Friday, 17 January 2014

Amaraba! - Welcome!

Hello from Ghana!  The new Resource Centre Team (Team RC), made up of Alex (23), Jon (24), Mark (23), Meriame (19) and Sophie (19), have finally reached the office and are currently getting stuck in to the project while adjusting to our new Ghanaian lifestyle. In the office we also have Tasha (24) our Team Leader and Shaibu (28) our National Volunteer, who you should both already know.

Our aim with this blog is to keep all our readers updated with our progress, as well as helping to highlight the work of the Resource Centre in Tamale, Northern Ghana. By letting you all know what we are doing we hope to change some misconceptions about Ghana back at home: this great video helps to illustrate the point!

Our first few days in Ghana were spent at a guesthouse completing training sessions and getting to know each other. Though the training was slightly slower paced than we anticipated, there were still plenty opportunities to laugh and learn a little Dagbani (the language of the local Dagomba tribe) A highlight of training was the ‘Tamale Market Sweep’, a game where each group was assigned a number of items to pick up from the market with a budget of 15 Ghana Cedi (roughly £4), the aim of the game being to finish in either the fastest time or with the most money left over. Of course, not only were Team RC the first to return to cross the finish line (with a complete shopping list) but we also spent the least and it turned out we were the only team to find every item on the list. After celebrating our grand victory, we returned to the guesthouse for dinner before enjoying a cultural dance organised by our absolutely fabulous ICS manager Patience (Patience for President t-shirts are being manufactured as we speak).

Since arriving we have already learnt some key lessons about Ghanaian life.  We have learnt to integrate bartering into our everyday routine since a taxi driver tried to charge Jon about 10 times the normal rate and our local restaurant started charging ‘Salaminga’ (white man) prices for our lunches. We have also had our first power cut which meant eating our second dinner in romantic candle light. We have also been experiencing some of the famous Ghanaian hospitality. We were warmly welcomed by our neighbours and have met plenty of stakeholders from the Resource Centre and its partner associations. I have to say we are feeling very much at home already.

Currently we’re in the office researching the issues surrounding the project, getting the report from the previous group completed and developing our online content. The office is seemingly always full of plantain crisps, water and chatter. Although we’re busy we hope we will be updating the blog every Friday and cannot wait to share our experience with you.

This week's post brought to you by the Goat Whisperer

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