Lattitude Blog

I Now Call Fiji Home – Abbey Paterson

Lattitude volunteer Abbey Paterson has recently extended her 8 month placement for another 4 months, because of of the attachment and commitment she has developed for her placement; calling it her new home. Read all about her experience below: 

I have spent a wonderful 8 months living in Fiji as a Lattitude Global Volunteering volunteer. This year has shown me things I never expected to see and thrown challenges at me which I would have never expected to be able to deal with. Fiji is now somewhere I call my home and I am very excited to inform you that it will be my home for a further 4 months, as I have extended my stay as a volunteer to include the third school term.

I was originally placed in Bureta Village on Ovalau, where I spent 9 weeks volunteering at the Kindergarten and the primary school. I fell in love with the people in Bureta, most of all the children I spent time with. I have many life long memories from my time there and I made some very close friends during the short time I lived in Bureta. Unfortunately my host family were experiencing family issues and it was decided by Lattitude that I, along with my volunteering partner, would be removed from the placement. On return home, I hope to arrange to work with the charity ‘Children of Fiji’ to provide a box of resources for the Kindergarten in Bureta, as it is where I spent the majority of my time while volunteering in Bureta.

Bureta Teaching

Bureta Kindergarten

One of the benefits of volunteering overseas with an organisation such as Lattitude, is that they support you in the unlikely event that your placement doesn’t work out. My country manager Joanne Rymell arranged for us to stay in accommodation close to her home on Ovalau. After two weeks, Joanne had a new placement arranged. My volunteering partner and I would be moving to Lovoni village, situated in the interior crater of Ovalau. Lovoni is a hardcore traditional village, where life is centred on farming, house duties and church activities. There is no running water to this village and we are a one hour carrier ride away from shops in the town of Levuka. I arranged to extend my stay to include third term as I have always felt that a long term placement is important when volunteering abroad. This is very much true for a Fijian village as you really do become a member of your village during your stay. With one term in Lovoni complete and another to go, I will return to my village ready to embrace my final term as a volunteer in Fiji. During the first term in Lovoni I was able to redecorate the library, which I will be taking charge of for the remainder of my time in Lovoni. It was clear that the school needed a library which the children were excited to use and somebody willing to spend the time organising the books. In addition to that I have been teaching classes when teachers are away and found the children respond so well to an English speaking teacher in the class room. In only one term I have seen the conversational English of the students advance a great deal from when I arrived. The children of Lovoni have not had a volunteer in 5 years, so it has been a challenge to get them to use their English, as it is common for a teacher to use their mother tongue of Fijian. I have been able to integrate with the staff well, even starting up a tea and coffee club every day at recess, as teachers didn’t spend much time together previously.

Host Home

My Accommodation in Lovoni Village

One of my biggest challenges in Lovoni village is the issue of running water. The school has running water at most times, however the village does not. As I am accommodated in the village I bathe and wash my clothes in the river which runs through Lovoni village. I learnt to wash my clothes on a ‘papa’(a plank of wood) to scrub my clothes on, while sitting in the river. This was a challenge, not only because it was completely new to me, but also because the amount of time I had to spend after school washing in the river. I spent the first 3 months of washing my clothes in the river every day after school, often the sun would set and I would still be scrubbing away down at the river. Luckily the teachers offered for us to use their water up at their school accommodation, allowing us to spend less time at the river and more time with our host family. Every day I still bathe at a small pool in the river just outside my village, usually with the company of my school students. Some days this is the last thing you want to do, especially when you are sick. However, most of the time I find myself laughing with some of my students while we all take a bath in the river. I must be one of the few lucky volunteer teachers in the world who bath with their students to join them!

Lovoni Kindergarten

Lovoni Kindergarten

Embracing village life has been the most enjoyable part of my stay so far. I can honestly say I feel part of my community. As a volunteer living in the village my experience is so full of culture. Life is simple, but that has allowed me to view life through new eyes. I have seen how Fijians can enjoy life with all their heart, inspiring me to follow suit.

Fijian Landscape

Fijian Landscape

With each village event my eyes are opened to the wonders of Fijian culture. I was lucky enough to take part in the preparations for a funeral in my host family, where days are spent preparing for the feast after the burial. I joined my host family for all of the preparations for the funeral, where I learnt to appreciate why maintaining our traditions can add so much value to our lives.

