Steph, Jess, and I have continued with our busy schedules, bumping along the bush roads daily and enjoying new adventures. We have now visited 19/20 Kekeli women in their villages, a feat we are all quite impressed with. We had originally planned to visit at least half, but realized that the unvisited half would not be pleased with this plan. So we travel the mostly dirt roads in a maze of development that we often find ourselves lost in, until a village emerges and a Kekeli woman in a bright blue t-shirt greets us. We are learning about daily life in each village: where the water comes from, where people “go to toilet”, the average diet, malaria prevalence, where women deliver their babies, and people’s thoughts on family planning. We know many of these answers in the general sense, but we wanted to learn from people who really experience life in the village; we wanted to go beyond large generalizations and see for ourselves.
Many of the discussions we engage in are difficult. Women deliver alone in their huts because the $5 it would cost for a taxi to the hospital, where delivery is free, is considered to expensive. The things I spend $5 on without batting an eye are countless. The majority of communities report no toilets, that they go in the bush. I have not one time had to use the bush for, shall we say, number two…And I really hope I don’t have to. But for most this is a daily
occurrence. Many villages have requested that we bring them a clinic. The requests are respectful, and they feel endless and daunting.
In many ways I feel I am getting used to Ghana. We are comfortable in the Sefe house, with electricity, an outhouse toilet, a ceiling fan, a place to bucket-shower, good food, and a lot of love. All of these things distinguish us apart from how most of the people in the villages live. I peered into the mud house today of a village chief. He took his shoes off before entering, which I found interesting since the floor inside is also made of dirt. I saw only a tattered chair and a few possessions in his home. And this I am still not used to.
David, our host, has been nothing short of wonderful. He is a busy many who wears many hats, but puts most of his other work at bay while we are here and acts as a gracious host and project manager. We often wonder how we got so lucky, without him it would be near impossible for the program to survive at this stage. David’s cell phone, which is constantly ringing, sounds like a small child laughing or crying-depends who you ask. It is often tucked in his shirt pocket and we all like to tease David that his baby is crying. Always good for a nice laugh.
We are well and in good spirits, ready to visit Seva tomorrow and
prepare for our final meetings in the coming days.