First of all I would like to thank all of the clubs who donate funds for us to take on our GSE trip. We were able to raise $2,500 to take with us to Ghana and Burkina Faso. So what have we done with the money?
While we were in Kumasi, Ghana we attended a Rotary club meeting during which the Rotoractors from the local polytechnic college gave a short presentation on their efforts to raise funds for an upcoming project. Their were funding a hepatitis B screening and vaccination of 500 students at their school. They were a couple of hundred dollars short of their goal and so the team decided to donate $100 to further their cause. As it happened their was a group of Rotarians from Holland at the meeting that were their with Habitat for Humanity. Not to be outdone, one of the Dutch Rotarians also contribute 100 euros which gave the Rotoractors all of the funds they need to go ahead with the program.
While attending a meeting of the Ouagadougou Millennium Rotary club, I asked that they tell us if they had any water projects for our district to partner on in the future and also if they had any specific needs that we could satisfy with the remainder of the monies collected before we left. As it turned our they have an ongoing project to donate mosquito nets to women who have just delivered babies. Malaria kills more people in Burkina Faso than does AIDS or any other disease, particularly infants. Of course we did not hesitate to join them in this effort and on Monday, April 26, we visited the Charles De Gaulle pediatric hospital, the largest in Burkina Faso. Following a very formal gathering with many speeches thanking Rotary for all of the help they have given and the GSE team for their latest donatinon, we proceeded to distribute some of the first 250 nets that had been delivered to the hospital. In total the $2,400 that the clubs of district 6400 donated will enable the local Rotary club to deliver more that 400 nets. This hopefully will save the lives of over 400 children that would other wise succumb to malaria, and maybe some of the mothers.
Again I thank the clubs who donated and I’m sure that those whose lives will be saved would also thank you if they could.
Thanks for all of you who are following our progress in Ghana. First of all I apologize for the fact that it is not always as up to date as we would like. Not always easy finding the time or the means to update it. I have just done some updates on the Travelogue page but unfortunately forgot to bring my camera to the internet cafe to upload photos. Will correct that soon.
We will make a change soon so that you will see the individual posts on the home page when you log in. That way you can also make comments on each individual post.
Thanks for watching
We’ve now left Accra. Our host family was incredibly generous and caring for our well-being, along with the local Rotarians in the vicinity of Accra. We’re having a great time. Admittedly the spice of the food will be a gradual morphing for my taste buds but I’m sure it’ll finally transition. I’m happy we’re having a schedule that is somewhat relaxed in the Cape Coast area – some sleep catch-up is definitely in order after the incredibly hectic (and fulfulling) week we’ve had in Accra. Engineering and water treatment is practiced identically to Canadian facilities. We’ve visited the Water Institute, the local Water Authority, and Zoom Lion Waste Management. The Ghanaian people definitely have the expertise at their fingertips in-house; it will be convincing the powers that be to allocate appropriate funding levels to the various programs that will be tricky. (Sound familiar? :-))
We’ve now reached Cape Coast and the scenery along the way has been spectacular. The ocean is a marvel.
I’m looking forward to the next stops on our journey. The Rotary GSE Team in District 9100 has moved mountains for us and have accommodated us as if we’re family while we’re here. This will be the primary legacy of this trip that I will never forget – the endless joy and generosity of the people here.
Greetings from Tema, Ghana. I won’t recap what Derek has just put down but I wanted to certainly emphasize how interesting of a country Ghana is and how hospitable our hosts have been so far. The world feels a whole lot smaller now, that’s for sure, and I have been having a fantastic time so far! Looking forward to what’s in store next.
We have created a new page to document our travels through Ghana and Burkina Faso. Click here or on Travelogue at the top of this page
Hi All –
As I prepare to depart on the GSE trip to Ghana and Burkina Faso, I thought I should take a few moments to reflect and share my thoughts. The day before departure always feels like the calm before the storm. Bag is packed. Room is cleaned. It’s a lovely day in Ann Arbor, MI – unseasonably warm is an understatement. But, I made the joke today that the weather this week was incrementally preparing me for the 100 degrees we’ll meet upon deplaning in Ghana. After our trip 70 degree days will undoubtedly feel chilly. Having traveled to India last summer I felt surprisingly prepared and comfortable as the weeks prior to departure became only days. And then today it hit me: Ghana and Burkina Faso are going to be nothing like India. I have no idea what to expect. And that is what I love most about traveling. It is a rare chance to truly stretch our limits, taste new tastes, and define who we are in unparalleled situations. I have been doing some reading in the realm of needs assessments and water/sanitation interventions. I am very much looking forward to our upcoming conversations surrounding water and health – my passion.
I hope you all will follow our journey. We’ll post updates as often as we can.
Let the adventure begin!