My First Host Na Cooking on the Open Fire

My First Host Na Cooking on the Open Fire

Being lucky enough to be placed in Lovoni village, the original village of Ovalau, I have learned a lot about the history of Ovlalau and Fiji before the country came to be a British colony. The story of how Chief Cakabau came to be the king of Fiji, involves Lovoni being the only village in all of Fiji not to be conquered by Chief Cakabau.

My aims for the third term include branching out to teach more classes throughout the school. Also to become Lovoni schools first librarian, so that the children can spend time with me in the library enjoying the books they have while strengthening their reading abilities. As my host mother is the head of the Lovoni Women’s Club, I have involved myself in helping her to arrange for the funding of a new hall with kitchen for the women of Lovoni. Currently the women do not have a hall to teach each other skills such as weaving and sewing, which is an important way for the women to earn money and maintain their traditional skills. Furthermore there is no place for the women’s club to keep their cooking utensils and sewing machine, meaning women must keep them in their own homes where they are not used appropriately nor kept safe. To add to this, it falls upon the women of Lovoni to cook for any event in the village, and as it stands there is no place for them to do this. Therefore it is vital that a kitchen is added to the hall where the women can work together to cook for the village. There is a long term benefit to a hall and kitchen owned by the Women’s club, as it can be rented out for family events and the money gained can be put back into the Women’s club.

At current we are awaiting a quote for the costs of the building. When this is received I will begin enquiring to organisations which may be able to assist in the costs of building a hall for the Women’s Club. I already have produced a list of organisations within Fiji and in the UK which I can write to, but any additional contacts you may be aware of that would be interested in supporting this project, please let me know via email.

What Makes Vanuatu Special – Ruby Allen

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Recently returned Lattitude volunteer Ruby Allen from Pentecost, Vanuatu told us exactly what makes Vanuatu such a special place:

A yellow fishing boat bounces merrily through the glimmering turquoise water, nearly tipping myself, my volunteering partner and her copious luggage into that beautiful, shark infested Pacific Ocean stretching along the Coast of Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. The tiny speck of land, only a dot on the map rises impressively out of the waves into a cloud of mist. The exotic jungle on top of it will be my home. The people on the boat with me will be my family.

My name is Ruby Allen I’m 19 years old and live in Bristol. In May of 2013 I made the decision to apply for a placement teaching and working in communities after spending hours and hours on the internet looking at the endless lagoons, amazing culture and simple contrasting lifestyle the South Pacific offers (it also makes pretty happy procrastination for a stressed A-level student). After looking into it a bit more thoroughly I decided to apply with a non-for profit organisation called Lattitude Global Volunteering, they’re one of the only charities offering gap year placements in Vanuatu (as well as plenty of other remote places). I’ve always had an itch to explore untouched and unknown places of the world. Teaching and living within a community (which stretched as far as sharing a room with my younger host sisters) seemed like such a rare, and rewarding chance to do this.

In December I was sent the news that I would be placed in the North of Pentecost, one of the most non-western and traditional parts of the country. This would be my home for the next 5 months and there I would teach, live, laugh, work in the gardens, go on endless jungle treks and cry over bleeding sores and infections. I was based at a small, francophone school (120 students – though more like 80 actually attended) named Abuanga Primary School. I was there to teach English (as a fourth language) as well as Arts and Crafts, Drama and Music. Overall, though incredible difficult and at times testing, the teaching was very rewarding. One moment I’ll never forget – my top student in class 6 Keitsy, wrote me a note as follows ‘I love Miss Ruby, she is the best on the island and in the world and I like her because she is very kind and she is from England’. This might not seem impressive for an 11 year old…. But when they are writing in their fourth language and have only been learning English for a year and have Bislama (the native tongue) to confuse their English, I thought it was simply incredible. I felt and still feel very proud to be a part of those childrens’ education and lives.

