Ok, so it’s been a while since our last blog entry. Yes, too long. The past several weeks have been a flurry of activity. In fact I am still caught up in the whirlwind. But I’ll do my best to summarize parts of it now.
I am writing this as I sit on U.S. soil! Actually I’m not sitting directly on the dirt. Instead, I’m in the luxurious comforts of my sister’s home in Wisconsin; a stopping point on the final leg of our journey home. We touched down a few days ago and are now happily adjusting to life in America.
Our enthusiastic welcoming committee
But I need to back up---Back to Ghana---and tell you about those projects we were working to complete. Since many of you were players in the school library project, let me jump into that one first.
You all were so supportive that we quickly received the necessary funding. The actual work was slow going at first, but quickly picked up steam once the contractors had done their part.
The project begins…
The pace picks up…
Much more than just wall paint, Chris led the visual arts students in creating World and Ghana map murals…
Bringing in the books (so eager to have a library, the kids were reading as they carried them in)…
And finally the greatly anticipated library is reborn!!
On behalf of everyone at DASHS, thank you for your support!
Friends and family of Peace Corps volunteers from across the U.S. contributed so that kids from every region in Ghana could attend this year’s student leadership conference. Chris and I were able to take four student participants, two junior group leaders (top students from last year’s attendees), and my faculty counterpart. It was another fantastic event for everyone. In fact our young return leaders said it was even better than last year! Best of all, our kids have already begun to follow up with peer education sessions on topics ranging from goal setting to HIV/AIDS education.
Invest in Our Future Scholarships:
The Invest in Our Future scholarship kids are well on their way to completing their senior high school education. The funds (which will see most students through another full academic year) have been distributed, and the students along with their families are strategizing as to how they can fill any remaining gaps. One student has even started his own micro-enterprise rearing rabbits to raise money for his future education. Two of my friends/colleagues, Gifty and Elorm, will faithfully oversee this project until these kids finish their schooling at DASHS. I am looking forward to receiving their and sharing their progress reports.
Knowing the kids are in good hands made saying “goodbye” just a little bit easier
There simply was not enough time in the shortened academic calendar for the art show to come off this year, but the plans and proposal are in place for next year.
Water Sachet Project:
By leading a project that turns trash into income for the school (see “Made in Ghana” blog entry from March), Chris was able to enhance the visual arts program at DASHS and jump-start construction of a new canteen that will serve the entire school. When we left, there were outstanding requests by people who wanted to purchase more products, so it is clear that the project has great potential. There was also a lot of talk and enthusiasm among the faculty and students for the continuation of the project. But initiative and leadership were sorely lagging and we left feeling very uncertain about the project’s future. Now just this week we received word that 200 pieces were produced and delivered. So hope prevails.
There are many topics that we have not yet covered and I still hope to add those things here on this blog retrospectively. Our lives as Peace Corps Volunteers may have officially come to a close. But that doesn’t mean our service is over. In fact a new and exciting chapter as RPCV’s (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer’s) has only just begun!