I hope you all enjoyed the pictures I posted! I will put more up in a few weeks. Downloading and uploading items takes a lot of credit for Internet so I will post pictures periodically! I never really described how Internet and phones work here in Ghana. I purchased a modem, which looks like a thumb drive and add credits to the program, which allows me Internet access. I buy about 15 Cedis every 3-4 weeks depending on how often I use my Internet. For the phone my supervisor provided me with a phone (the old old Samsung), which is very basic, used for calls and texting. I do the same thing as the Internet; I have to buy credits, which I buy every 2 weeks.
My past couples of weeks have been very busy with meetings, travel, field trips, and more! At Save Them Young, I have been pretty busy with individual sessions! My friend Katy went with me to the agency and took a few pictures of me working with the kids so I’ll have her share those ASAP! It’s pretty exciting at Save Them Young right now because they just recruited three more housemothers! Even within the past weeks or so there is a big change is organization, sanitation, and overall well-being of the children! There is still a lot of chaos however it seems to be more manageable chaos now. At my placement CORM I am making a lot of progress with my group. We have officially moved on from emotions and progressing towards the meaning of self-identity and increasing self-esteem. I have a great relationship with my group we joke, chat, and play a lot of Futbol (soccer).
This week at CORM the students had mid terms so I did not have my group, this week I focused on my curriculum planning and future ideas for groups. I finished all my work by Wednesday, which gave me a day of free time. I had a great idea to visit an agency that I have previously visited while I was in Ghana last year. Autism Awareness Center Training (AACT) is the ONLY program in Ghana to cater to children with autism. I called the Director Aunty Serwah and asked if I could come to visit. My visit turned into a full staff training session and a collaborative meeting with a speech pathologist, Special Education Specialist, and a disability “lobbyist” from Accra. All the professionals have either helped at AACT or have a child in the program! I had the opportunity to share my personal experience of working with children with Autism/ other disabilities; I also led a staff training session demonstrating effective communication skills and sensory therapy for the children. I felt very empowered throughout the day at the center; I felt that the staff and other professional really valued my information and suggestions that I had to offer. Days like that are the days I know I made the BEST decision to complete my final internship in Ghana. I am so fortunate to have this opportunity to experience a completely different culture and amazing people.
On Friday my class, which consists of Katy, Beth, and myself took a fieldtrip to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. We participated in the morning rituals and took part in the reflection. I have never experienced any AA or similar meetings so this was a first time experience for me! At the Center they base their program and The A.A. Curriculum. It was very inspiring to see a program like this be successful in Ghana. The awareness of AODA like many other diseases are very limited and not acknowledged in the culture. This may be due to the stigma, cost, and overall knowledge of addiction.
Two weeks ago Katy, Amy, Rikki, Janet, and myself traveled to Adafuo. We stayed at a resort, which the sand was our floor and palm branches were our roof and sides of the hut! It was such a fun experience. We stayed right in the middle of Volta River and The Ocean! It was such a beautiful and relaxing place! I finished two of my books in our time spent there. I also had AMAZING tilapia which I’m sure was caught that morning! We met some other foreigners from the U.K and U.S.A. The next weekend Janet and Rikki met up with our new friends and traveled together to Okosombo. No matter where you are from people always are so friendly and interested in your story of what brought you to Ghana. I’m hoping to travel to Cape Coast in a few weeks as my Spring Break to visit a friend of mine whom I met last year while I was in Ghana! I can’t wait to tour the Elmina and Cape Coast Castel which both were used in the Slave Trade. I’ll keep you posted on my travels as I continue my blog! Yesterday (Saturday) I traveled with Amy, Rikki, and Kristin to the Accra Art Market! We arrived early so it was a relaxing day to shop. I purchased some jewelry, paintings, and clothing! The Markets here are relatively cheap you just have to know how to haggle. The sellers will give you the Obruni price, which is really high! Most will settle for about half the original price.
I haven’t been too homesick as of now. I did facetime with my family yesterday, which made me really miss them! My niece Ebba is getting SOOO Big so it’s really hard to miss out on those major mile stones like rolling over which she’s doing!! My host family makes me feel right at home and apart of the family so it’s makes it easier being away from my family. I was counting the weeks until I’m back home and it’s only 9 weeks away!! I cannot believe it’s that soon, I am definitely NOT ready to go home yet, I still have so much to do and achieve! I feel like I just arrive.
Well I believe that is all for now! I’ll be sure to blog next week sometime to keep you updated on my journey!
As always thank you for all your love and support!