Tuesday- June 22nd, 2010
Today I was supposed to go to the RCH for my placement, but when we just about to leave, Makafui was notified that they are closed today for an in-service workshop for their staff. So instead of going to the RCH, we went to help build a school. Even though I was disappointed that we did not go to the RCH, I had a great experience at the school. We traveled about 45 minutes to a town called Wegbe- a small, very poor village. While we met with the chief of the village for a few minutes, he explained that the village has about 600 people- and about 75 kids without a school.
Presently, they do not have any classrooms- just outside chairs. They cannot afford to build a school, so they rely on volunteers and community help to do construction. So far, the school has about 3 feet of wall built out of mud. They are planning on building a 9 foot wall all around for the classrooms, so today they needed more mud. I never knew how to make mud to build a house before, so this was a new experience for me. We first had to pick axe the ground to loosen the dirt, and then dig with a shovel about 4 feet down. We created a nice layout for a swimming pool- if only it could be one because it was incredibly hot outside. Anyways, we mixed the wet dirt with the right amount of water, then made the mud into a snowball sized ball and then slapped them on top of the existing mud bricks so that they are stacked. After about 3 hours of this, we were all dripping wet from sweat and exhausted. The locals gave us freshly picked bananas which tasted amazing, and we went back to the home base
Lunch today was rather interesting, something new which I loved. We had Banku (a local favorite) which is basically raw dough which tasted sour- but we mixed it with a soup that they made us which was so tasty- it was a ground peanut chicken soup with onions, pepper, and rice of course. I don't think I have ever had soup in such a hot climate before- but it sure was good. Supposedly, we are supposed to try Grasscutter sometime this week. Grasscutter is a large rodent- looks kind of like a gopher, its a local popular food- should be yummy!
After lunch, we took about a 1 hour drive to the Monkey sanctuary. It was rainy, so it was sort of a short trip. We arrived into the village which was all monkey themed, and met our tour guide. He took us about 20 meters into the forest to two large trees where there were about 15 monkeys hanging around the trees. We were all given two bananas to feed them. It was the cutest thing to have the monkeys come right next to me and reach for the banana, peel the banana and take a bite of it. I have never been so close to a monkey before, it was awesome!
All in all, today was a fun and eventful day. When I first found out in the morning that we were not going to the RCH, I was a bit disappointed, but it was rewarding to help the village build the school. Tomorrow I will be going to the hospital- they are supposed to have a lot of surgeries on Wednesdays, so hopefully I will be able to sit in on one!
Also I forgot to mention- the past 2 days the whole town has been out of running water. Last night was the first time in my life that I took a shower with a bucket of water- very interesting experience. Hopefully the water will come back on in a few days, we have bottled water at the home base for us so I am alright for drinking, but for showering and flushing the toilet, it sure has been interesting.