Thursday, November 15, 2007
More bat caves!
So, I'm just back from a five days at my site. It was nice to see the place, meet some folks. It's certainly a lot different than here, so more adjustments, but that's part of the fun. My village is about 2,000 folks, I think. I spent most of my time with my supervisor and counterpart (my instant friend and person to help me integrate into the community), but did manage to meet a bunch of people whose names I've all forgotten. The village is on the main road from Wenchi to Wa, which is nice. It actually divides the village in half. I will live in a community of Habitat homes. My house has two rooms (about 10x10) and outdoor space for the kitchen and then two small rooms, one for bathing and one for the toilet...and it has lots of bats. It seems that a colony of bats is living in the space above my drop ceiling. I can hear then, and they leave lots of presents for me (that fall through the space between the wall and the drop ceiling). This morning, I woke up with one on my misquito net. I managed to wrangle and release it. While I appreciate their effort in keeping the bugs away, I'll be happy when they are gone (hopefully by the time I return in two weeks). There was a meeting of Habitat memebers one night. Most didn't show, and those that did missed much of the meeting, but that's the way things will be. I'll be trying to help them delevelop alternate means of income from their farms (such as beekeeping, raising rabbits, etc.) and teach them some agroforestry basics. I have my work cut out for me (despite not actually knowing what I'll be doing...In theory I'm to help them do what they want to do) but I think they can use the help...and I'm sure many would trade their current accommodations for my bat house. Back to the town....not really much to it. Some of the town has electricty; my section doesn't (powerlines are about 150 feet in front of my house). So, besides lots of sitting at my counterpart's general povisions store (think backyard shed-sized building), where he sells small amounts of rice, sugar, a few drugs, tea bags, batteries, some gum...the basics, I went to the nearby town's market (probably 1/100 [really] of the market in Techiman). It's every Saturday and has taken all the merchant's from my town's market so my town doesn't really have a market day. I also went to Kintampo for a day to open a bank account and a current volunteer (my closest neighboor) who does some tourism development there took me to meet some of the important folks. Kintampo is about an hour drive...the taxi broke down on the way...the clutch...the driver got out, picked up a few screws andstarted working on it. The five passengers plus one baby (in estentially a Geo Metro) start walking. The driver got the car working and picked us up maybe 1/2 mile down the road. When I got it there were still some screws on the dashboard, so I was somewhat happy when the car only made it another 15 feet or so before stopping. So, we hoofed it the rest of the way. Hunger calls so I'll end this here. Thanks for all the snail mail. It's awesome and once I get to site, I'll have more time than I know what to do with so I'll actually write some myself....thanks for checking up on me.