My family has always had a strong work ethic. Those days of mom telling me that I could not spend time with my friends on the weekend if I was “too sick” on a Friday has paid off. Days volunteering in Africa are long and hard with very little down time.
The past two days have been little mini working vacations. We have traveled to the Eastern Region and the Volta Region doing research and a little video shoot for the up coming African mix of “The Secret to Being Strong”.
We bring a lot of beads back from Ghana. How exciting to travel to a village and experience how those glass beads are created. I heard they were made from discarded bottles–well, it’s true. They take the bottles and smash the glass into a fine powder. Pieces of cassava were placed in the middle of each bead mold to create the hole for stringing. The powder is then poured around the stick and fired. The clay ovens are fueled by fire wood. They bake about half an hour. The cassava stick burns off and once cooled you have a bead. This is done in the Eastern Region.
So why the monkey business? After spending the night in a town called “Ho”, we traveled into the mountains to Tafi-Atome Monkey Sanctuary. The trip through the mountains was spectacular. We could see the Lake Volta and all the rivers all the way to the sea. There are no “scenic view” roadside stopping places. Just lots of curves and no guard rails. The end result was an up close and personal encounter with Mona Monkeys.
We met two delightful volunteers who are teaching Kindergarten in this village. Sam is from Savanah, GA. She is staying for a year. Asley is from Turkey and she will be leaving next month. They agreed to help with our “The Secret to Being Strong” coloring book project. Thank you Sam and Asley!!!
Next on the list was seeing Kente weaving. The colorful cloth is hand woven on large looms. In the town of Kpetoe we met several interesting weavers and one was a woman. This is the first woman I have encountered in Kente weaving. It is fascinating to watch the colors blend together into an intricate pattern. Yes, we just could not resist buying a stole.
During our drives around the Volta we kept watch for just the right spot to do a little video work for the updated music video of “The Secret to Being Strong”. You can just imagine us down a dusty dirt road stopping at a bore hole to do a little video. Drew pulls out his guitar and begins playing his song. We can’t blend in very easily in this environment and now with the guitar, a video camera and me playing photographer. Papa, our driver, was holding the computer to play some backgrounds. The sheep were running by going “baaaaaaa”. Children were dancing. It was quite a sight. Be sure to watch for the music video coming out soon.
Well, now it is off to bed. Another exciting GMHope day with Drew and Anita tomorrow. Blessings, Debi