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.
And then roll played to practice household visits…
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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: