It is hard to believe that we only have one and a half weeks left in Ghana. Time has flown by so fast. I am really starting to feel at home in Sunyani, so I will be sad to leave.
The students at Ridge Experimental Junior High School (where we are doing most of our work) started final exams late last week, so we can not teach any computer classes until Thursday.
Our group, as well as the library group, has taken this opportunity to visit to other villages near Sunyani and scout locations for library and computer projects for future Pavlis cohorts.
Today and last Saturday, we traveled to Kranka. We got to meet the chief of the village and visit the kids at the school. We plan on returning next Wednesday to present a computer for them to use in classroom instruction.
Yesterday, we traveled to Babieneha and the town right next to it, Kofibadukrum. There are two schools there that are two other potential sites for computers. The computer group will return there tomorrow with Kurt and Jon.
We have several unique cultural experiences as well in the last week. On Friday, we were invited to the headmistress's house in Sunyani for a sampling of several Ghanaian dishes. She had five different dishes for us to try.
Most of the traditional Ghanaian food consists of some kind of dough--made out of rice, corn, cassava, yams, or a combination of these, served in a stew with a beef or fish base. To eat the food, you first wash your hands, then stick your hand in the stew, grab a piece of dough, and use it to shovel some of the sauce and meat into your mouth. I tried fufu, a corn and cassava dough in a tomatoe-based stew, as well as riceballs in a peanut soup. The food was all really good, and we learned a lot about Ghanaian culture by visiting her house and looking at her pictures of a naming ceremony, a retirement party, and a wedding.
On Saturday, the first time we visited Kranka, the chief of the village invited us to a ceremony remembering a slave market and the slave trade. About thirty chiefs were there, dressed in the traditional robes of Kente cloth, adorned with gold rings. The head chief was there as well. He is so venerated that his feet were not touching the ground, but instead placed on a pillow, and he had a man holding a velvet parasol above his head. We, being the only foreigners present, were introduced over the loudspeaker and got to shake hands with all of the chiefs. Later that day, we visited a monkey sanctuary and got to see two different kinds of monkeys as well as climb up the center of a ficus tree.
On Sunday, a couple of us got the opportunity to go with the headmistress and her husband to an English-speaking church service here in Sunyani. It was really nice to worship with the Ghanaians, and I enjoyed dancing to some of the hymns we sang.
This blog is a record of the experiences of eight students from Michigan Technological University while working on projects in Ghana as part of the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership. The students are divided into three project groups (the laptop group, the library group, and the sanitation group), and may not always be in the same place at the same time. A brief summary of the projects can be found by clicking on the names of the groups.