So, everyday seems to be filled with something new, something odd, and something hilarious. I decided to go to a Methodist church with my Grandmother on Sunday and it was probably the longest 4 hours of my life. There was a lot of singing and dancing (which was fine but I had no idea what anyone was saying) and a lot of "offerings" so to speak. The sermon was interesting. Since their woman's group was raising money that Sunday he wanted to talk about women. Fair enough. But more importantly the role and duty of women. I knew at that point it was about to get interesting. We should wake up early, clean, have breakfast ready for the family because cleanliness is next to godliness. I sort of felt like I went back to the 50's but when he said the same thing in Twi the women kind of laughed so I'm not sure how serious it was. Then he continued to talk about the empowerment of women and how they're getting jobs outside the home etc... so then I felt like I was in the 60's when women not only had to work but clean and cook too! Good times... After about a half an hour of that the Pastor wanted the Americans to come forward and introduce themselves. So my other wonderful feminist volunteer friend Lindsey and I made our way to the front, used the little Twi we knew to say where we were from etc.. and we thought that would be it. Oh no. He announced that we couldn't go sit down until somebody donated 10 Ghana cedis for each of us. I quickly looked at Lindsey, "Are we being auctioned off?! At church?! In the name of God?! Without us realizing it?!" Yes we were. Luckily the 10 cedis came quickly and we could sit down but Lindsey was informed that she should now marry that man. Anything in the name of God right?
We spent the rest of the church service donating money during hymes. Its different also since they announce the price people are donating and then you get up and put that much in the box. I was apparently called on to donate a large sum of money but ya... volunteer. So I gave my 50 pesewas and I'm not sure I'll go back. I did meet a wonderful young Ghanaian girl after the service though that said she wanted to learn to play the piano. The church actually has a little Yamaha keyboard so I told her if she set it up I could teach her some things!
My host family is fine and always overly concerned and worried about me. They tried to wake me up at 5:30 this morning to sweep since they didn't understand what my teacher had told them about letting us sleep and just helping us cook etc... So hopefully I'll get that fixed and won't have knocking on my door everyday at 5:30. I know I woke up a lot earlier than that before (you crazy ICP staff)...but training is crazy and I could use the sleep! My host family does however really want to dress me up and buy me clothes and jewelry. Its uh... interesting and I'm trying to figure out how to best get around it. Also, when you invite a Ghanaian person out somewhere its important to know that you'll be the one paying. I didn't realize this and my host sister was very excited about getting us more food and drinks...and I saw why when I had to pay at the end. Important lessons to learn.
I should probably tell you all a little about my site! The town is called Jirapa and it's in the Upper West Region. The population is about 16,000 so its much larger than I expected. I have electricity, a flush toilet (oh ya!), and two rooms and a living room all to myself. Three volunteers have been there before me so I'll be jumping into quite a few projects which hopefully means I won't be board. There's a women's bakery that needs help with organization and marketing, there's a People Living With AIDS group that would like help with presentations and ideas for income to buy their medicine. There is also a clinic, an orphanage, and I'm in the District Capital so I hopefully will do a lot of work with the local government. They eat dog where I am going. But I think I love them too much to do that. It would be like eating a little Chloe...ya no way. We head to our site visits in a few weeks so I'll have more info after I check everything out!
Hope all is well in the states!! Miss you all!! The rain has stopped so we're leaving the Internet cafe!!