Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Happy Birthday

I had a wonderful Birthday yesterday, which I celebrated with volunteer friends from across the Upper West region. Thank you to all the people who sent messages and calls. It made the day very special. I know some folks have sent cards and I shall look forward to those arriving through the Ghana Post between now and Feburary 2013!!! Many thanks. They all mean a lot to me and I can extend my Birthday for some time. I received one package from my parents and the enclosed candles were promptly stuck into the cake that Bas made. Thank you everyone.
As well as the beginning of a new school year, this a change over time for volunteers. Some have left or are leaving soon and a small group of new recruits have arrived in country and will head up here soon. I look forward to welcoming Gemma to the house in Nadowli by the end of the month.

Farming is going well due to the huge amounts of rain we are experiencing. Children are back at school and have spent the last week tidying their buildings and cleaners or caretakers here, the children sweep classrooms and weed the play areas. I followed 3 pupils aged about 10 on their way to school on Tuesday. each carried a long sharp "cutlass". At home we exclude any child bringing a penknife or similar into school. Here they are asked to bring along what in effect is a weapon. They learn to use them responsively and respect their value. They are also very adept at using them too.

Along the same path as these children there was a man leading 28 small goats to their grazing space for the day. Each was led by a piece of string around their neck. This happens every morning but usually with not quite so many. It still amazes me that they recognise their own.

I had not slept very well the previous night due to the racket outside my room. It was a full moon and I wondered whether some birds had mistaken the light for day light. When I mentioned this in the office the next morning, I was quickly informed that they were vampire bats! Evidently, I should be grateful that they chose to throw their party outside and not in the roof space. Then the noise problem would really start. I won't allow the vampire aspect of their nature to worry me. However, if I need to venture out after dark I shall wear a thick scarf!!!

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