2011 Summer Fellowship Program Day 2

Today we have a guest post from Fellowship Leader Annie McBride! Here’s what Annie had to say about the second day of the Summer Fellowship Program:

Today all seven teams got one step closer to bringing clean water to seven new villages around Tamale!  We started the day with a brief icebreaker activity that took a little longer than expected.

The first group quickly unwinded limbs,

While the second group seemed to struggle a bit…

Feeling a little closer to each other and I think a little more wary of partaking in future icebreaker activities, we continued on with orientation.  Each group learned how to roll alum balls and the proper swirling technique from their translators.

Ianthe, Hudson and Chris with Shak.
Peter, Ben, Nathan, Annie and Christine
Steph, Abena and Wahab.
Christy, Karina, Lukeman and Matt watching the particles in the dugout water floc together
Heather, Christina, Xi and Cassie with Amin.

And then roll played to practice household visits…

Jess, Kelsey, Kendra, Javier and TJ.

After lunch, each team headed out to visit past CWS villages to practice household monitoring and to get a better understanding of the water treatment center they will soon be implementing in their own villages.

Will, Alyssa, Abigail and Meaghan take a break in the shade with translator Ayesha, while entertaining all the kids in Nyamaliga.

All in all, it seemed that every team had a great initial experience in the villages and are looking forward to beginning their own projects.  We are very excited to see each of their projects develop over the next three weeks!


The Summer Fellows Have Arrived!

After a crazy 31-hour adventure that involved a misunderstood directions, a “staff meeting” at the bus station (which caused a 4+ hour delay), a broken down bus, 9+ hours waiting for a new bus, a new bus, and finally, a 11 hour ride upto Tamale, our 2011 Summer Fellows have arrived!! We are so excited that they are finally here and are so impressed with their positive attitudes, resiliency, and pluck!

The group arrived at the bus station at 1pm this afternoon and we whisked them away to their guest house where they could shower (yay!), eat a big lunch and recover from their journey. Here are a few pictures from lunch-time to prove to all of the caring parents out there that everyone is happy, healthy and well fed!

Some of the boys enjoying their first meal at GILBT, chicken and rice!


Ready for a good meal!


Welcome to Ghana!


We're so happy you're here!


3/4 of the CWS Staff: Ayesha, Amin, Annie, Hannah, TJ, and Lukeman. (missing: Shak, Peter, and me!)

Fellowship Leaders Are Here!

Hannah, Hannah and Annie arrived in Tamale on Sunday night and we have been having a great time getting ready for the Summer Fellowship Program!

The 2011 Summer Fellowship Leaders: Annie, Hannah Stonebraker, and Hannah Hill

Its been a busy week complete with driving lessons (all of the vehicles here are standard!), planning sessions and trips to the field.

Peter teaching Hannah S. the basics of driving stick-shift
Annie showing TJ how she's mastered the Jeep
Shak showing Hannah H. how to drive the moto. By the end of the afternoon she was a pro!
Hannah S. trying out the moto with TJ
Despite the few rains we have had in Tamale, the roads to the villages are still alittle dusty....

Although the Fellowship Leaders have mastered driving the truck, jeep and motos, there is one thing that we haven’t quiet figured out yet…

Clearly we need to take some lessons from the Winter Fellows..

Almost all of the Summer Fellows have arrived in Accra. The last few flights are getting in this afternoon and tonight and they all head up to Tamale tomorrow! Stay tuned for more updates!


The countdown until the start of the 2011 Summer Fellowship Program is officially in single digits! The Fellowship Leaders arrive in Tamale on Sunday and the Fellows are just a few days behind them. We can’t wait!

This week I finished up my visits to all of the CWS villages,tagging along with Shak and Peter as they  checked-up on Nyamaliga, Chongashe and Gbong.

CWS' second-ever water treatment center in the village of Nyamaliga! We opened this water business in January of 2009 and its been one of our most successful businesses!
This is Gbong dugout. All of these green leaves were blown/carried by a stream into the dugout after a big rain storm a few weeks ago. It looks very very strange! Thanks to the support of iContact (Gbong's village sponsor) the community no longer has to drink from this water source!
TJ and Shak checking up on the water treatment center in Chongashe. Everything was running smoothly but the community misses Sanita, Fabiola, Eleanor and Rachel!
The Chongashe dugout. Its gotten much lower and more turbid since the Winter Fellows were here in January.

