(Written Sunday 1st July)
It has been a while! I have to admit, I have been kind of sucked into life here, and the last six weeks have passed in an absolute blur of noisy children in schools, colourful parents at advocacy meetings, speeches, African dancing and prayers at community events, and the squeeling and goo-goo-ing of bundles of babies at numerous baby shows (posts to follow to explain what on earth I am going on about!). It's as though a soon as I turned the three month corner and 'settled in', everything became normal and it felt kind of strange to be blogging about what was seemingly a pretty normal life out here in Ghana.
Basically I suddenly got really busy at work, and was in at the deep end on a whole range of tasks and missions as part of the World Vision team. In this time, aside from all the learning I have done about myself (how to stretch myself out of my comfort zone on a daily basis, how to lead on activities when I've actually no idea what the usual way of doing things is, how to build relationships with the big bosses in town whose stern faces say 'why should I trust you?' and get a 'yes' from them after so many 'no's, oh and of course how to hold and carry a baby by one of it's teeny-weeny arms), I have also learnt about what it means to be a Community Advocacy Officer. I have seen how advocacy occurs on many different levels, and takes a number of guises. From the children who write letters to their sponsors in South Korea, to the teachers who choose action and progress over sleeping and laziness, from the all-important quiet but powerful peeps at the top of the food chain (mainly the Chief Exec of the District Assembly & the Directors of the health and education services) who give the silent nods and signatures which allow the advocacy projects to happen, to the proud mothers acting as role models for safe motherhood practices in their communities - all wear different faces of advocacy, all contribute to bringing about change.
And, of course, there has been the utterly exciting event of a visit from a friend from home - what a treat!! Hannah came for three whole weeks, and it was such a lovely time. It was perfect timing, with me finally being ready to receive a visitor so I could actually do a convincing job and make it look like I know what I'm doing! With two weeks 'up north' (also known, if known at all, as the back of beyond Zebilla), and a week travelling down south on the coast, I think Hannah got the real mix of experiences that make Ghana what it really is, and along the way we had a fabulous time!
So on the back of all this, I'm having a day to myself, and after lots of sleeping (missed out on due to a horrendous 24 hour bus journey back yesterday), eating some yummy home cooked food (namely beans on toast haha), entertaining the children who seem to have missed me sooooo much since we went away (could be something to do with the coloured pens and colouring books that my dad sent over), letting one of the young boys teach me how to knit (we are making a skirt for his younger sister, how cute!), and catching up on eating mangoes, and of course preparing to get back to work on Tuesday (bank holiday weekend, bless Ghana for having so many public holidays!), I think it's about time I caught up on some blogging... watch this space!