Firstly, I am posting today on August 16th, which means I owe my happiest of birthday wishes to my mother who was kind enough to let me come to Ghana without too much worrying and remorse on her part. She is a special mom, one that I was very, very lucky to have growing up back in Pennsylvania. Enjoy your day Mom!
On top of the special day for her, I am right back in the heart of Peace Corps training as I was invited to attend a workshop on Sunday for saftety training. My house and my town are now a collection point just in case anything remotely bad should happen in the area or across the country, and as such the secruity coordinator within Peace Corps suggested I be an alternate warden to help count heads and open the doors to the house up just in case it became necessary to move Peace Corps Volunteers around. I don't know when (or if) there has ever been a large-scale consolidation of volunteers outside of some general elections held back in the 1980s, but if there ever were a problem, it will look just about like any other weekend at my house with people stopping by strapped in backpacks.
Speaking of people stopping by, two tourists stopped through various places in Ghana and while looking for places to stay, they got in touch with a few fellow PCVs. These two eventually stopped by my place. They were Alex and Eva from Ireland (but orginally from Poland) who stopped in to rest a bit from their three weeks of travel. Both had cameras and were very good photographers; Alex sporting a Polaroid camera that was at least 50 years old which he used to take many peoples' photos - mine included. The instant film prints looked terrific and he was very adept at using the camera which, if you can believe it, held no batteries and was entirely a mechanical / chemical process. The technology built decades ago is still around even today (Fuji still produces the film and paper for the instant print aspect of the camera) but I highly doubt any of the cameras I have will be around in operating condition come 20 years, much less half a century from now.
Back to Kukurantumi: I will be here until Wednesday as I am going to do a small presentation for the Volunteer Advisory Council and then make sure that the Director of Program and Training sees me in my beautiful Philadelphia Flyers smock (he ribs me on the batakari smock all the time). It is nice to have time back here with the Trainees and some of the other PCVs that were extended a similar invitation but the bed is not nearly as comfortable as my own back in Hohoe and for some reason I neglected to bring a pillow with me so my neck is a bit stiff. Other than that, there are great times here and a lot of good people to be with.
I can't conclude without mentioning that Kimmy and Katie (PCVs from the northern parts of Ghana) made some really fantastic meals at the hub site which has a pretty nice kitchen on the premises. Last night was a stir-fry Chinese dinner which tasted fantastic, and then this morning they had pancakes ready with maple syrup and banana slices. Talk about a treat! That too went down quite well. The only thing that I could contribute was my hands in the sink to clean up the pots. They were quite creative in making the pancakes as there were no skillets to be had in the kitchen; they took the lid of a silver pot, flipped it upside down and laid it on the gas unit to make the pancakes. Volunteers can really adapt well to life in the country.