As well as exploring and being known by the entire north of the island. We also took our half term break in beautiful Espirito Santo and spent 5 days in Erakor Village on the island of Efate, a 20 minute drive out of Port Vila before heading to our outer island placements. After my placement had finished, my volunteering partner and another volunteer from the UK Joe Wilde took the opportunity to go and hike up an active volcano in the darkness and watch the sunrise on beautiful Mt Yasur in Tanna before heading into our travels in Australia.

We cried every month but laughed every day. I am yet to visit many countries, continents even – but somehow I feel confident in my explanation of Vanuatu as a country ‘unlike any other’. I accustomed very quickly to this hard, simple, joyous lifestyle, almost ‘too’ quickly. I have two homes now; two families and two very different ways of life. This journey – these people, everything about this trip has inspired me. In ways I find hard to put to paper, I was given a new lease of life, immense, simple happiness and utter peace. It goes without saying, this journey was challenging and Vanuatu – well Pentecost – is not for the faint hearted. Yet my arrival back to the UK brings an utterly new appreciation for that bizarre voyage. There’s something about the Pacific, perhaps, the salt in the sea, the breeze in the bush or the copious amounts of taro you’re forced to eat – it’s magic, it sticks and I will certainly never, ever forget it.

Becky Cooke Keyboards at Lautoka School

Woche 4 bis 6

Hallo zusammen!

So es ist zwei Wochen später als ich dachte, und meine siebte Woche in Totara Springs geht langsam zu Ende. Man merkt den Frühling schon! Alle Arbeiter fangen mit den Sommervorbereitungen an, die Sonne scheint täglich und die Tiere spielen verrückt. Ich beobachte täglich während meines Frühstücks wie noch mehr Vögel vor unseren Wohnungen auf Toast-Reste warten. Zudem haben meine Nachbarn Junge bekommen:

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Seit dem letzen Blogeintrag sind nun 3 Wochen vergangen. Die erste dieser Wochen began mit dem Sportscamp “Coast to Coast” , die zweite Woche gab es dann dasselbe nochmal nur unter dem Namen “Town & Country”. Beide Wochen liefen nach dem selben Schema ab. Die einzelnen Teams traten gegeneinader in vielen Sportarten an (siehe Blogeintrag “Woche Zwei und Drei). Dieses Mal wurde ich nicht nur in Archery ( Bogenschießen), Schwimmen und Basektball eingesetzt sondern auch in Cross Country (Geländelauf) und Netball. Netball ist eine Sportart, welche sehr an Basketball erinnert. Es ist mehr oder weniger die neuseeländische Nationalsportart für Frauen (das männliche Geschlecht spielt kein Netball). Ich versuche Netball hier nicht zu erklären, weil ich es selber nicht verstehe. Zum Glück musste ich nur die Körbe zählen. (Wer mehr über Netball erfahren möchte kann gerne bei Wikipedia nachschauen, es wird dort ziemlich gut erklärt). Das Highlight beider Wochen war wieder die Cheersnight. Ich finde es super, wie die Teams versuchen ihre Klassengemeinschaft und Teamstärke darzustellen. Ein weiterer Augenblick den ich nicht vergessen werde, war meine erste Nachwache. Ich musste schauen, dass alle Mädchen brav und ruhig in ihren Betten liegen und gegebenenfalls schlafen. So die Theorie. Die Praxis sah so aus, dass zwar alles ruhig war, ich mich aber mit jedem Raum prächtig amüsierte und ich wirklich guten Kontakt zu den Mädchen aufgebaut habe. Viele wollten, dass ich ihnen von Deutschland erzähle und sie erzählten mir von ihren Lieblingsplätzen in Neuseeland, leider habe ich viele dieser Plätze schon vergessen, da die Namen hier unmöglich zu merken sind!

In den letzten Wochen war ich nicht nur arbeiten. Ich war zweimal im Kino. Einmal in “So it goes” einer sehr interessante und schöne Komödie über zwei pensionierte Menschen. Diese habe ich zusammen mit Courtney in Mount Maunganui angeschaut.  Das zweite Mal hat mich die Küchencrew eingeladen mit ihnen in den Film “God’s not Dead!” zu gehen. Der Film ist echt empfehlenswert. Es geht um den Beweis von Gott und ist keiner dieser “Ich werde dich vom Christentum überzeugen” Filme. Und das Kino auch! Wir waren in Hamilton! Und die Sitze waren halbe Betten. Man konnte diese Umklappen!

