"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 26 – 17 June 2012

Sunday was our last day on site.  Our goal today was pretty simple; we wanted to meet Degraft at the building and make 15 bags of sachets.  Before this, we planned to have lunch at Nana Kontihene’s house. We assumed that he would call us after he got out of church and maybe pick us up at the hotel. We waited for his call. It was until around 3 pm he called asking why we never showed up at his house. We explained the miscommunication, so he gladly brought the food to us. His wife made us palava sauce on yams. Palava sauce is composed of a leafy vegetable, onions, spices, some other stuff, and fish. The palava sauce had and interesting flavor and was a good way to mix up our usual meals of jollof rice.

After lunch we look a cab to PPF. When we arrived Degraft was already in the production room making sachets. One of the goals for tonight was to make sure that he knew how to run the machine and pack sachets. Of course now we knew he had no problem doing that. While there, we helped him make more than 450 and sachets and then pack them in the 30-count bags. This whole process took us less than thirty minutes to complete.

After making the sachets, we decided to spend some time recording interviews to spend back to the school of engineering. We interviewed Degraft and each member of the team. We each talked about how this project had impacted our lives and what we learned throughout the trip.

After this we called Dennis, our favorite cab driver, to come pick us up. It didn’t take him long to show up, but we still had to hand off some things to Degraft to make sure the final bits of construction would be completed after we left.  It was raining outside and our clayey property was getting soft. When we got in the cab, Dennis spun his tires in the mud when trying to take off. We were stuck. At this point it was about 7 pm (it gets dark here around 6 pm) and continually raining. We had our team, several kids, and Degraft pushing the car, but it wouldn’t budge. After about 20 minutes of discussion, in Twi and English, and after a few men had showed up to help, we devised a plan to get the car out. First we used shovel so dig out some of the mud surrounding the tires. Next we planted several boards and rocks behind the tires of the cab; we were conveniently stuck near a pile of scrap lumber and large rocks we accumulated after cleaning the site. Finally we had a few people lifting up on the tire wells and several people pushing the front end of the car. After much struggling, Dennis drove the car free of the rut and we on our way home.

Looking back, the night was an appropriate way to spend our last moments on the PPF site. Everyone worked together, through language barriers, and achieve something that was previously impossible without proper planning and extra help from our neighbors.


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