Monday, May 18, 2009

Since I've Been Gone

I'd like to apologize in advance...the keyboards here are a bit sticky, so I may not have the best typing right now. or the best capitalization or punctuation

also, i had originally planned to include a daily update on my blog. i was going to write it out from my journal on someone else's laptop, save it on a USB, and put it on my blog whenever i got to use the internet. looks like that won't be happening either. sad. however, i do plan on updating about general things i do and see. i'll put my journal up when i get home so that you can read about the whole thing. lucky you!

my group is currently residing on-site in Wiamoase. it is such a happy village! the people are all very friendly. in fact, before we leave every morning, we have to schedule time on our walk to be able to stop and greet people. personally. so, a 5-10 minute walk might take half an hour. i really love that, though.

also, everyone wants to teach us Twi. whenever we meet people, we try to use the limited Twi we know. they end up laughing at us and then teaching us more words. i love it. i wonder if Americans are like that. when was the last time a person who speaks English as a second language had a difficult time communicating, and we helped them to learn new words in the language we know so well? Or, when was the last time we greeted other people at all while just walking down the street? Food for thought.

The children here are hilarious. They love to see us! it doesn't help that our route up to the street is through the primary school yard. whenever we walk through, they shake our hands and use the English they've learned. "Hello, obroni, how are you?" We say, "We are fine. How are you?" They don't know the responses yet, so they giggle and get really shy or run away. So cute. The other day, some little boys followed us home. Christiana (the niece of the heads of our host family) talked to them in Twi. All of a sudden, she jumped up from her seat and ran at them. One of the boys started to fake-cry while she smacked them with a towel. It was really really funny. They all came back the next day. David, the son of the heads of the host family, took a water satchet and pretended to drink from it. He got really close to a boy and sprayed him until he was soaked. Then, he chased them all away with water. It was so great. we all loved it.

The Baffour family is so nice. Esther is the mom, and she hurt her leg a week before we came. We haven't seen too much of her. Dr. Samuel is living at the clinic he works at, so we haven't been able to meet him at all. Hilda is the oldest, and she came to teach us ghanaian songs and dances. She teaches at a school, so she is not around too often. David also teaches, so we get to see him on the weekends sometimes. He is very smart. Emmanuel and Grace are students, so we have not met them yet. Christiana lives with her family, but we pay her to make traditional Ghanaian meals for us and to help us with our laundry. She is so sweet. I got to go to the market in Agona (a nearby town) with her last week. She is around my age, but she is really independent and strong.

I've noticed that lots of children here are raised to be independent and strong. Their parents definitely do not baby them. If the child wants something, he has to learn to get it himself or go without it. Even toys. I was watching a little girl in the clinic last week who could stand but couldn't walk yet. I do not know how old she is, but she was tiny. She was playing with a push toy, kind of like a lawnmower but simpler. It fell over, and her mother said, "Pick it up," instead of picking it up for her. The little girl swayed a bit, but she was able to pick up this huge toy all by herself and push it along. Incredible.

So, since I've been here, i've just been getting to know the community and the people. hopefully this week i can enter the jss (junior secondary school) and get to know some students before i begin my research. i still do not have irb approval (i'm waiting on it), so i cannot start my research yet. the irb is the institutional review board that says whether studies are ethical. no one can do research through byu without their approval. so...i wait. it's very relaxing.

well, i will probably post again in a week. have a great one, everybody!


  1. Hi Sweetie - sorry you are experiencing technical difficulties but keep everything in your journal and we can all read about it when you get home. I hope you're taking lots of pictures. Are all the families big in Ghana? Hope you get your IRB approval soon - how long does it usually take? We're getting ready for Memorial Day - we'll think about you when we're at the parade and maybe we'll bring juice boxes and goldfish!!! Love you bunches - Momma

  2. We miss you! We look forward to future posts. Kasen continues to ask to go to Mamy's house. We hope this experience is everything you want it to be, but hurry home!!

  3. I will hurry two months. One down! Shelley, tell Kasen that I want to go to his house, too. I'm sure by the time I get back he'll be all grown up. Aidan, too! Are you guys going to be moving that you know of? Did Mikah graduate?

    Momma--thanks for rubbing Memorial Day in my face (hehe). I was thinking about you guys the whole time. I am taking as many pictures as possible, but I don't want to act like a tourist or people will treat me like one. I'm being discrete now, but at the end I will take pictures like a fiend. I got my IRB approval! Yay! As for families, they are not too big. The Baffour family has 4 kids. However, since the society is matrilineal, the father takes care of his and his sister's family. Therefore, Christiana, a cousin, is like Dr. Samuel's daughter. She even calls Esther Mama. Keep the questions coming! I miss you guys!