There and back again

Hello to all, it’s been a while and soon you will read why. Kallie and I have officially seen our new home in the Upper East Region of Ghana. It is a large and relatively newly built compound that we solely occupy out in a farm field a couple hundred yards from some awesome neighbors and about two miles from Burkina. Our living quarters is about a third of the building, very similar to a triplex with a joined porch. When we arrived at our site it is safe to say we had been completely covered in dirt. Kallie looked orange like she went to a bad spray tanner…FYI. When the sun rose the next morning we realized why. It looked like we were in the Sahara. The wind was howling and the sky was clouded with dust and the only green was the occasional neem and mango tree, but the rest was indeed dust. We found out the next day that the wind and dust were very uncommon for this time of year (it is common at the beginning of dry season when the Sahara blows south Dec-Jan, but for late dry season it is uncommon). So four days later is today and we are packing our backpacks for the next four weeks of training back down south, and I am happy to say the dust and winds have subsided, and I know now that when we come back we will begin to see rain and lots of farm land take start. The contrast in weather and environment is tremendous for a tropical region. The people have also been very generous: the chief and elders purchasing a new comfy mattress for us, bringing us a live rooster and guinea fowl that they expected me to “prepare” or at least take with me 5 hours south on a bus (we worked out some alternatives) and also including us in the celebration of a funeral, dancing and all. So we will now head south in the morning for technical training on a bus that I have a bad history with. So backtracking to the pre-site visit; we met our counterpart (rep from our home site community) in Kumasi where we were learning all sorts of good things about site and logistics and had what seemed a meal from heaven, however we suffered from some acute food poisoning. My stomach is weak but when Kallie starts going that’s when we can expect rough seas ahead. And indeed, a third of the PCVs were down for the count, luckily our docs were awesome support. Nonetheless, it was a two bucket kind of night, front and back. The next day was the same and the next night too. Many buckets came and many buckets went. All smiles, haha. We then rode in a crowded smelly bus for about 14 hours of travel. I almost needed a bucket again, but I survived and Kallie did so much more easily with her iron gut that I envy. Our appetites are back and I’m looking forward to some guinea fowl in the morning as a snack for the road.

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