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Zudem besuchte ich eine Art Jugendgruppe für Erwachsene. Vielleicht nennt man es dann mehr Bibelgruppe. Es war sehr schön und ich hab viele nette Kiwis kennengelernt. Leider finden die Treffen zeitgleich mit dem Turnen in der Stadt statt, so dass ich mich jetzt entschieden haben die nächsten vier Wochen noch ins Turnen zu gehen (dannach gibt es eine lange Sommerpause von 6 Monaten bevor der Turnclub wieder neustartet) und danach die Bibelgruppe besuche.

Am Wochenende 15./16. August bin ich auf der “Imagine-Conference” gewesen. Die örtliche Kirche “Mosaic-Soul” hat eine Frauen-Treffen organisiert. Es ging vor allem um viel Worship und Essen.  Den ersten Abend gab es einen kleinen Markt mit lauter schönen Dingen, wie Dekoartikel und Schmuck. Am Samstag, den 16. August ging es dann zur richtigen Conference. Es gab verschiedene Predigerinnen, die über ihr Leben und Gott geredet haben, es war sehr schön und ich habe viele Anregungen erhalten. Zudem fand das ganze in einer wunderschönen Obst- und Zitrusfruchtplantage statt.

Am Sonntag darauf, bin ich dann mit Beth und Courtney erst nach Bethlehem gefahren und dann mit Beth weiter nach Mount Maunganui. Es ist schon komisch, ich bin gerademal sechs Wochen hier und war schon drei mal in “The Mount”. Diesmal haben wir den Berg erklommen und sind danach zu einer schönen Abkühlung ins Meer! Das war eisig kalt!

Am Montag, den 18. August hatten wir erst ein sog. OSCAR-Training. OSCAR ist ein Programm für neuseeländische Outdoorcamps, wenn die Camps bestimmte Auflagen, die mit dem OSCAR-Programm in Verbindung stehen, bekommen sie eine Auszeichnung und eine kleine Förderung vom Staat. Zudem wird dadurch Kindern, die nicht genügend finanzielle Mittel für einen Aufenthalt in einem Outdoorcamp haben, ermöglicht, eine Woche kostenlos im Camp zu verbringen.

An dem besagten Montag habe ich zudem meine erste und letzte offizielle neuseeländische Fahrschulstunde erhalten. Das war sehr lustig und gut. Vor allem, als ich immer die Scheibenwischer anstatt den Blinker angemacht habe. Jetzt weis ich aber, wie man manuell auf der falschen Seite Auto fährt und darf das Campcar verwenden.

So und nun zu dem Ereignis der letzten drei Wochen! Ich war in HOBBITON!!!!  In der Früh des 23. August’s hab ich Chrissi (eine Voluntärin in Hamilton) vom Bus abgeholt und wir sind mit dem Hobbtionbus zum Movieset gefahren. Es ist so unglaublich schön gemacht und es sieht aus wie im Film, obwohl ich nicht weit von dem Set entfernt wohne, sind die Landschaftsstrukturen anders.  Die ganzen Hobbithäuser sind liebevoll gestalltet und es wurde sogar ein künstlicher Baum angepflanzt. Neben zwei weiteren Deutschen, unserem Tour-Führer William gab es nur Japaner, die unserer Meinung nach nur dorthin sind, weil es im Reiseführer steht.  99% konnten kein Englisch und sind nur mit dem Foto rumgelaufen. Fast so wie die Chinesen in Schloss Neuschwanstein. Ich habe in Hobbiton auch Kulissen vom Hobbit 3 begutachten können, ich bin schon gespannt wie die Kulissen im Film eingesetzt werden. Da muss ich aber noch bis Dezember warten.  Ich kann leider nicht besser beschreiben wie es war, schaut euch einfach die Bilder im Link am Ende dieses Eintrags an.