This week I also met with Unicef and a representative from the Central Gonja District Assembly who updated me on our Unicef-CWS villages, Kampong, Alipe, Mile 40, Gilanzegu, and Nyanguripe. One of Unicef’s goals in partnering with us and the Central Gonja District was to “build the capacity of the local government”. One way that we have tried to do this was to pass on the monitoring of these water businesses to the District Assembly. Handing over this responsibility to the government has been challenging for CWS because we are very invested in our communities and like to know that the water businesses are succeeding. We have learned a lot over the past three years about how to successfully monitor our businesses and are used to being the ones in control! Despite these challenges, we recognize the importance of engaging the local government and are glad that Unicef has been able to facilitate this partnership. The District reported that for the most part, these 5 villages are doing well. The few problems that they are experiencing are all things that CWS has dealt with before and we hope to help the District solve them over the next few months. A big thanks to Gerry and Judy O’Connell, the Medfield Fit Girls, The Nolan’s, The Reids, and CWS Facebook Causes Team for sponsoring these  villages – I’ll hopefully have some new pictures from them shortly!

Checking up on Chanaayili, Gidanturu and Kpallabusi

On Monday, I headed out with Wahab and Peter to celebrate my birthday in the field! We checked-up on Chanaayili, Gidanturu, and Kpallabusi. Besides some fallen signboards, all three villages were doing well and have been consistently selling water each week. Chanaayili can’t wait to see Annie and Hannah in a couple weeks and when the chief of Kpallabusi found out that Kathryn would be back in Ghana soon, he could not hide his excitement! Here are some pictures from our visits:

Peter and Wahab asking Hawa from Chanaayili about her sales this week
Water treatment center in Chanaayili
Chanaayili's dugout is getting pretty low and looking REALLY green. The community is very grateful for Annie, Hannah, Karla, and Sam (and all of the donors that supported their team), who helped them build the CWS water treatment center so they no longer have to drink this!
Wahab taking notes while Peter asks Baramini about last week's water sales in Gidanturu
Hanging out with Baramini at the Gidanturu dugout. Thank you to Colleen and Jeff Clopeck who sponsored the water treatment center at this village!
Last stop of the day was Kpallabusi where Peter and Wahab showed me the fence that the village built around their water treatment center.
After stoping by the water treatment center, we chatted with Zilifawu about the week. She was a little disappointed that I was there instead of Jim, Kathryn, Elsie or Lauren. But, she was excited to find out that Kathryn would be back soon!

This week in pictures

On Monday and Tuesday I shadowed Shak and TJ as they monitored Yipela, Zanzugu Yipela, Zanzugu and Wambong. All four villages were doing great! It was so awesome to see the water treatment centers running smoothly!
First we stopped by Yipela and chatted with Saramatu
Saramatu bought some aquatabs since she was running low.
TJ did an awesome job taking notes on the CWS monitoring sheets.
Then we stopped by Wambong to see Chang-Chang. As you can see, the water treatment center was packed! It was so great to see all of those blue buckets on just a random Monday!
Chang-Chang says "Hi!" to all of the 2010 Summer Fellows
In Zanzugu, Azara had TJ and Shak move the water treatment center to the center of town for the rainy season because they have a couple of hand-dug wells that fill with water during the rains. This is one of the dug-wells. The water is still very turbid and fecally contaminated, so it still needs to be treated, but its easier for the village to fetch from the water treatment center when its close to the center of town. So far the new system is working well!
On Tuesday, we went back to Zanzugu Yipela and did a few household visits. Here are TJ and Shak taking a sample and speaking with a woman from the community about her water.
Woman on her way home from fetching water at the CWS water business in Zanzugu Yipela
On Wednesday, I headed down the Salaga Rd to check up on Chani, Jarigu and Cheko with Peter and Wahab. Here are Peter and Wahab talking with Alhassan's wife (who has recently started helping her husband run the water business), in Jargiu.
On Thursday, we spent the morning in Cheko training a new translator (more on that to come later!) and then spent the afternoon lugging 1,000 safe storage containers from Melcom to our office! 2011 Summer Fellows, we are now ready for you!