such a meeting should happen. ! I told him I was aware already of two achievements: the lights on the boat problem has been solved according to many reports (people are sort of reporting to me as I walk around town…) and believe it or not, the streets are being tarred! Of course, I’m sure it was in the works long before our visit, but I brought it up that it was one of the top priorities that came out of the meeting. And this is true: main street, the street by Bentil’s office and the other one leading from the castle are or are being tarred. The dust is really controlled a lot by this! It’s amazing. The only drawback, which I brought to his attention, is that the taxi drivers are even going faster, and people have to be even more vigilant. I suggested perhaps thinking about speed bumps. I thought that was about enough of suggestions from me. We discussed the WCHH building project, and he was very positive. Said the town is growing rapidly in that direction, and it’s a good addition to facilities. I asked him about that—growing rapidly??? He said yes, and I didn’t prob too much. I brought up my two main concerns: water and the road to the WCHH facility. But he assured me the pumping station at the turn-off is close enough that a pipe will do it, and indicated they would fill in the road with gravel until it was permanently fixed, because of the new residents going in up there. I hope he’s both right and sincere. He thanked us and, like the king, said he appreciated our practical modest approach. I told him that a friend (Barbara, your friend James B) had suggested cataloging the native plants, esp. herb types, as a possible labor-intensive cash crop. He told me who to contact. Meanwhile, after we left, who should knock our own car window but the very guy who handles the “Parks and Gardens” facility, so I think Mr. A had called him to flag us down.
Also, was flagged down by OLD SOLDIER! He was happy to see me and will come to see me at ABH after church tomorrow. I’m going Catholic tomorrow, with Esi, so I can connect with Father Paul to both invite him to be active on the WCHH Board, and also with Jerome’s request to put together a specific need and accompanying budget.
Back to Mr. A because I also brought up the water situation in the town and our desire to extend water availability. He said the good news is that the World Bank is going to do a major water development project to encompass the town (Ravyn, do you hear the drums pounding?). But, he also said that perhaps we could get some help in some very poor Muslim neighborhoods, or mixed Christian/Muslim that are pretty far from town center, and won’t get water for a while, even though World Bank is funding it. They have to start with existing pipes and build out. Anyway, he said on Monday he would get someone to contact me and give me details. I told him that might be something we go work on through Ravyn etc. Conversation ended with Mr. E saying he’d come to the ABH with more info on this. A good meeting, I thought. He said he had the Town Hall notes, and seemed pretty familiar with the contents, considering his position, etc. I told him I’d heard him speak briefly at the durbar in Nkroful, which seemed to be something positive for him.
Anyway, then to pick up a bunch of chicken and rice lunches for the workers and then to the building site. The far part is completely done now as to walls, windows, etc. The masons and plasterer were working today. The walls on the Manye side are just about at full height–I’d say two more rows will do it. James seemed pleased, but he is pushing, which I’m glad to see. He said he will come on Tuesday to make his presence felt.
Then we went out to Lou Moon for lunch, which was about half as good as lunch at the ABH—I wasn’t very impressed. It’s a nice resort, with a really nice beach, but I like the ABH better, in terms of view. It’s run by a Belgian guy who has designed it himself.
Wanted to say I met Henry and Veronica Tetteh. I think he is a pastor who does literacy work. They knew Mahara, and he mentioned her “strength”, and by the way he flexed his muscles, I don’t think he was referring to spiritual strength! “My God,” he said, “she walked miles! “
I forgot to say earlier that Esi is on the Board of Advisors for Manye Academy, so that is good for our kids.
My goal in the next couple of days is really to prepare for the Board mtg. I have a lot of concerns about going forward, plans, responsibilities, etc.