Am Sonntag den 24. August ging es für Chrissi und Mich dann ab zu den Wairere Falls. Das war ein Erlebnis, als erstes mussten wir Tanken, da das Campcar kaum noch Sprit hatte. Ich hatte natürlich keine Ahnung wie das mit dem Auto funktionierte, aber dank eines netten Tankwarts, der mich aus der Kirche kannte, konnten wir das ganze Problem nach 10 Minuten lösen. Ich habe gelernt, wie die Tankstellen hier funktionieren! (bzw. der Tankdeckel des Campcars aufgeht :-D )

Dann ging es los in die Kaimais. Am Parkplatz angekommen haben wir unsere Rucksäcke genommen und sind den 1,5-stündigen Marsch zu der Spitze des Wasserfalls angetreten. Der Weg führte durch den Dschungel! Das war unglaublich. Oben angekommen hatten wir einen wunderschönen Ausblick über das Waikato-District. Es ist unglaublich wie ein kleiner ruhiger Bach zu einem extrem Steilen unkontrollierbaren Wasserfall wird. Der Zufluss ist vielleicht 30 cm tief und man kann an dem Beginn des Wasserfalls herumlaufen. Wir haben uns einen schönen Stein inmitten des Wasserfalls gesucht und hatten dort unser Mittagessen!  Ich werde unbedingt wieder dorthin kommen!!! Der Wasserfall ist nur 15 min entfernt!

In meiner letzten Woche habe ich die “richtige” Arbeit, wie man mir erklärte kennengelernt. Wir hatten drei Schulklassen im Camp, die unsere Aktionen gebucht hatten. Ich wurde in Hydroslide, Klettern und Flying Kiwi trainiert! Mal sehen wie die nächsten Wochen so laufen!

Nächste Woche geht es zu meinem dritten Erste-Hilfe-Kurs innerhalb von zwei Jahren! Aber diesmal auf Englisch. Ich lasse mich überraschen!

Es ist immer wieder schwer sich am Wochenende hinzusetzten und zu schreiben, als ich diesen Eintrag beenden wollte kam meine Nachbarin und hat mich zum Abendessen eingeladen. Es gab echt guten Fisch mit Pommes (Fish&Chips). Danach haben wir noch zusammen mit ihrer Familie und anderen Nachbarn Phase 10 gespielt.

Liebe Grüße vom anderen Ende der Welt!

Leonie

Hier habe ich einige Bilder für euch!

 

Sulo’s Blog Post – Week 6

This week saw all the weeks of planning of my committee – Monitoring & Evaluation – finally cone together. With the survey questionnaire designed, the target area identified, it was time for the entire team to set off and gather information about Antem, the immediate local community near the Football For Hope Centre. This data would help the next cycle of volunteers to address specific needs and concerns of this community.
Over 300 people were interviewed with major concerns ranging from education to the lack of adequate local health facilities. This was an interesting experience because we got to see the living conditions of some of our students who attend the vacation classes. We also got to see some very cute babies and toddlers, which is always a plus. We found the community very open and willing to talk to us. So all in all, the community survey was a success.

This also was the week Portia and I had our learning day. Our chosen topic was Development Aid. Our presentation included how the UK gave aid and specifically the aid given to Ghana, as well as general information on aid.

A last mention on a favourite British topic: the weather. The weather this week was hot (mid-late twenties) and humid, but with a lot more rain than expected since we are entering the dry season. DSC_0036[1]

Portia’s Blog Post

We arrived at capecoast on Sunday after our successful mid project review (MPR).This week has been a very busy week and we are looking forward to achieving even more in the weeks to come. On Monday we continued to run our vacation classes and later in the day we had a meeting to plan for the week and how we were going to give the Abro team a warm and cordial welcome. On Tuesday after class we had a match between lattitude and abenkwan fc. The abenkwan fc played very well, the game was actually fantastic. The score was 9-1 against lattitude. Lattitude fc is performing so poorly since they lost their first match to Abrakadabra. On Wednesday, the female team (lattitude) had our first training and played a match with the kids as part of the training. We had a tough time since we are preparing to wipe away the abro female team when they come to capecoast. All the same we had a very wonderful weekend.

By Princess

We have reached half way on the project here in Cape Coast. Looking back from where we were 5 weeks ago we have achieved a lot. So far we have successfully run the vacation classes, Free Play and Play Soccer each week. The introduction of Creative day running alongside Free Play has gone down well as the children are enjoying a variety of activities from which they can choose from. In infrastructure we have built a fence, and currently in the process of laying down the foundation for the kitchen for the centre.

