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Published: March 1st 2015
February 27, 2015
Life in Ghana can be very difficult at times. First of all, you never know when or for how long you’ll have power. When I first arrived it was during a 36 hour power cut, but at that time Jamal was living in the house and we had a generator so it wasn’t too bad. When Jamal moved into his new apartment, which is still near the house, he took the generator with him. When the power goes out everything is out, Wi-Fi included. No TV and no internet. It’s at times like that when you realize how addicted you are to your devices. Volunteers have talked about it and we’ve agreed that if the internet was turned off in Western countries they wouldn’t be able to function. I have come to love Ghana and many people in it. I want to see things improve here, and I see how Ghana has potential. However, for Ghana to make progress the government needs to keep the power on in their own country and only sell off excess power to neighboring countries. Togo, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso receive most of their power from Ghana. Ghana is
rich in natural resources, and has the potential to help change the face of the Western World’s view of countries in Africa, especially Western Africa. I may have talked a bit about this before, but it’s been something that’s prominent in my thoughts and through my experiences here.
Okay, life in Ghana is dependent on two things: Pure Water and Medisoft. Bags of Pure Water are sold for 20 pesewas. (The currency in Ghana is the cedi. Similar to US dollars where 100 cents make dollar, 100 pesewas make 1 cedi.) I took pictures of the bags of water in the house at the beginning of my stay here. One thing that we’ve started doing is saving the bags after drinking the water. Because we found out that when you return them you receive a small amount of money. Between the house and the orphanage we drink quite a bit of water and we can make a small amount of money for the orphanage by recycling. It’s not much, but every little bit we can get is useful. The bags of Pure Water are 500 mL and I try to drink at least 5 bags a day.
When a new volunteer comes the first thing we ask is if she wants water. I remember when I was handed my first bag and wondered what it was and how I was supposed to drink it. Basically you tear off a corner with your teeth and drink from the hole. Our house is littered with bags of Pure Water, empty and half drunk. Onto the Medisoft: that is the local mosquito repellant and is a lotion not a spray. In my first two weeks I got covered with mosquito bites, but ever since I switched to Medisoft I haven’t gotten as many bites. Usually around 4:30 to 5:00 in the afternoon I first put it on, then I put more in before going to bed. There is always a bottle when we sit outside at night. I have seen other volunteers get malaria while I’ve been here, and Jamal even told me that volunteers who stay 3 months or longer usually get malaria. I’m going on 9 months and I still haven’t gotten it. I credit that to Medisoft.
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