Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rahina's Photos

Rahina is one of the sachet water vendors I interviewed. I gave her my camera for a day to take pictures so I could see her life as she sees it. I'm developing a few of them for her to keep. Also, I'm going to follow up with some of the interviewees to have a focus group before I leave where they can meet each other and talk about the photos...PS Can you believe you can meet someone off the street, give them your camera and get back the next day? That's how this country is, very trustworthy.

This is Rahina...

This is part of a naming ceremony which is conducted one week after a baby is born to give them a name...

This is one of her kids. She doesn't like her photo being taken!

This is one of her friends....

This is one of her neighbors...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Random Photos from the Field


How to Make Sachet Water

the women of Tishagu

I spent the day mapping the neighborhood of Tishagu. These ladies were very helpful and told me all about their community and let me take their pictures. I'm going to try to print them out and give them copies.

more sachet water vendors

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I've been having trouble posting pictures to blogger. I have tons coming right up!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thank you Megan Barry!

Thank you Megan for being the first to donate to Africa Change International. You rock!

Hot Tamale!

We took the (air conditioned) bus to Tamale on Wednesday. We left Accra at 3pm and arrived in Tamale at about 6am. While we were waiting for the bus, a woman unloaded all these bananas

Here is the house we are staying in. It is also the headquarters of Pure Home Water. It does not have air conditioning, but it actually isn't very hot here. Yes, that is a rain harvesting system. But we haven't had much rain yet. Peter in Accra says it's been raining there.

This is the Pure Home Water truck. Jesse, Jake and I sit in the back and everyone seems to think that is really funny.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


ACI opened the internet cafe three days ago and customers are pouring in! Peter tells me this story of a 15 year old boy: He walked in at about 7pm last night, asking about the free computer workshops. He sat down at a computer and Peter logged him in and left. When Peter went back in the cafe, he saw that Paul our security guard (picture below) was talking to him. Peter admonished Paul to stop harrassing the customers, but Paul explained that he was showing the customer how to work the computer. Even though this 15 year old boy is in the school system that has a computer curriculum, he has never touched a computer! He didn't know how to work the mouse and didn't know how to click to get an internet page.

Unfortunately, this story doesn't surprise me. The Ghanaian government has mandated that all schools teach computers. But they don't have computers, so they hand write everything. There are even tech college graduates students WHO HAVE NEVER TOUCHED A COMPUTER. I'm not making this up. People can get a diploma in computers with only hand-writing code, and very obscure, out-dated code at that.

So, I'm really glad that Peter is doing this. We are writing a grant for seed money to start the basketball programming and enhance the computer lab from UN-Habitat. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Transitioning to the water project...

The Crew!
From left to right: Susan Murcott, husband Ralph, Yale freshmen Jesse and Jake.

Today I met up with Susan who just got in last night. We went to a small village about 1 hour outside of town in a district called Ga West. (pictures in next post) The project is one of six and are run by Water Health International, part of World Vision. They started their first project one year ago, which is the longest running water treatment plant of its kind. They plan to expand to 20 more. They get all of their materials from India, set up a project, employ Ghanaians, then sell the water for less than sachet water, which is the cheapest water you can buy. They also hold community workshops and educate people on the importance of clean water. We arrived at about 11am and they already had about 60 customers in a town of 1800.

Tomorrow I get to sit in on a board meeting for Pure Home Water. Board meetings sound boring, but it would be interesting to see the difference between a non-profit that operates in Africa versus one in the States. Then on Thursday, we are leaving Accra for Kumasi, and then even further north to Tamale! It's going to be hard to leave Accra because there is so much work to do here, but I have to do the research for my school paper. Eight more weeks of busy busy busy...then maybe I'll get home a take a vacation, ha ha!

(PS Today we also shopped at Global Mamas, a fair trade store run by the Minnesota non-profit Women in Progress. If you see any of their products in Ten Thousand Villages or other fair trade shop, buy them! Their profits go to women in Ghana teaching them sewing and business skills and a whole host of other things. They also take volunteers if you are thinking of coming to Ghana.)

How To Drink Clean Water

Step 1: Get water from the source.

Step 2: Filter the water through sand, activated carbon, microns and UV treatment.

Step 3: Fill bucket from tap.

Step 4. Drink pure water!

This is just a pretty bird that I saw;

In Accra

Matta makes the best fried plantains EVER...

This is Peter's grandmother all dressed up for church. She's wearing the scarf I brought her from the States! Thanks, mom for suggesting to bring her a scarf. Good call!

The lady on the left is Matta who cooks for me. She's standing with her friend.