In February, I reposted the Are You Ghana Follow Me? from my dear friend Brittany, who is now leaving as a United Stated Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa. Here are a few snippets from Brittany’s latest newsletter. Enjoy! 

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On February 3, 2015, I landed in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. When I left America, it was snowing in New York City. However, when I arrived in Accra, Ghana it was blazing hot.    The heat met me to welcome me to my new home! Peace Corps vehicles arrived to take all 30 volunteers to our first week of training.  In order to give us a smooth transition, my first week in Ghana was at Valley View University where my group members and I were introduced to Ghanaian foods and culture (don’t use your left hand) and every now and then an occasional American dish. I was introduced to fufu and banku. These are two of the local dishes that I will surely encounter at most meals.    After spending 1 week at Valley View University, I traveled about 2 hours outside of Accra to meet my new family for the next 3 months.

On February 18, 2015, I arrived to a village in the Eastern Region of Ghana. This is where I would meet the family that would take care of me, teach me how to cook and make sure the culture is embedded in my very nature.

At this time I was given the name Mamasewa. Mama Ataa (my host mom) told me, “If you go missing I am going to send word out for Mamasewa. You need to learn your name.”  I am named after my Ghanaian Grandmother.  Every time my Grandmother saw me she would say, “You have me name!” She was proud!

I am now living on my own in a village in the Central Region of Ghana. I learned Twi, but my community members speak Fante, therefore I have more language learning to do.  If I speak in Twi a sympathetic listener will be able to discern what I am saying!

I have a room, bath area and toilet. We will discuss water later! I also have a gate so I can control the flow of traffic (the kids staring at me).  Around here there are lizards, mice, chickens, goats, sheep, mosquitos, etc. When learning that I was afraid of everything the community installed a ceiling to help keep pest from entering into my room.  I must say that the community has gone above and beyond to make sure that I am comfortable.

Electricity I have electricity….sometimes! The electricity goes and comes and I must say I am used to it. There is a local spot, bar, that plays music so when I hear the music start I know to run and plug in my electronics! But sometimes it is only a teaser! After the electricity is on for about 1 hour the lights will go off! One day the lights came on, went off and to my surprise came back on!  I heard the children outside cheering! Everyone is excited when the lights are on.

Flashback to Mama Ataa….

When I would complete my long day of training and would return home….she would either say…light on….light off!

Fetching water I don’t have running water! I’ve tried it and for the first time ever I found out one important fact! Water is heavy. I carried a 3 gallon bucket of water on my head. When I arrived to my house I had stopped approximately 3 times, complained that my arms were tired and finally the young lady that helped me fetch water dumped some of my water out so that I could make it home. Fetching water is work! I must say I have only fetched water once. The children who live closest to me fill my water containers for me. Water! Water for bathing, washing dishes, flushing the toilet (yes, I have a flushing toilet. Most individuals in the village have latrines, a hole in the ground), and washing clothes and finally water for cooking and washing my hands.

Every day is a new day and I am trying my best to adjust. I have had my moment of crying where I wanted to give up. Gifty (introduced earlier in the newsletter) gave wonderful words of wisdom to help me keep on pushing along. A lot has happened since my last newsletter!

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