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Beyond Words and Numbers

Well, what have I got to say this time. First of all, I think all of you should check out the blog of Toby Suda. He is my cousin (kind of), and he’s also having his fair share of culture, but in an entirely different context. I think what he is doing is amazing, and it is a testament to the will of a human being to achieve his dreams. His football dreams. It’s inspiring to see people living their dreams and fighting so hard for them, and now I see Toby, working his way on to the big stage. I regret ever doubting him. Go on Toby! As for my own dreams, I once had a dream to travel to every country in the world and I still hold that as my goal for life. To not just touch down and take off, or dip my small toe in the shallow end of a culture, but to dive straight in, and experience it all.  I sometimes find myself day dreaming of home and all the comforts that go with it, but what’s the point? I know when I get home, I’ll be day dreaming of somewhere else again. I’m happy here.

Life here in Ghana is so simple and beautiful. Riding through the countryside gives a glimpse into the past; clean savannah land with the occasional lady carrying logs on her head, and children in the fields tending to the families crops. Sure it’s a hard life, but being able to observe it is just beautiful. I’m also getting my fair share of the simplicity of the life here, especially when it comes to laundry. My soft European hands can’t even cope an hour of hand washing which usually leaves  sores on the back of my fingers. My host family seem to find it funny…I don’t. It’s a nightmare trying to get the stains from the red dirt out of my whites. Anyway, with each wash I’m getting better, and my whites are getting whiter.

My work load has certainly increased these past weeks. I’m doing some research for CPYWD into how we can improve the performance of the community facilitators. Basically in each community that CPYWD has after school programs there are facilitators who volunteer their time to help organise the children. It appeared that the quality of facilitation went down, and my job is to find out what we can do to motivate the facilitators again. To do this I’ve been interviewing all of them to get a picture of how they feel. It was through these simple conversations, lasting just twenty minutes, that I can see the vision of CPYWD coming to life. It’s not just about learning literacy and numeracy, or improving English, but I could see these youths having developed their character through volunteering with CPYWD. All of them saw themselves as very important for the development of their communities, and they spoke of this with passion. Considering that the number of educated people in these communities barely reaches a dozen it really means something when those who are educated want to help the community develop into tomorrow. The future can be brighter, and easier for those entering the world today. The work of CPYWD goes beyond words and numbers, it reaches the heart, and I’m very glad to experience that.

As was requested, here is a picture of my room. Rather nice if you ask me!


3 responses

  1. Jason Parsons

    Awwwww mate, talk about 5 star treatment. Whats going on??? lol. Its really nice to here you are starting to see the vision more clearly, but, maybe without you sacrifice, and the sickness you went through, it might not have been so clear. Please make sure you give thanks to God, and keep up the Hoon dok hwe. You are in a similar situation to me, when i did WHD for 3 mths in the mountains in Korea; wash your own clothes, toilet? take a shuvel in the woods, dig a hole and hope you can finish before too many moggies get you. Trying to sleep at night, hoping that the “chine” or giant centipede doesnt bite you, and wondering what was connecting to the other end of that massive ugly looking head that poked through the hole in the ceiling of my room. But seriously, not many have gone through or experienced what you have experienced. Well done sir!!

    March 18, 2011 at 7:49 am

  2. Toby Suda

    thanks for the shout out pat, liked this article, made me giggle when i read about your family laughing at you sores, seems like you should be laughing cause you have the pleasure of knowing what a washine machine is. and your room is pretty decent, atleast your getting a lot of privacy, now the koeans have moved out of my house to a new one i currently have a 3 bedroom house all to myself, its lovely!

    March 21, 2011 at 11:08 am

  3. Tanya

    what an amazing room! as always it’s so cool what your are doing and discovering there each day. keep it up, and congrats on getting your whites whiter! success with the further washing :] and good luck with everything else!

    March 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm

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