Thursday, June 25, 2015

Zaare (Welcome) to Cohort 11's blog

Zaare, welcome to the first blog from cohort 11 of the volunteers from International Service. We are here in Bolgatanga working with TradeAID on the Income project. The Income project focuses on empowering craft sector workers to establish sustainable and more profitable enterprises so that they have better livelihoods and gain food security for themselves and their families. So far we have been planning how we will be using our time and beginning to get used to Ghanaian life including learning the local language - Frafra (in Frafra zaare means welcome).

The main areas that we will be working on are BICAF; the (Bolgatanga International Craft and Arts Fair), spreading the word about the local crafts on social media, developing the selling of the crafts on the Etsy website: (https://www.etsy.com/search?q=bolga%20basket) and continuing to raise awareness about FairTrade in the local area as well as helping to train the crafts people in business skills.

First, we would like to introduce ourselves, written by Joy (one of the volunteers).

Our personalities are different but sort of come off as a good blend;

Norbert and James, who are roommates in the host home and are well suited because they are more introvert personalities. These guys are in their own little race for “the least quiet one after week one” and I must say James is winning.

Rakib is a U.K. volunteer who drinks like he can live on water ALONE, he goes through water like the Niagara Falls; in a bottle, in a sachet - just water actually- the heat in Bolgatanga causes this.

Then there is Katherine who came up with the brilliant rule of “on Mondays you are not allowed to moan about the heat”. Honestly, they are all getting better at adjusting.

I (Joy) just laugh at everything and even when it’s not funny come to think of it.

Iona has found something comfortable to eat in Ghana, thank God! And they are Mangoes!! She’s not so keen on Banku though.

Mary is beautifully quiet and when she speaks frafra I really find it musical. And Oh! She won the first round of UNO she ever played. Yeah that’s wicked, I know.

And there is Napari. This guy knows stuff! I mean the guy knows that the UK is divided into Counties as if knowing all the confusing political geography of Ghana is not enough.

Our fun (am actually not completely sure) Team leader is Prince. He was once the “Airbender” for the University of Ghana Handball team.

We are poised for work and we do brainstorming a lot and at the oddest times - like when we are supposed to be relaxing on a Sunday. All the Volunteers are determined to overcome impossibility and trust me there are some.

So you know who we are, we’ve made our plans and now we’re ready to get started on the project!

There is a lot of work to do but I promise we’ll keep you updated with what’s happening.

The International Service INCOME team

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