distings update

As of now, my students, the headmaster and myself have planted 60 trees at the school, and 20 at the clinic. They are still baby trees and tempting goat food, so time will tell if they become big-boy trees. But I am very proud of my students, they worked very hard to get these trees planted and have been checking on them often.

Girls Club
My girls have been working on water sachet wallets, and they look great. When rainy season slows down, we will try to sell them at market. If that goes well, we will try to sell them at other markets. Almost all of my girls met my mother (actually, most all my students had) which was really special to all of us. My mother really hit it off with Sahada, which didn’t surprise me, they are both firecrackers.

Health Club
School has been out for almost a month, as is health club. But as I had said, we did a lot of moringa the last month of school. I gave them a sanitation project to work on over holiday, but I think in light of rainy/farming season, they have been really busy. I am looking forward to teaching again, I miss those buggers. We have a lot of projects to look forward to this coming school year.

Reading Class
I think I mentioned that I started literacy classes for my students and some of the upper primary students. This has been made possible by my father, who has sent me a few boxes of books. As well as the head master (Avi John) and his unfailing dedication to his students. The students enjoy these classes more than any other club I have and in the short time that we started them, I could already see small improvements. This school year term I think I will start a second class. My father, the headmaster and myself are working on starting a library for the school.

Sister Bima and I are going to a weeklong HIV/AIDS workshop held by Peace Corps in a few weeks, which will give us some great ideas for future programs. We have also discussed family planning and nutrition programs come the end of the rainy season.

Guinea Worm
We have a strange case right now that may be another kind of parasite or worm (I know, gross). Nazeed and I had a very inspirational meeting with the Red Cross mothers on Friday, so I think we are all going to start taking surveillance as serious as we did months ago during the break out in Fulfuso. Did I mention Raymond went back to America? That was a month or two ago, there were many tears. He will be very missed by all in these parts. Hannah and I have been trying to get funding to paint Guinea worm murals in our communities, and I think we will get that soon. That is something I would like to do right before or after Christmas before the dreadful dry season comes around again.

new distings

This is an incredibly exciting project that I haven’t yet mentioned because I just didn’t believe was actually going to happen. Five PCVs, including myself, will be spending a couple of weeks on a boat doing HIV/AIDS programs on island villages in the Volta region, to educate about AIDS and break stigmas surrounding the disease. My role is to organize the actual HIV/AIDS curriculum, which I am thrilled to be doing. We launch September 30th, so wish us luck.

Sankpala Youth Association
When headmaster mentioned that the youth were forming an association, I figured he meant a boys club. Turns out, SAYA (Sankpala Youth Association) is a group of 21-35 year olds who have got together and really want to make a difference around here. There are about 10 executives and 80 members, and a whole lot of really great ideas. I was invited to one of the executive meetings several weeks ago and was asked to be the SAYA patron (no friends, not matron, patron). This is really a PCV dream come true, to be a part of a project that we are facilitating and not leading, so that it will sustain when our service is over. I am incredibly honored. Ok, so I don’t really know what it means to be a patron. “Kind of like a patron saint?” asked Kimmie. Probably. Pretty much they have these long winded meetings, then come to my house and tell me all their ideas and then say, “Patron, we have come to seek your advisory.” And I put my book down, quickly swallow the peanut M&M’s before they notice I’m eating mid-day during Ramadan, and pretend that I know the first thing about development. There is going to be an inauguration ceremony in October or November, I’ll keep you posted.


dustykaster said…
I am still so proud of you and all you do.

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