Mar 032010
 
ARGH! Who Do You Help????

Tragic poverty here… horrific earthquake there…

Lack of basic educational supplies here… lack of clean drinking water there…

How does a caring soul decide who to help?During the sixth anniversary celebration of Youth Creating Change, Ghana, I gleaned two tips that have since saved me some serious stress about world aid.

Perhaps these tips will help you, too!TIP ONE: One Youth, One Community at a Time.

This is the official motto of YCC. [...Read More!]

Feb 262010
 
So Much is Harder Here...

Confession: I was a raging, frustrated brat all of last week. Why? So much of daily life here in Ghana’s Volta Region feels… harder!

Case in point: the stove.

Two weeks ago, we ran out of gas for the stove. Easy enough to re-fill the chubby silver tank, right? Wrong. Sogakope is currently completely out of stove gas. Further, it appears the entire Volta Region of Ghana is [...Read More!]

Feb 142010
 
Ceremonies and a Half-Year of Around the World!

Happy day of love, chocolate, and the fiery ire of single lovelies like me!

Let us now take a brief pause from the lovely Ghana Student Life Story Project (HUGE thanks to all the readers who are leaving encouraging comments for the students!) to talk about the concept of… ceremony.

When was the last time you took part in a ceremonial moment of reflection and ritual celebration? If you are in a [...Read More!]

Feb 092010
 
What the Heck is Fufu?

For any reader of West African literature, or for any Western penpal of a Ghanaian student, a question looms large:

What the heck is “Fufu”?

Here is the short answer: Fufu is delicious, and it is also extremely difficult to create.

Here is the long answer:

Fufu is an extremely popular and common food in West and Central Africa which is made in slightly differently ways in different countries, and is even connected to the [...Read More!]

Feb 082010
 
Power Outages and the Power of Patience

The electric power and running water have gone out for at least five hours a day, every day, for the past two weeks here in Sogakope. Nooo!

Usually these outages strike from mid-day to nightfall, but no one can predict exactly when they will start or end.

Are the utility companies purposely shutting off the water and power to work on some major problem in the system?

Are the outages just accidental [...Read More!]

Feb 072010
 
An Awesome Plastic Hairstyle

“Heeey!” we heard as Millicent and I made our sweaty way through Sogakope’s outdoor market.

It was YCC staff member, Dorcas, who we hadn’t seen since she fell ill several weeks ago!

“Ehfoah?” Dorcas asked us in Ewe, shaking our hands and snapping our middle fingers together with a “POP.” “Are you fine?”

“Ehhh,” Millicent and I responded with twin grins. “Yes!”

We confessed why we were in the market: ever since experiencing [...Read More!]

Feb 042010
 
A Brilliant Method of Eating Mangoes

First: admit and submit to the glory of the mango. It is the best fruit ever.

Second: Yes, my skin is now a crispy shade of red-brown, as the photo to the lower right reveals. I can’t help it! The Ghanaian sun is literally GIANT sized here, and has the super-ability of crawling beneath hats, awnings, roofs, and sunscreen.

Oh little epidermis– keep trying your best to protect me and [...Read More!]

Feb 032010
 
How to Get a Custom-Made Dress for $15

Want a custom-made dress for just $7.50 for the fabric and $7.50 for the sewing, making a grand total price of just $15 U.S. dollars?

Just follow these simple steps!

1.) Fly to Ghana. (Don’t forget your visa and your vaccinations.) I told you this would be easy, right?

2.) Trot over to the nearest hectic, madly bustling outdoor market you can find.

In Sogakope, this market (pictured to the upper [...Read More!]

Feb 012010
 
Stay at the Wonderful YCC Guesthouse!

Have you always been intrigued by the idea of a visit to Africa but are unsure about how to go about doing it?

Listen: if a seventy-one year old German woman who speaks just a few words of English can have a fabulous month-long volunteer stay here in Ghana, why can’t you?

You can be guaranteed a large and comfortable bed, a powerful and refreshing shower, scrumptious local food prepared for you at [...Read More!]

Jan 312010
 
A TV on the Head and a 30-Foot Pole on the Shoulder

I shrieked when I looked down the long dirt road and saw what Seth and Oliver were doing.

“You said it would be easy!” I screamed as I ran towards them. “You said it would be ‘no problem’ to move the TV here from the office! This is NOT easy!”

Perched precariously atop Seth’s grinning head was the massive television, jerking heavily with every step Seth took as he strode towards [...Read More!]