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Sheep are smarter than goats…

One of the first lessons you learn here in Ghana, is that you are so limited in what you can give. It is my naivety that let me come to Ghana with noble intentions of alleviating poverty and improving lives. The reality is I am here to learn, and my input is very small in the scale of things. My goal cannot be real change, for that takes years, even decades, but the small steps that I can contribute will hopefully make some difference for those who are giving years to the cause.  The highlights in my stay have been the After School Programmes(ASPs) with children,  where I feel I’m able to give the most. We’ve been restructuring the ASPs and organising the children into smaller groups, so they can be better organised. As active as I can try to be, there is always ‘down-time’. The time when I have finished whatever task I’m working on, and am unsure of what to do next. Although it can be frustrating to have such a time, it has been useful.

I have been able to observe things and reflect upon them. For example, watching how the schedule of the day runs its course; children go to school and return in the afternoon; workmen start their hard physical labour, not stopping when the sun is at its highest; mangos grow on trees, getting bigger each day, and the Guinea fowl roam the roads making loud noises.  I also now know that goats are dumber than sheep when it comes to crossing the road, often choosing the most inappropriate and dangerous times to brave the traffic. I have feared for my safety more than once because of a goat crossing the road. Ghana is so different from Britain. Everything is different; the animals look different, the trees are different, the smells are different, the foods are different,  traditions, cultures, lifestyles, all different. Yesterday I rode past fields of scorched earth where a wild fire had been passing through, a few days before that I was given a freshly fried rat to eat, and I haven’t experienced rain since I left the UK.

Anyway…I’m now twenty days into my journey, and as lucky as I have been to avoid all the common illnesses associated with Africa, I have been unlucky enough to catch a common cold. A weekend of rest ahead of me should sort me out just fine.

My host family got a puppy!!


4 responses

  1. Zeke

    I want to make my comment very original….I can think of nothing hahah.

    I’m pretty jealous pat. You are “really” living it up. Cherish it my friend. Eat a rat for me?


    Keep on keepin on big guy.


    February 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm

  2. tobysuda

    absolutely outstanding pat. i can relli feel what its like there, and those photos you took are exceptional brilliance.

    Keep it up bro xx

    February 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm

  3. Shirley Kanno

    Thank you for your thoughts and photos. Every moment is invaluable! Even when you are just breathing the air and reflecting. Don’t worry your time is not waisted if you are learning. Even Learning to listen to the earth and living in another rythm of life.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

  4. Emi

    Oh wow, Pat. So you found your downs, too. Guess that’s part of the experience. But I know you can do it! Keep going Pat, I’m really happy that you’re making the best out of your situations. I’m sure God appreciates all your efforts and even the downs.
    Get well soon and take care. :]

    February 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm

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