Ghana According to Harrison

This post was written by Harrison and is a very thorough description of just about everything we did while he was here…

Sunday 8/11:

I had left all of my packing until Sunday when, in a mad rush, first thing in the morning, my Mom told me to pack everything I would need into my bag. What I needed consisted of seven shirts, seven shorts, seven pairs of boxers, three pairs of socks, a pair of jeans, my sneakers, and my flip-flops. That was about 25 lbs. of the total 150 lbs. of things that we brought with us in our checked bags. The rest of the weight was made up mostly of food flavoring packs, cookie dough powder packs, and pizza dough powder packs. Plus a 4-pound jar of jellybeans that Jared (Leahy’s boyfriend) was “happy to pay for”.

jellybeans

Monday 8/12:

I woke up like any morning: had breakfast while watching TV, then turning on my computer to watch YouTube for the last time before the trip. Our flight wasn’t until ten, but Leahy and my Mom decided there was a possibility that we could be stuck in security for about three hours, so we got to JFK at 5:30. Leahy and I made it through security in about 30 minutes and then we sat around for a bit then went to have dinner at an airport restaurant. I ended up getting a burger that was slightly underdone in places. Then we went back to waiting. Another couple hours we had our boarding passes stamped and were getting ready to get on the plane. Once on we proceeded to wait for another hour until the plane was finally allowed to take of. Then we sat for eleven hours in the plane, barely sleeping at all. I managed to take some pictures of the sun as it rose over the horizon.

Airplane

Tuesday 8/13

When we landed Leahy had to do something, which, if you’re close to Leahy you can probably guess. She had to pee. After that we made it to our hotel. After walking around looking for a giraffe and a bracelet for my cousins Neal and Darien respectively we got some very spicy Pad Thai, watched some Parks and Recreation, then promptly went to sleep.

Wednesday 8/14:

We woke up, had egg sandwiches for breakfast then met up with another Peace Corps volunteer and walked around a very large market with an under ground section that definitely did not meet up to safety code. After, we got smoothies and slowly made our way to the bus station. On the bus we sat for hours just reading and listening to music. At about 11 they put on a movie called “Sheena” and another movie called “Escape from Sobibor.” During both movies a woman across the aisle gasped every time a soldier was assassinated and every time Sheena kicked a guy while swinging from a vine. We basically sat for 12 hours without sleeping and finally made it to Wa.

Thursday 8/15:

From there we had to take a tro to Eremon which was another 2 hours, and when we got there it was still mid day so we couldn’t go to sleep for many more hours.

Friday 8/16:

On Friday we went to Lawra were we had egg sandwiches, and then met a local missionary, Sue, for some spaghetti and meat sauce. Later we went to a local “spot” (bar) to meet Leahy’s friends, Habib and Gabriel, then had dinner at Habib’s house. The next morning we had egg sandwiches again, had lunch with Gabriel and Habib at Gabriel’s house. Afterward, we took a tro back to Eremon.

Saturday-Friday 8/17-23

The majority of this time consisted of us biking around the communities, checking up on the unfinished latrines and delivering photos to the finished latrines. In the evenings we watched more Parks and Rec and BBC Life. The most stressful thing that happened to Leahy during this time was when her hard drive stopped working and Jared had to google up how to fix it.

Saturday 8/24:

We took another overnight bus back to Accra, unfortunately they weren’t playing good movies, just some local shows that looked like they were directed, filmed, acted, and produced by 12 year olds.

Sunday 8/25:

We took a tro from from Accra to Cape Coast, and once there took a taxi to a “fancy” hotel called the Bridge House. Later in the day we went to the resort that our hotel was associated with, swam in the pool, and had linner (lunch and dinner).

Poolside

Monday 8/26:

We went to a canopy walk called Kakum National Park that has rope bridges suspended over the jungle.

Kakum

As we were walking I spotted monkeys in a tree in the distance. Luckily we had brought the long-range lens with us and managed to snap a few pictures. After, we went back to the pool for another few hours and then had dinner.

Monkey

Tuesday 8/27:

We took a tro back to Accra today. We dropped our bags at the hotel and went to the Peace Corps office. Then we went back out for pizza and now I am currently writing this blog.

Wednesday 8/28:

Tomorrow I go back home. My flight leaves at 10 again, but we are getting there at 5. I am sure it will be difficult for Leahy, but I’m also sure that she can take care of herself and she’ll be fine for the last 7 months of her commitment.

Us

Thank you for your time, and I bid you adieu

Harrison Winter

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Peace Corps is Out for Summer

Yes, I know it has been a while, but that only means I have more to tell you. Here is a quick overview of my summer! Get ready for a bonanza of pictures.

June/July:

GHANA! Days, Hours, Miles…that’s how long it took to check in on every latrine being built in Eremon. On our new bicycles, Lucy and Steve the Pirate, Jared and I trekked across the red African dirt to monitor the progress and success of the project. Everyone in the village was thrilled, though not as thrilled as I was, to see Jared back in town. Our goal was to evaluate the progress of each family’s latrine, mark the GPS location and take pictures of all the finished ones. It was successful but exhausting, and not without a number of obstacles in the road (literally, including a near collision with a cow). About one third of the houses were completely finished and most of the others have at least started to build.

Finished Latrine

In a wonderful coincidence, Sarah was back in town during that month to do work for ATE.

Sarah

Breakfast at the tea shop, family dinners, and dancing at the house were regular events. We even held a one-year anniversary party for SNAP (Special Needs Awareness Program), during which the chief of Lawra district addressed the members of the group and we played games and did face painting.

Roar

After a month in Upper West, Jared and I headed down to Accra. We finally made it to the beach for a few days before flying home!

Jared

 

July/August:

HOME! My month at home was a complete whirlwind of people and places. One month may seem like a long time, but not when you have to try to fit seeing just about everyone you know into that time (and eat every type of food you have been missing for the past year and a half). It started with a trip down to D.C. to see the oldest and bestest of friends, Rachel Brody.

Rachel

The next week was spent in Armonk, acclimating myself with the changes made to the town while I was gone (a.k.a. the beer isle in the new supermarket).

Diciccos

We had a Winter/Hinrichs BBQ

Hinrichs

and I was able to attend a birthday celebration for the a-maya-zing Maya Zung Maya

before heading to the Cape for family vacation.

Family Pic

We went boogie boarding, walked out onto the pier in Provincetown, and celebrated Dad’s birthday with some new records for his collection and homemade pad thai and ice cream sundaes.

Dad's Birthday

Jared and I stopped off in Boston for a night to catch up with some friends before almost missing the ferry to Cuttyhunk (my fault, but disaster averted).

Ferry

That week was spent sleeping in, jogging, reading, relaxing, and going to the beach in one of the friendliest and most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

Cuttyhunk

The biggest excitement was that I dropped my ice cream cone and got a new one for free…and that Jared turned the big 2-6! I got him a game with a million rules that makes no sense to me and that I will probably never learn how to play, so a perfect gift.

Munchkin

My time at home ended with a family picnic at the house, which was a perfect send off to make my way back to Ghana.

Cousins

Only this time my brother, Harrison, accompanied me! Read the next blog to hear what he thought about the third world.