This week Saturday 16th we had our clean up exercise. The first half of the clean up was the weeding around the centre, and the next half of the cleanup we went around the community picking up rubbish whilst holding placards with messages on keeping the community and environment clean. Overall the day was a success as several bags of rubbish was collected, and awareness for the Football For Hope centre was raised as more students are turning up to vacation classes because of it.

Street League has been divided into three teams managed by us volunteers; “Gye nyame”, “Abenkwa” and “Abrakadabra”. We have formed a separate team for Lattitude who will also play against those in street league. This week Tuesday Gye nyame and Abenkwa played against each other. It was a good game with the scores ending in a draw of 3:3. Thursday we had Abrakadabra play against Lattitude, Abrakadabra played exceptionally well beating Lattitude 6:2.
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Eric and Catherine’s Post!

The team woke up Monday after being with the Cape Coast volunteers all weekend. We began lessons and crèche at 9am and worked through until 12. During the time when others weren’t teaching, we met in the ICS office and planned lessons for the rest of the week, as well as comparing sunburn from the weekend. We then parted for lunch and returned to the office for 2pm. At 2 we were separated by the music festival committee into groups to discuss and rehearse our topics for the event. The topics include; safe sex, rubbish and sanitation,  menstrual cycle, puberty, and personal hygiene. We practised what we were going to talk about and how we are going to act it out. We then had our weekly Active Citizenship Day (ACD) with Gilbert and Rachel; we discussed international development and the pros and cons of Colonization, this escalated into an interesting debate about religion.

On Tuesday we again had our classes in the morning, after lunch we came back to continue preparations for the Music Festival. The football Gala event team also met to start discussing their ideas; this will be the next event after the music festival.

On Wednesday, summer school continued. we began practise for our group song performance for  the music festival. We decided to perform ‘Da Na Se’, Mercy, Rachael and Amber all had solos at the beginning of the song and the rest of us joined. The infrastructure team collected the wooden beams and metal sheets from the next village Komenda for our project in September where we build the new school roof. We all helped unload them from the truck, they were heavy, it took team work. We then all got in the back of the truck for a ride back up to the office, it was fun. We then continued on to Alex and Eric’s social where we ate pineapple, drank Sebola and played 40/40games,it takes two, and pick and act.

Thursday was Alex, Lizzie and Charlotte’s My Culture Day (MCD) where they talked through the history of Britain going into depth on the swinging sixties and Henry VIII. This was interesting as all the UK volunteers tried to sing some of the Beatles, in particular Hey Jude to the group. After this we got to celebrate Alex’s birthday! We went to his house where we enjoyed more sausages, gizzard, and of course delicious birthday cake. As well as this we danced the night away listening to classic tunes such as Teenage Dirtbag, Tonga and Aye.

As the weekend drew closer on Friday we had another team meeting where we discussed the upcoming Mid placement review in Kumasi. We then rehearsed and practised our performances again for the music festival, so by the time Saturday morning came everyone was raring to go. The festival committee kicked off organizing the morning. We all collected the chairs and assembled the gazebos at 9.30am along with collecting the instruments.  The MC’s managed to control the crowd and keep the audience interested with some on the spot performances from Jutta, Gloria and Faustina. When the churches arrived the festival was well underway. We separated each performance with a talk in between. The talks involved a song on personal hygiene, a diagram of the human body with the changes of puberty and a demonstration of the correct use of condoms. We also gave out refreshments, and leaflets on how to correctly wash your hands. We then closed the festival with the well practised performance of Da Na Se.

Our ICS group singing DaNaSe at our Music Festival health awareness event

Our ICS group singing DaNaSe at our Music Festival health awareness event

On Sunday we visited the beach to rest and reflect on the week we’d had, and the weeks we have to look forward to.

Cat and Eric

Teaching and football in Abrobiano!

Most activities of the past week had been teaching in our summer school and football training session for the upcoming match between the Abro team and the Cape Coast team.

On Monday, 4th August 2014, we had our Summer school teaching as usual and Active Citizenship Day later in the evening led by Fuastina and Alex on the theme International Development. Together   we defined it and looked at the Millennium Development Goals and their level of progress so far. We ended the day’s activities with football training.

