Interesting few days last week - key highlights:
Wednesday - I attended disability training for airport handling staff which was very interesting. The trainers were all very good and the group of staff were very keen to learn, which was good to see. Some interesting discussions were had about what are classed as derogatory words for people with disabilities. It was also interesting to note that some people did not know, for example, what epilepsy was. Perhaps the most difficult thing to see was the trainers actually trying to get into the room. Public buildings are generally not accessible for people with disabilities. It's amazing to see people taking this in their stride and coping with the challenges they face on a daily basis, but life is so much harder than it needs to be.
The most random point of the day has to have been at the end of the training session when the trainer asked if anybody had any questions. One guy puts his hand up and says "I want to hear her speak". So I had to give my opinion on the training course just so everybody could hear my accent. I was then cornered as I was leaving by a member of staff asking to have his photo taken with me. He then wouldn't leave until I gave him my number, and he's been calling me ever since! I haven't answered the phone as I still can't understand accents on the telephone (great excuse!!) The whole number thing is very common in Ghana. Everybody wants to know the "obrunis" - they want our numbers, to know where we're going, who we're meeting. Starting to take it in my stride and thinking up excuses...
Friday was pay day - woohoo!! A few of us managed a wee pay day treat - lunch at a fabulous wee restaurant, complete with chips and diet coke (how I miss diet coke - so much more refreshing than fat coke!) After a wander around some shops, Ronald and I headed to the supermarket to buy supplies for the flat. A lot of money later, we finally have stocked cupboards. It means I now have a choice when it comes to making dinner as opposed to rice or bread! We then had movie night at next door's flat, complete with popcorn :-)
I visited the Accra Mall on Saturday which houses an affordable Western supermarket - so exciting! I treated myself to a small cake and pillows (I can finally sleep!!!) Also bought some meat which will make a nice change (haven't worked up the courage to buy meat at the market yet, so have been living on veg). Saturday night saw all the current Accra volunteers, and some former volunteers, coming together for a leaving do. It was held at the beach and was a really good night out. There was a fantastic band playing, the waves were crashing at the side of the building and the atmosphere was just great. I could get used to this.... :-D
Today has been spent washing and cleaning. I don't think my whites will ever be white again....I now understand why we were told not to bring anything white/light coloured! I have a lot of respect for African women who seem to do this on a daily basis and make a really good job of it. I made a terrible job of it, however things are relatively clean now. It's amazing how much dirt comes out of clothes that really don't look dirty!
Not sure what lies ahead this week. Work is apparently going to be very quiet as the acting head is away on business, and most of the other staff members are on holiday. I might use this time to go exploring....
Bit sloppy on the picture front this time I'm afraid. I need to get into the habit of taking pictures - I keep forgetting, and am now taking my local surroundings for granted. Will aim to get some pics of my neighbourhood for you for next week...
Have a good week!
1) My airport fan
2) Vincent, Joesphine, Samina and I at the beach (ok, this is from last week and stolen from somebody else - told you I was short on pics!)