Last Saturday we said goodbye to everyone at VPWA and the Children’s Center. It had been so nice to have a regular routine while traveling and the Children’s Center felt like a family away from home that we had the privilege of being a part of.
Watching The Lorax at the Orphanage in Ghana
On our final night volunteering with VPWA at the Children’s Center, we decided to play a movie for the kids. Whenever we used Auston’s netbook, they would always ask if it had movies. We unfortunately didn’t have any to show them.
Video: Passing Time in Darmang, Ghana
Creativity is key when finding amusement without tv, wifi, or our favorite pass time… drinking wine [gasp!]. Somehow we did manage without these delightful vices and of course the camera had to catch some of the moments.
Learning Twi in Ghana
In most of the countries we’ve visited we’ve been able to pick up a few words or phrases of the local language to help us get by. Twi is that local language in Accra. Try as we may, we did not pick up much Twi.
Tutoring & Homework at Our Volunteer Placement
We’ve enjoyed working on the farm and at the children’s library for Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa (VPWA). While those projects are of a larger scale, oddly enough we felt like the most help we provided while at the Children’s Center was during homework time.
Reading at the Street Library
VPWA started the Street Library Ghana about 5 weeks ago and currently visits 7 different communities each week. We’ve been going with them everyday to either read to the children or help them with some difficult words as they read themselves. Access to library books in these communities was practically nonexistent until this program so we’re happy to be apart of it. Their main goal is to generate interest in reading among the youth and from our experience I’d say they’re interested!
Home at the VPWA Children’s Center
This is the children’s home and our little volunteer house is on the left.
We have an excellent kitchen to make breakfast and lunch – dinner is provided
The running water isn’t setup yet, so it’s to the well for H2O (for everything – washing dishes, showering, flushing the toilet, doing laundry, etc)
And these are the coolest kids in Darmang with a slight obsession for cameras
Green Ghana Project: Working on the Farm
We’re staying and volunteering at the Youth Development Center in Darmang with VPWA and while the kids are at school, we work with the Green Ghana Project. This is a farm that is owned and operated by VPWA which helps to support the nine kids at the center by providing them with nutritious food sources. Our first day at the farm involved a machete. Good thing we macheted our lawn all the time back in Chicago. Well… we managed without the experience anyway thanks to the guidance of Simon, the project coordinator. I’m told that we cut down the moringa trees because the leaves are more nutritious when the trees are short.
Settling into Accra, Ghana
Well since arriving in Ghana we’ve…
enjoyed our first dinner at the volunteer house.
figured out how to create wifi (which only worked one night)
spent 3 arduous days at the Indian embassy applying for a visa (for our next destination)
realized that being non-religious is not an option when applying for an Indian visa
been drinking delicious water by the bag
managing the random black-outs
had our tro-tro (local bus) ride home interrupted by a political parade. We had no clue where we were when we got out, but luckily people are happy to point you in the right direction.
Today, we’re finally off to the children’s center!
Ghana Volunteer Placement
Our time in Europe is coming to a close. We fly to Ghana this Saturday and begin our volunteer placement on Monday. The details of our placement were just given to us recently as we asked to just be placed based on need at the time (although we did suggest some of the things we were interested in).
Well we will be working in the Child Development Center and Street Library Ghana for VPWA. I’m told that a standard day should look something like this…
7am-8am: Help prepare the children to their schools
9am-12pm: Help on the Green Ghana project site in the farming activities
3pm-6pm: Help on the street library program
Evening: Help the children complete their assignments from school (if not too tired…)
We’re excited about the plan. Of course plans change, but it sounds like a good start!. Let’s just hope we can start the day by 7am. I’m not sure my alarm clock has that setting.