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Published: August 3rd 2011
Ok, so I think the first thing I should do is definitely apologise for quite how long it has been since I last put up an entry. It was always going to be a slightly late one due to my trip down to Accra, but unfortunately as soon as I got back the internet was down and then I got Malaria and then I got Dysentery (I'll talk about it all later) and so am actually only just well enough to go into Kumasi to write this.
I think with this entry I will go chronologically which means that I will start with work. If I am correct (for some reason I can't read my last entry, the site won't let me) I last wrote when we were still doing the Commonwealth Foundation proposal. That was rather tedious for the last few days and involved a lot of proof reading (I think all I did on the Friday was proof read for something like 8 hours)! For the proposal, we also wanted to get a few letters of intent signed by the Ghana Education Service, Municipal Health Director and Municipal Assembly Chief Executive. The GES letter was easy, the Health Director slightly harder as they were never at the hospital (but we managed to get it in the end), but the MCE was another story entirely. Firstly, when we went to ask him to sign the letter, the bureaucratic nature of politics meant that we had to write them a letter, to explain why we wanted them to sign a letter - which of course already had that written in it. So when we came back the next day (after emailing the letter asking for them to sign our letter), the MCE disagreed with just about everything we had to say. He argued with the grammar of our letter (firstly, it was correct and secondly, Ghanaians' grammar -and spelling - can be interesting at the best of times) as well as the fact that he felt the letter should not be sent to us (which was the whole purpose of the lette), but to the Commonwealth Foundation themselves. That took hours to explain, literally hours. Eventually we got it, but it took Alice and I literally all day. The proposal was eventually sent off without the letters.
I also mentioned we were going to go to Accra to try and do some networking. That was a huge failure, but a fun week nevertheless. We spent 2 days planning what we were going to say, doing a leaflet for KAWDA etc. etc. and then when we went to the embassies and the UN and various other organisations they assured us that in order to do anything at all (even give them a leaflet) a letter had to be sent with our intentions. There was nobody we could call, nobody we could email, it had to be a letter. Frustrating to say the least. However, we did meet some really nice Peace Corps volunteers from Benin. When travelling, no matter how long you spend doing it, you always meet some people who make it seem like you are just on holiday - and for me in Ghana, these were those people. Peace Corps is for a total of 2 years (these guys were half way through) and for the first 3 months they are not allowed to leave their village at all! Plus, they were thrown into a Francophone country not speaking a word of French - what I've been doing is a complete doddle.
Now, sickness. It started more or less as soon as I got back from Accra. On the Saturday (23rd July) I had literally every symptom of Malaria, and after a blood test, lowe and behold, I had Malaria. They pumped me full of drugs and I actually felt normal again that evening - but the next day was hell. And it didn't get better. So, on the Tuesday I went back to hospital and a variety of other tests were done (including one that said the drugs had killed the Malaria) and turns out I ate something dodgy and ended up with Dysentery and admitted. It took them 11 attempts to cannulate me, which was annoying, painful and a complete joke really. I was on loads of fluids and some IV medication (as my stomach could not tolerate anything really - I was literally eating the equivalent of about 2 spoons of rice a day) and eventually they let me out on Sunday. My insurance is going to hate my call when it comes, because hospital bills, various personal item claims and changing my flight - coming home 2 days early so I can get checked out properly before I go off to South America.
So, that is all I have to say really. I was planning on going to the beach this week, but really was not well enough so am just going to rest up until my flight on Saturday - which means that this is my last entry whilst in Ghana. I don't know if I'm going to continue writing in South America, depends if people want me to or not I guess, so you can always check in a couple of weeks to see!
Last thing I have to say really is thanks to anyone who has read this rambling, sometimes boring (I imagine) blog.
See you all soon,
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