Monday, July 20, 2009

Chickens, condoms, and waterfalls...

Hello all! Ok, first of all I'd like to add another disclaimer to my blog: the views and abilities of Guillermo to write a million blogs and post pictures does not reflect my ability to get to the Internet cafe or my ability to post photos. But I did receive the big hug from him. He said it was from, "My favorite Aunt Patty, Millie, and your Mom," so thank you to all!

Next I'd just like to make it clear that I despise chickens (except eating them). Especially the ones that sit in the trees right outside my window and make horrible unnecessary noises at 5:15 every morning. Did I mention its right outside my window? And why are they in the trees? That makes no sense. Today I threw rocks at them. Someone was probably wondering what the white girl was doing throwing rocks at the trees but I swear if I could catch one of them I'd drop kick them across the street. Ok, just had to vent about the stupid chickens. Oh...and my host mom brought me an entire basket full of eggs yesterday. I don't know how I'm going to eat that many eggs...but I'll give it my best. She seemed pretty happy about it. Plus they always tell us to "Eat ALL!" Whether it be two balls of fufu, eggs, or soup. The bigger we get the better! I however am not getting bigger since my body doesn't know what to do without all the milk and fat I used to eat back home. So it just kind of rejects everything. Lets just say I'm excited to get to site to cook for myself.

Lets see... we're working on our SCOP or Small Community Outreach Projects. So my friend Lizzy and I are working with the youth group to do a presentation/discussion on Family Planning, condom use ect.. with the teenagers in the community. We met with 4 of the executive members yesterday and the meeting went surprisingly well! First they had an argument about what "Ghanaian time is" since we started the meeting late. Then they very cordially debated what group we should target. One of them would make a point and then another would add, "I agree with you100% but you need to look at the issue this way..." The youth group is actually made up of members from the ages 15 to 65 so... ya. But, they did build the clinic in the town, remodeled the Junior high school, and they built a bench/shaded waiting area at the taxi station. So they're very motivated and focused on helping their community. It's pretty great to see. Anyway, it went really well and we got the nurse in the community to come and do a condom demonstration. It is a bummer though that birth control isn't available to the youth except with their parents consent. Which they would never get...even though most of the parents had kids at the ages of 15 and 16.

We did go to some Waterfalls!! Finally something not work related! We went to the Akaa Waterfalls which were amazing. It felt good to finally do something active and not just sit and listen and talk all the time. It finally gave us a chance to step back and look at something really beautiful. Away from people standing and getting sprayed from the mist of the waterfalls, in the sun was pretty incredible.

Currently some thoughts on Ghana
1. I love groundnut cake, which is basically peanut brittle and I love sugar and I miss it.
2. I hate chickens. But I already talked about that.
3. You greet EVERYONE. Literally. And sometimes this gets old. And EVERYONE wants to know where you're going. And saying "none of your business" isn't a response. Not one they'd understand anyway.
4. I do love being able to leave conversations by just saying, "I'm leaving". And that's totally acceptable. It's great.
5. Don't worry Will, I know alcohol can't kill everything. And my body also knows this. And it's just kind of a fact that you get sick here.
6. I wish I could carry 60 pounds on my head like the small children in my compound...but sadly I cannot.
7. The women work really really hard and don't get enough credit or respect.
8. I've started making agreements with insects and lizards to leave me alone if I leave them alone. I don't know if it's working...
9. Apparently you need to collect your dead by 5pm especially on Fridays (saw this on a sing today).
10.Wednesday we meet our counterparts and go on site visit so I'm really excited to see my new home!!

Ok, all in all I'm well. Super super busy...I miss you all! Keep my up to date on what's happenin in the good ol USA!

All my Love!


  1. Hi Elyse,
    Do not kill chickens, do not drop kick chickens. I am sure that is bad karma. It is ok to kill snakes though; I am certain that you have purchased a hoe for that purpose? It sounds like things are going well. I am glad there have been no other close encounters at church with regard to being sold and/or married off. Beware. We miss you. Take care of yourself.

  2. You make me laugh!!! Everything is pretty good here, still trying to figure out the truck stuff!!! good to hear from you!! I check in everyday still and look forward to reading up on your big experience!! miss you tons!!! love ya!

  3. Julie posted a picture of Beth, you and Julie all wearing the same color shirts. It was nice seeing you! Chloe's utter adultation of your father is wearing a bit thin. She would take care of your chicken problem as she has discovered her love of chasing birds. This is too good of a thing as she goes for runs and we are starting to put her on a long leash. Eggs are a good source of protein. Yesterday, July 20th, I mailed a book and magazine to you. Five to ten days to get to the continent and no guarantees after that. Thank you Post Mistress! Love, Mom

  4. 1. I never miss sugar. If I can find it I eat it.
    2. How can you possibly hate chickens? They give you eggs (protein) they wake you in the morning, with their lovely crowing and clucking. They provide feathers for a nice pillow. And you need to learn that a half hour before sundown, they really do become "chicken" and you can pick one right up, ring it's neck and make a delicious soup out of him. I LOVE chickens.
    3. When anyone asks where you are going, say "Crazy". Works for me..
    4. Oh god, I wish I could do number 4, like all of the time.... I'm envious.
    5. I don't know who Will is, but now I'm worried about you....
    6. I carry 60 pounds on my person, ever since I got married. I do just fine carrying it around. I use all parts of my body, but mostly my hips and thighs. It's called "happy fat." I'm used to it.
    7. Ah, duh, isn't that the plight of women EVERYWHERE?
    8. You only need to make agreements with Lizards, they eat the insects. Oh, and as far as snakes go... Chickens eat snakes, and mice and insects, and..... well you know how I feel about chickens. Let me take that back - you only need to make agreeements with Chickens.
    9. I will collect my dead by 5 p.m. on Friday. It's not like I'm doing anything better. Works for me.
    10. Wednesday I have a city council meeting. I think what you are doing sounds better. Trade me places, will ya?

    I'm leaving now.

  5. Hey Elysie-Pie!

    So Happy to Hear from You! It was awesome talking to you about all the wedding stuff last week! I'm still planning on sending you an wedding album, but maybe I'll try & stick a few candies (sugar) in there for you to enjoy! I miss you tons!

    P.S. The chickens are perching in the trees, resting! My birds @ home do it all the time! Too bad it's outside your window, but little Otis wakes us up between 5:30 to 6AM every morning to ask to be taken out of his cage. He then proceeds to chirp & do fly-bys talking to the birds outside, but I think it's his way of getting us up to feed him. :)

    Love You!

  6. Just put on an antivirus on my computer. This site downloads virus real bad so folks beware. I had a Trojan Virus. Love your blogs Elyse. Keep up the good work. Storming outside so I gotta shut down. Grandma