Active Citizenship Day in Abrobiano

Active Citizenship Day in Abrobiano

Tuesday, we continued our summer school teaching, football training in the evening, peer education and met 8PM at the office where we celebrated Faustina’s birthday. There was playing of games, taking of soft drinks, music and dancing till about 11pm.

Wednesday, we had our teaching sessions in the summer school, soccer training in the evening, peer education and met later in the night at Eric and Alex’s host home for Mercy and Charlotte’s social night. There were coconuts for everyone to drink, the social night ended with a movie watching till mid night.

Thursday, summer classes went on as usual, the external committee went to Cape Coast to get stuff needed to host our co volunteers from Cape Coast and we had our My Culture Day in the evening which was presented by Sarah and Gilbert. They talked about  Dipo rites of the people of Krobo land, Sarah dressed up as a Dipo girl and they took us through the activities  that take place during the performance of the rites, from the announcements  to purification  and sitting on the sacred stone as well as training the girls to become responsible  and good wives etc. We ended the day’s activities with football training.

An art lesson in the Abrobiano Summer School

An art lesson in the Abrobiano Summer School

Friday, all volunteers  including team leaders joined the community for a general clean up which took place between the hours 7am and 8am.The clean up exercise was followed by our normal teaching in the summer school and a team meeting later  in the evening, we talked about adding health aspects to our normal teaching, and we had updates from the health and safety  committee , community liaison committee, external affairs committee, infrastructure committee, event planning committee and over view of all upcoming events and reminding of volunteers of the roles they play.

Saturday, the group met early in the morning to continue with the arrangements for the hosting of the football event between the Abro and Cape Coast group. We set up canopies, arranged chairs and organised the field for the football match. The Cape Coast team arrived around 11AM they received a warm welcome from the Abro team. After resting for a while, there was a football match between the Abro ladies team and Cape ladies  team which ended with a lone goal in favour of the Abro ladies team. This was followed by the much awaiting match between the men side.  Unfortunately, Abro team lost by three goals to nil. This was followed by presentation of medals to the teams, lunch with soft drinks then we met later at the bar where we enjoyed drinking and dancing to music, from there we carried on the enjoyment to the sea shore where we had a bonfire night.

The Abrobiano men's team!

The Abrobiano men’s team!

Musa and Lizzi

Hannah’s Blog post

While in Abrobiano we also had the opportunity to visit the beach for a small beach party. After an afternoon of chilling at the beach, drinking from coconuts and swimming in the sea we all went back to our separate host home for the evening for dinner as well as to get ready to meet for an evening social event.

Everyone’s evening started differently but for me I found that the opportunity of living in a complete different setting from cape coast was new and exciting for me. After settling in and meeting my new host family for that night the other volunteers I was staying with and I sat down for dinner.

After a nice dinner we got ready for the evening, the evening consisted of a night at the bar for a few drink and some dancing.

After the bar we headed back to the beach for a night bonfire. We sat, sang and chatted for hours amongst ourselves which was the perfect time to get to know some of the Abrobiano volunteers (UK and In- country volunteers) as well as continue conversations with the cape coast volunteers as well.
After a few hours us volunteers started to make our individual journeys back to our host homes.
I enjoyed my brief visit to Abrobiano as it made me more appreciative of the things I have as well as gave me the opportunity to experience living life in their conditions.

I left Abrobiano with a new and better perspective on life as well an experience that I ( and I know the other volunteers) would not forget.

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By Hannah Marshall

This week has been very exciting with the visit to Abrobiano during the weekend. During the weekend, we had a football match between the cape-coast volunteers and the abrobiano volunteers which was very exciting. It was a football match for the ladies and the men ,in which the men won by three goals to nill and the ladies were down by one goal to nill. I thought that, it should be a one-one goal for the ladies but the referee being bias he did not accept the which was to draw the game, and with the guys game Oliver scored the first goal which was very fantastic. Afterwards Lukman gave out the last and the wining goal. The next day on our way back to cape-coast we visited the Elmina castle, which we all had fun but unfortunately Frank didn’t take his ID card along. BY GIFTY ANNOR DANSO

Ghana 511

Ghana 576