"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

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 5 – 27 May 2012

Mache (good morning),

Sunday was an easy and restful day. We started the day off like most people in the village and went to church. We were invited to go to Pastor Kofi’s church which is the Presby church. The Presby church is one of the largest buildings in the village. It sits upon a hill and has a clock tower, so it can be seen from miles away. The service lasted about three hours and it was completely in Twi. The service seemed like a normal western church service, although I’m not really familiar with Presbyterian churches. There was constant singing and dancing with the accompaniment of a small choir, an organ, a brass section, and percussion. At the end of the service, we brought to the front to be introduced to the church. Similar to the ceremony at the palace, we were asked to state out purpose in the community. After that Pastor Kofi showed up, about two hours late. He was held up because he had to give another sermon at a different church.

After church we had lunch at AATI. Almost every time I mention lunch or dinner, we are having it at AATI. AATI stands for Asante Akyem Technical Institute and it is school for high school aged kids. We go there twice a day for a cheap food and we get to talk and hang out with the students. They also have a wifi internet connection that runs relatively fast when it is actually working. Our typical meals consist of Jollof rice (similar to fried rice, but with a fish sauce) and chicken. Occasionally we are treated to fried plantains or cocoa yams.

After lunch we headed back to our hotel for a little rest and then we walked to the street and hailed a taxi to go to Konongo market. Konongo is the city that our hotel is in, about 10 minutes away from Patriensa. Our cabbie was young, hip guy with a very clean car. He had installed a stereo and was playing 90s R&B music like TLC and Destiny’s Child. He dropped us off in the middle of the market and soon realized it was not as glamorous as we had hoped. We were hoping to find some souvenirs or at least some cold drinks. However, it seemed that most people closed up shop on Sunday and what were left was mostly people who sold dried up fish or used shoes. Soon an old women began walking next to us speaking in Twi and occasionally a few incomprehensible English phrases. We ignored here but she continued to follow us. We think she was trying to serve as a tour guide and then ask for money after a while. Finally we reached a shop that sold cold drinks that we frequently visit. The young man working there told us that she was a little crazy and then told her to leave his shop. She didn’t leave but we looked out to the street and saw the same cabbie who had drove us there ushering us to his car. We weren’t sure if he waited for us the entire time or just happened to be there. As we got in the car the old crazy lady wanted to ride with us. “Dabe, Dabe,” we all said and drove back to the hotel singing to 90s R&B again.

Nothing much happened that day asides from the usual dinner at AATI. We got back to the hotel about 8pm, much earlier than normal and had chance to relax. A lot of us called home and talked to our families or gotten things like laundry taken care of. Sunday was a nice day of rest; letting us recharge for the upcoming week. We hope that we can finish the hydraulic construction this week and switch from the hand pump to our new submersible well pump. We are getting really close to getting “Water in bag,” as we often say. Even after we complete the technical side of the project there will be a lot of work to do. Our goal is not just to get water in bag, but to establish a business that can sustain itself.

That’s all for now, I hope I can get this out soon.

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