So, dear readers, another chapter. Oh, BTW, Patrick has formally discussed with Esi, Annie, and Anastasia that in his opinion the “Christian” should be dropped from WCHH! They are in complete agreement, Esi esp. because the headmaster of Manye is Muslim and expressed his concern, she said. They approached me, but I told them they’d have to petition the Board and make their wishes known to all of us. I’m personally entirely positive and Rich and I campaigned for this at the get-go, but….the wheels turn…. And speaking of Patrick: I’ve heard lot about death and funerals, which I’ll share when I get back. Most of our folks seem to have had multiple funerals since we left. I made the unilateral decision to “help” Patrick with some extra food and water, etc. which he seems to really appreciate, because in my judgment, the funeral thing is just too complex for us to get involved in. It’s just basically a family thing and I kind of feel it’s better if we don’t get directly involved in it because it’s really complicated and we inevitably would not be fair to all, or get it quite right. Hope that’s OK with all of you,.
Goodnight for now! Maryanne
posted by Maryanne at 10:23 AM
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Didn’t get to this last night, so I’ll try to summarize. Yesterday I did meet with Awulae (aka the king) for a while. Annie, Esi and I delivered the fabric to Mary his wife, and he invited us in and talked for quite a while. He thanked GCJ for our efforts, and also said a lot of people come talk,talk, talk, but we do and it’s “wonderful.” He was very positive about Mr Biney coming on board as our contractor, and let me know he had something to do with that decision. So, a good man, who is trying to do a good job. He said he was going up to the site at 5:00 after work to have a look. I shared my big concerns: water and road condition. He said there is a pumping station right at the junction, but it will need a pump. We went searching for standpipes today and found a couple, but we want our own so we don’t have to pay someone else. He didn’t address the road condition, and since we’ll be meeting again with Board, I didn’t press. He did acknowledge, though.
Pretty much all the rest of day was spent on James’ computer, which after about 7 hours, and help from Leif over the phone, etc. I got completely updated, etc. What a stretch…Thank goodness we really have quite good ethernet connection here.
John and his friend dropped in (John from Nursing Inst). It was great to see him. He told me about “Veronica buckets” (more below). All is going well for him. I showed him and his friend some photos etc. from my “Ghana Best” folder.
This morning Esi, Annie, Anastasia and I went to Manye School. We met about 17 of the kids. It was really fun. They just started the new term yesterday, so all was kind of relaxed. Quite a few of the teachers came out, too. I rallied “our” kids because I had a small photo book with their pictures and names, and I called out the name and the child came up and I greeted him/her, etc. So shy, but enthusiastic, too. I’ve got to post a photo tomorrow. I don’t have the photos downloaded–just ran out of time. Maybe tomorrow night. I gave them the “letters” from the book group, which they LOVED! In fact, it was a bit of a problem, because at that very moment, a bunch of “other” kids came running up, swearing they too wanted letters. One boy even came up and whispered to me he too was an orphan. But when I said, are you really? he smiled sheepishly and said “no”. So, I got all of the “others” and their teachers together and took a whole bunch of photos and showed them, etc. until they kind of forgot about the letters. Then, two teachers and and four of us all of us tramped on the path up to the “home”. We now are building a “home”, not an orphanage. This is because of Ghana’s official registration, which requires all children in an orphanage to be TRUE orphans—both parents died. And WCHH has a more encompassing mission, so, it’s better. There are only five real registered orphanages in Ghana, but many officially designated “homes.” As Susan P taught us: SHIFT! 🙂
I need to clear up something—Manye Academy JSS is actually not becoming a goverment school—Esi called me to correct herself. The government is taking its teachers out of Manye JSS and it is actually becoming completely private.
Then, we went chased around trying to find the “veronica buckets” John had urged me to go see. These are handwashing stations, and he thinks we should have these at the home and also Manye school. We finally found some after walking approximately 250 miles to the district offices, etc. etc. and finally—at the hospital. I took some photos. They are really simple affairs, very much like a “cooler” we might have to carry water or punch or something to a picnic. But they are using them here for hand sanitation. I’ll try to post some photos.
Anastasia and I went back to the hotel and worked together on the HP recovery process for 5-6 hours. Whew. We got it done, though. Leif, could you hear us cheering ourselves?? We will need to go on internet to get the virus checker done, software registered, etc., but what a stretch. She drove and I watched–she is very good. I think James, et al have made a great choice in her. Well-trained, very very enthusiastic, skilled, good language skills, and has worked in some offices before. She’s about 25 or so.
