Blogs from Western, Ghana, Africa


Africa » Ghana » Western » Humjibre April 7th 2013

Time. I’ve heard it said that “time is a valuable thing”. We have too much time or too little time; time goes by too fast or too slow; people are too busy or too lazy. Well, these past few months – maybe the past year even - I feel like I just haven’t had enough TIME. I can’t believe how I have managed to compile everything into the last month. First there’s the things that actually needed to be DONE: finishing my courses, writing exams, moving out of my apartment, planning (and the cancelling due to weather) a fundraising event, visiting Ottawa, going to my family’s cottage, and trying to gather everything that I need for this trip. Then, there are the mental challenges: keeping my brain charged while studying for exams, battling anxiety, and trying ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Western » Tarkwa January 27th 2013

Our second week in Tarkwa was spent taking the VPA system live and ironing out any issues as they arose. I tried my first “Local” meal on Friday and it was an interesting experience. My Lunch consisted of a starch called Fufu and a Fish and Beef Soup. Fufu is made by boiling starchy vegetables like cassava, yams or plaintains and then pounding them into a dough-like consistency. We spend our Friday evening at the rec-club playing pool and enjoying some drinks. The original plan on Saturday was for us to go out with Gert and Heidi again but that did not happen as Gert was called into the Plant to sort out some issues. As Andre van de Laar joined us only on Monday he did not get to go to the beach with us ... read more
2.Pool Rules
3.Tarkwa Pool
4.Lunch At the beach

Africa » Ghana » Western » Tarkwa January 20th 2013

The first week is done and after a half day of working on Saturday we spent the rest of the day and Sunday relaxing a bit. At 15:00 On Saturday afternoon we did got our swimming licence for the Tarwka club pool. The Test involved swimming two lengths of the pool treading water for 2 minutes and diving a golf ball out of the 2.2 meter deep pool. I have to admit I did not succeed on my first attempt I just floated to the top :) The Water in the pool was not a lot cooler than it was outside but it was rather refreshing. Strangely enough the gentleman that did the test is also called Martin van der Merwe :) Gert and Heidi invited us to a braai at their house which was a ... read more
99.Pool At the Club
Armstrong Beer
Beach Chairs

Africa » Ghana » Western » Tarkwa January 13th 2013

My Trip to Goldfields Tarkwa Mine has been a rather interesting introduction to a number of new Things. My First Business Class Flight. My First trip into Africa outside South Africa. First Time that I live inside a Mine Compound.... read more
Business Lounge OR Tambo Airport
Amazing leg room

Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi November 7th 2012

Hello! It has been a very busy and exciting few months in Takoradi, I have a lot to share so here it goes... Each year on October 15th, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world; this is Global Handwashing Day. Diarrhea kills more people than AIDS, malaria and measles put together; handwashing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal & acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries. Together, they are responsible for the majority of all child deaths. Together with the staff and students at the YMCA, we discussed the importance of washing your hands and the benefits it will have on the entire community. To demonstrate just how easily germs can be spread we chose ... read more
Christa teaching on Global Handwashing Day
poster for Global Handwashing Day
Students doing a condom demonstration during HIV/AIDS workshop


Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi October 10th 2012

Hello everyone! I'm so sorry it has taken me this long to update my blog, but here's what I've been up to over the past couple of weeks. Our first week in Takoradi we were able to meet the staff from the YMCA who we will be working with over the next couple of months. All of the staff and the students are so amazing, it is going to be a blast getting to know everyone! We successfully completed our first task which was to create a workshop on "innovation", to illustrate to the students how to use innovation to help develop a successful business. The students at the Vocational Training Institute (VIT) at the YMCA can choose to study either catering or fashion; although it is a female dominated program, we do have one male ... read more
Helping the students with their activity
Canopy walk at Kakum Natrional Park
At the first of 7 bridges

Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi September 21st 2012

After six days, four planes, three continets and a very exteneded and crowded cho cho (a small bus) ride, I have finally arrived in Takoradi! Only after a very short amount of time in Ghana, I have already experienced and have come to appreciate so much about this beautiful country and the people. My first few days in the country were spent in Accra, a city of 4 million people, and everything available at your fingertips! While driving around in the back of a taxi you can purchase a bathroom scale, an info-mercial weight loss product called the sauna belt and any selection of food to suit all tastes! My first order of business consisted of intoductions with the local YCI Ghana staff-Fred, Naana and Nee-who I will be working with during my time here. Also ... read more
Carleigh and I's Home!
View from our living room

Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi February 2nd 2012

all started out well... the class sailed through the tests. I always admire every single one of them as English is not their first language and they are learning some complex life saving information in a foreign language... this is not sonething you or I could do that is unless you speak another language fluently. I sadly do not! Then the stumbles started, unfortunately I had three people that had to start again because they were immediate fails when they commenced CPR on our breathing casualty. Of course I shouted STOP before any damage could occur but I was very upset when one did it but when three did it I then worried that it was my teaching and that I had not explained this to them right. However on speaking to them it seems that ... read more
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Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi February 2nd 2012

I was just lying in bed thinking over a conversation from last night and I thought, I must get this down or its going to rattle my brain all night and I will never sleep... Adoption Laws in the UK are changing, changing to make adoption easier as we have hundreds of children in the UK who wake up everyday and have no one to call mummy or daddy, in Africa they have ophanages and adoption laws are easy so why are the orphanages stuffed full with children? Gideon told us of a family member who was having trouble getting pregnant, Mike suggested adoption and straight away I could tell that Gideon was unomfortable with that suggestion and he said oh no no no... I asked him what the views were in Africa about Adoption and ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Western » Sekondi-Takoradi February 1st 2012

Feeling much better today, munching on cream crackers and feeling exhausted but returned to work this afternoon, they all cheered and clapped me as I came in the door. The guys and gal are really good with their bandaging - they are naturals - I am really proud of them and I can see them flying through their exam tommorow, Mike and I however had a short memory lapse on slings, but we recovered - must practice those more! If you have followed my blogs you will know that priapism is a sign of spinal trauma, it is a permanent erection – that is until the doctor can do whatever doctors do to eradicate it. I was surprised that one of the students actually had heard of this, and after the class roared with laughter the ... read more
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