Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's new in Fufulso?

It’s time to post something new on this here blog. I’ve been so very, very bad about posting for the last year, if not more. A lot has happened, both good and bad, but I don’t really feel up to trying to fill you all in. Not in this forum anyway.

Let me tell you wants going on now. I’m in the final stages of constructing a rainwater harvesting system at the two schools in Fufulso. I found some used polytanks in Tamale, and was able to write a grant to get them and the other materials I needed. When the system is complete, there will be four 5000-litre tanks between the two schools (one at the junior high and three at the primary school). I had a guy in Tamale fabricate the gutters for me and come a hang them properly, and a local mason and his assistant made the platforms for the tanks. It’s been kind of stressful running around getting things organized, but I’ve had a lot of fun. It’s nice to have a project come together so nicely and so quickly. It’s been about three months’ work start to finish. Even though the water won’t last through the dry season, the tanks will definitely help the students have access to safe drinking water for part of the year. The district coordinator for UNICEF’s I-WASH program (a water and sanitation initiative) has expressed interest in replicating the project in other villages, so I’m working on a report for him to help him do just that.

I’m also trying to figure out a way to build a wheelchair ramp at the junior high. Wheelchairs were donated to two disabled girls in Form 1 but because there’s no ramp, they have to leave their chairs outside all day and can’t move around once they go in.

Things are coming to an end so quickly. I have just under four months left in my service and time is flying by. Ramadan will begin in the next couple weeks, which will turn everything upside down for a month. Then COS (Close of Service) conference in early September, my birthday bash in October, then COS in November or December (I won’t know the exact date until the COS conference).

What next? I’ve applied for a position as a Team Leader for AmeriCorps’ NCCC (National Civil Community Corps). If I get the position, I will be leading a group of 8-12 volunteers between 18-24. We’d be based on one of five campuses in the US and would do a series of service projects together throughout the region for about 10 months. So everyone do me a favor and send me some good luck vibes. This sounds like exactly what I want right now; a perfect transition from Peace Corps to whatever comes next.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to post some pictures on flickr soon.