Saturday, June 20, 2009

In Maase

It has been a crazy first few weeks in Ghana! Right now, I am staying with a host family in a town called Maase in the Eastern Region. I have only been with the family for a couple of days, so it’s still a new experience, and us obronis, or white people, are still a bit of a novelty in the town.

Okay, since I last wrote, I went on an expedition to the Northern region to a town called Fulfuso. It took about twelve hours on a bus to get there, but it was well worth the travel, because I got to see most of the country. There, I visited another PCV named Hannah, who was not a bearded fella, Theresa, but very, very nice. She works as a WATSAN, or water and sanitation, trying to reduce the number of guinea worm cases in the area. If you want to be thoroughly grossed out, google guinea worm in images.

And now for the big news… A couple of days ago I got my assignment!

I’ll be working in a town called Liati Wote in the Volta Region. It is right near Hoehoe and the border of Togo and Ghana. I’ll be working in Ecotourism there, because it is a very beautiful part of the country, with the highest mountain nearby and waterfalls. I’ll write more details when I find some out. I do know my living conditions, and in typical business fashion, us SED volunteers have the hookup. One guy actually has two houses and one woman has air conditioning in her office. I’m not as high maintenance as those two, though. I’ll be living in a compound that a local politician owns. He and his wife actually live in Accra and only come home for funerals. It has electricity and flush toilets.

As of now, all of the PCTs are in the surrounding area, divided up by sector. All of us business people are in Maase for training and language classes. I am learning a language called Ewe, which is interesting. The only frustrating thing is that Maase is a Twi speaking community, so I have to try not to confuse Ewe and Twi.

I don’t have much time here at the internet cafĂ©, but I’ll post a few facts for y’all. I just heard the song What if God Was One of Us, which I found amusing for some reason.

Fun Facts Edition 3:

Ghanaians love Celine Dion.

It is common to bathe at least twice a day, if you don’t Ghanaians will be very confused by you. How do you bathe in Ghana? With a bucket. My host mom insists that I use hot water, though.

Food is consumed in mass quantities here. This morning for breakfast I was served six slices of bread, six cracker/cookies, and a heaping bowl of oatmeal. It was enough to feed four people, but luckily Ghanaians don’t waste anything, so I know some kids eat my leftovers.

Ghanaians find it hilarious when we scare the little kids who aren’t used to white people. Some little kids love white people and will yell “OBRONI,” and I have to say “Yenfreme obroni, Yefreme KATIE.” Now the kids yell “KATIE.” So either way, we always get attention.

I’ve been proposed to about seven times as of now. They love to joke about marriage here, too.

Well, I love and miss you guys! I'll be able to post more often now, because we are settled in this community for the next two months. Feel free to Email me if you have any questions/concerns! Love, Katie


Stephanie said...

That's hilarious about the proposals! And Celine Dion. I'm glad you're going to have flushy toilets. I miss you!

Megan said...

I knew you'd find a nice husband (or 7) while you were away. Lol! I'm really excited about your assignment, so I can only imagine how excited you are. That sounds awesome! Love ya', Katie!

Anonymous said...

Yay! - Hurray! I'm so glad to read your new blog. Do I need to mail a copy of the tape when your girl scout troop sang "My Heart Will Go On?" Dad was really happy you called for Father's Day, too! Make sure your new Ghanian husband(s) has/have lots of goats, or land, okay?


meremortal said...

Katie - thanks for calling on Father's day. It sounds like you're going to have an exciting assignment!
Keep us in the loop; love you much - Dad.

Laura Flowe said...

Hey Katie - Glad to hear all is going well. Sounds like you have good living conditions - that's a good thing. Russ missed you on Father's Day. Everyone came to Charlotte for lunch and gifts! Had a good time. Take care and keep us posted. Love, Aunt Laura

Theresa Mattiello said...

Katie!!! I was hoping you were going to post soon! Your 12 hour trip sounded amazing! And I think its so cool you'll be working in ecotourism! Washing with a bucket reminded me of the Philippines! It's a heck of a way to shower, but I am glad you have hot water!
Miss you so much!


Anonymous said...

I Googled Liati Wote - sounds like an interesting place for a biologist & there is an ecotourist web site that mentions it. There was a big picture of a crocodile on the web page, but sounds too high elevation for them. Careful about those Guinea worms - not fun at all!


Katie Caldwell said...

I love the comments! First, as one of the other PCTs put is, "There's nothing sexy about a bucket bath." ;) And Gene, don't worry about me getting guinea worm- I learned all about it while on my vision quest, and there's no way in hell I would subject myself to that experience.

Dennis Kordie said...

Amazing experience. I'm from Maase, but currently live in the states. God bless, and best regards

Dennis. check out my blog