Tonight I celebrated getting these computers in working order with an avocado salad and 1/4 of a glass of Jonas’ “NEW” water—he dug a well 150 feet deep and claims it’s the purest safest water in Ghana. So, I tried it. It tasted really good—we’ll see. If I’m unavailable for a few days…. Also, the salad was a bit risky, but…you can’t eat palaver every night. Also, there was a minister there with his wife, and had heard about our place being possibly for conferences, and asked me if possibly he could bring some kind of group there for a conference! I nearly hugged him—he can pay for that, and we can get revenue. I gave him my card and James’ info.
Tomorrow Anastasia and I will load Quicken, and start working on that. We went through the whole petty cash thing conceptually today. She has worked with an accountant some, as a secretary, so I think she gets it. I think I’ll wait to hook to internet to update, register, etc. the newly loaded computer until Frank comes with all the disks, etc.
Other news: Looks like Mercer Island Rotary is still in the game for the polytank and stand. The king says Michael will make the money “stretch” better than anyone else could. You can eat the insides of a nice little yellow ball right off bushes and it’s delicious. You can lay a cassava branch on the ground and when it rains it will grow and that’s how you get new cassava plants. Avocado trees are 30 feet high here. You can eat the leaves of cassava as well as the root. Fertilized cassava does not make good fufu. You can retired with a pension here at age 60, per John’s friend who is in charge of pensions in Nzema East. Dr. Boakye wants a cold room for his bodies—50,000,000 cedis. It seems they’re stacking up some. Also two air conditioning units at 15,000,000 each–URGENT. He thanked me fulsomely for our mattresses and waved to the wards as to where they were, but I was after veronica buckets and didn’t stop to look.
Hope all of you are well. Goodnight for now. Maryanne
posted by Maryanne at 1:58 PM
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
posted by Maryanne at 9:38 AM
First to continue with yesterday….I had to stop because I was simultaneously working on James’ computer and Leif and I got into a long “help” session, so I broke off.
To follow up on the costs of school—it gets murkier. The 40,000 per test is actually per subject, so if you have 4 subjects, it’s 160,000 — and if you don’t pass, you have to take it again and pay again, if you want a certificate. Maybe this does make sense in a poor country. They are striving for provide every kid through Junior High School (note name change), and so the child is educated and can read and write. They may not have the certificate, but they do have the skills, so….
Also, about meeting with Anna and Esi yesterday. I told them Leif’s news on his marriage, and they got up and danced a little dance for him and Sue and said “IT HAPPENED IN GHANA!” Then I told them about Barbara’s ordination, and they got up and sang the “presence” song Barbara taught out—a very beautiful song, Barbara—call me one of these days and sing it to me.
Anastasia is the new office person. She is SS, and secretarial training. She has taught computers. Seems very on top of it. Involved with kids, very interested. She lives in Takoradi, but is here and is learning Nzema, but knows Fante. She seems very on top of things, but I only spoke briefly.
I also wanted to say the newest computer lab/internet cafe plan is to have a learning lab at the Home and cafe downtown where it’s very accessible, and they’ve identified a building for that. So, that will generate more income. Jonas here at ABH is again discussing his 35 kilometer radius internet access system he is planning, and why don’t we share? I need to connect him and James more formally on that. But, it does seem to make sense to have a cafe downtown, because the Home is a bit far out, but OK for classes, etc. Both are envisioned to be self-sustaining. Details? Well, they’ll come to us, I guess, as God provides.
Also, there is a lot of energy here. The Ghana@50 celebration is ongoing, and there is a lot of patriotic pride. Lots of Ghana cloth like Jeanie’s @50 dress. And the staff here, for example, all have very sharp red-gold-green-black outfits (like the flag). The VP said at his speech in Nkroful that Ghana would be a middle-income country by 2015—we’ll see, but people really whooped and hollered at that. Also, they are quite positive about President Bush. He has done a lot for Ghana, they say, with the Millennium Grant, and they are proud and tell you often that it’s because they have “good government.” I remain silent, because it’s not my job to represent the USA in Ghana—that’s what we have an Embassy for.
