It seems like ages since I last updated all of you. Quite alot has been going on here in Ghana, with projects picking up pace and interesting events and experiences scattered throughout. I'll try to keep it short and inform you about three exciting things that have happened since I last updated you from Ho (when I did the radio show): my attendance of a party with the President of Ghana, Kuffour; Safowa Gifty's enrollment in school; and my new medicinal farming project with Wofabeng.
On the 22nd of September 50 new Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Ghana. This was the same group that I was in exactly one year ago, so it was very interesting and somewhat surreal to see their faces as they glanced around the tropics of Ghana for the first time. We finally met them at the residence of the US Ambassador Bridgewater on the 25th of September at a reception with John Kuffuor, the President of Ghana, a.k.a "The Gentle Giant." The Regional Director of Peace Corps for Africa spoke, our Country Director spoke, the US Ambassador spoke, and then finally Kuffuor spoke. It was a delightful if not over-the-top experience and it was nice to eat some real cheese after eating pseudo-cheese for so long. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to bring my camera because I wearing a kente cloth, but I'll try to get some pictures and put them up on my photo page.
Another great piece of news is that Safowa Gifty will be starting school on Monday. She will be going to a professional school to study business and secretarial studies. The school is in Jasikan and she will be staying in a dormitory there. After traveling around and looking at different schools, this is the one she chose and luckily they accepted her right away. I and especially Safowa want to give a very big "Thank You" to Matthew Armstrong, John Burke, Kathy Ragland, and my own Aunt Mary for helping support the scholarship fund. Your generosity and compassion have changed a life.
My projects with Wofabeng are also going well. We started our newest project, a medicinal plant nursery in Guaman. We have planted about 500 Moringa trees, which are a medicinal plant used to cure and prevent all types of illnesses. If you do a search on the internet you'll be sure to find a plethora of information on it. We are also planting over 50 other varieties of traditional medicinal plants. Everyone is very excited about the project and the effort of the group has really shined.
Some other things: I visited a mosque in Jasikan yesterday by the invitation of a few of my friends in Guaman. It was a very interesting experience. I learned how to do the prayers and wore the traditional white clothe. Before entering a mosque you have to wash every visible part of your body exactly three times: your face, hands, feet, ears, nose, and mouth. The prayers take about 30 minutes and then the pastor chants with the congregation.