Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tamale so far - Lauren Heinen

(To start, my Mom told me this morning that a few people have asked her for my personal blog because they haven't found me on here yet - it's

So, we're in Tamale now after an 8 hour bus ride. I really enjoy these bus rides...some of us love them and some of us love them a little less. I find it nice to just 'be' since up until today we had been pretty busy with different things.

Since we've been here in Tamale we went to a few different villages. There's a program here called the Rural and Social Development Program which utilizes the funds from village tours to help with the development of the different villages. We paid about 18 cedis (equivalent to about $12 Canadian) for a tour of 3 villages - we saw how the compounds are arranged, had a little bit of their daily life shown and explained to us, and got to help in the process of Shea Butter production and a few of us had an opportunity to make clay pots.

We also had a chance to go to Melcom's which is like the Wal-Mart in Ghana. It sells a variety of different things, but the purchasing process is MUCH different than what we have in North America. At first we were all confused but we figured it out.

There is so much to love about this country and this lifestyle. The Ghanaian people are incredibly friendly and enjoy making conversation. Yesterday we were waiting outside Melcom's for a few others who were still shopping, and some kids came up to us and shook our hands and said very enthusiastically "Welcome to Ghana!". They love having us here. There are so many other examples of how welcoming these Ghanaian people make us feel!

For me, visiting the villages was both amazing and also heartbreaking. Seeing these kids and their sicknesses and malnutrition breaks my heart over and over again. But then seeing how happy they are and how they care so well for eachother, makes me fall in love with Africa, over and over again. They are such a supportive and loving people.

The other night Erin met up with a 9 year old boy on the side of the road. After walking together for some time (and then I joined them on my way home from the internet cafe), she tried to give him something and shook his head and said "no, I just want to be your friend". These kids wear their hearts on their sleeve. They are beautiful. He's playing a football (soccer) game today so we're hoping to go watch!

As others have mentioned, the water and power situation here is very unpredictable!! The water gets randomly shut off (or just stops working? not sure), and so does the power. It makes me more aware of how blessed we are in North America to not have these issues. We're doing our best to look on the bright side of every situation and just go with it!! I love it.

I hear there's a pool close by...hoping to make a stop there at some point too!!

That's all for now!


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