The solar hot water system here is terrific—it’s too hot actually, in the shower. I had to mix with cold! Really terrific. I think Jonas is looking into lights, too. He and I had a talk last night about computers (price is dropping very rapidly for good used computers–Pentium 4’s at least). They are “cheap”, now he said, and he nevr buys anything in Europe anymore except for a few specialty items. He has spruced up his computer systems here a lot—nice new looking refurbished on in office, with a staff person who uses it a lot. He also said he’d meet with me again on solar power—electric lights type. He has a lot of info and wants to install, I think, here at ABH.
Bentil’s two adopted boys passed JSS—now for SS.
OK, now for today…I walked to the orphanage from ABH. Patrick walked with me. It took an hour (twice as long as the mighty Mahara reported, but we had to stop and talk a lot. I spent about 45 minutes on the site today. They were working hard. When I showed up, one guy said “work hard!!” So I took his picture! I was heartened a lot by the progress. They have two more rows (two cement block layers, one might say) to complete on the top story walls and then comes the roof. The floors, walls, etc. are looking really good. Mr. Biney was not there—he was buying materials they said. He is trying to get the concrete companies to give us wholesale prices, since the price of cement is just outrageously inflating by the day. I’ll put up photos if possible. They really seemed pretty energized, and I don’t think it was just because of me. One poor woman is lugging water in her headpan the last part of the road. She gets it from the storage tank about one-third the way down. What a job. Big smile every time though—how is it possible? But I must say I had this feeling that we might really do this…breathe deeply, Maryanne. Stay cool and calm!
I did investigate the water pump right at the bottom of the little rough road up to the site, right on the main road, so to speak, at the turnoff. That can provide us water I think—a little vague in terms of the Fire Dept etc. etc., but step at a time. Also, there’s an Areeba tower right there, and a TIGO one a bit off. I’m pressing James to please follow up with Kassapa on their tower—I hope the Areeba one is not too close. It seems like a great “high point” for a communication tower. They don’t have one yet, I have determined from my many sources….:)
I also lugged the office computer to the hotel (I didn’t…Patrick and taxi driver did..) and I have Leif’s recovery disks, so I’ll see what I can do. I simply can’t work at the office—people are just streaming in. After that Patrick and I got a case of water. Then he and I had a good chicken/rice dinner here at the hotel—we were both totally exhausted and starved. I gave him a couple of waters. Oh, Diana, we stopped at Philomena’s place—Patrick’s girlfriend — Philomena Ute(?) Quam is her full name. And when P left ABH hotel he had all your fabric, patterns, placemat, etc. with him. He seemed really pleased.
The woman who talked to the “two white women” told me it was a man and a woman, young like her and Patrick (Patrick didn’t talk to them). I asked her if she thought they were Americans and she said she thought they were from London. She said they said nothing, asked the directions to the home, and that the man’s name was “David.” Hmmm.
Tomorrow we’re meeting with Mr. Eyesson, the director of social welfare—we being Anna, Esi, James and me. Earlier before that, James, the King, and Patrick are going to meet and go over finances. We are going to meet with Mr. E so he can describe for me with them listening, exactly the difference between a “home” and an “orphanage.” It seems there is a registration process, and they have registered as a “home.” More on that later. Esi is sort of acting as chief linguist for me, which I appreciate. Smooths the way. She has been asked to serve on the Board of Manye Academy since the kid are there. That’s really great, I think. I’m also going to try to find out what the actual estimate is for how many kids are not in school that should be in school, and what is involved. And, I went over the Town Hall notes just now and marked all the items that seems “social welfare-ish”, and I’ll try to bring them up.
I’m going to play it safe and post this before I try some photos, just in case the whole thing comes crashing down.
Oh, BTW, Ravyn, the wind-up flashlight is just a Major Major hit! Do they come in headlamps, is the question? Justine thinks she can sell that at the mine in Tarkwa where she supplies overalls, if headlamp style. Also, they want embroidered monogram type company name on uniform and there is only one such machine in all Sekondi-Takoradi. She had to wait one month to get her patches monogrammed for the mining company—so if you happen to see a good used monogram machine (the kind that embroiders the name on a patch and then you sew the patch on the uniform) tell Nate and get one over here, pronto! She figures there’s an opportunity there.
posted by Maryanne at 8:32 AM