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Akplamafu Travel Blog

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The school we completed. Though it looks sustainable here, it was constructed very well by the community out of clay. We plastered the whole thing and finished it off complete with blackboards!
This morning we met with the mason to go over the estimates for all three projects I had in mind.  He had yet to get some costs for a definitive estimate but apparently it's not quite definitive enough as they tend to leave a lot of things out (such as transport of materials) so we'll have to see what happens with that.

The good news, is that with the help of the communities we should have enough to finish building the kindergarden block at Akplamafu and repair a wall that is cracking, leaning and about to fall down due to a sinking foundation in Fodome Ahor.  The foundation sinking is actually an easy fix if the community simply digs a dirt trench so that the water from the rainy season doesn't collect at the base of the school.  We have yet to speak to the community leaders of Fodome but visited Akplamafu today.
My new English friend who happened to be staying at my hotel and happened to be an architect the day we went to do the estimate for the school


Akplamafu...let's just say I LOVE the staff at this school!  They are happy, pleasant, and seem to actually WANT to be teachers (unlike a lot of schools where teachers are simply placed there by the government for a year even though they had no desire to ever teach).  One teacher named Bless, well...bless her!  Somehow she has kind of captured my attention.  Maybe because you can see in her that she loves to teach and cares about her community?  There is jsut a connection there and we get along very well.  We visited the school yesterday for the estimate and she wasn't there so she phoned when she returned and found out she missed me.  We hadn't planned on visiting today but realized we needed to make sure we had the community support in forms of water, accomodation, etc for the needs of the masons that will be finishing the school.
More surveying
  We also realized that we'd need a few bags of cement for blackboards and my budget is stretched VERY thin (I'm already pulling from my own pocket).  The community leaders said the few bags of cement would be no problem and if there was even left over materials that they would finish the surrounding of the school that I we can't afford (they put a one foot perimeter of cement around the whole building for erosion purposes, cementing the front walk, and metal poles instead of wood to hold the roof up).  Knowing that they would speak with their community in the next two days to try to get the funds to support this project was awesome.  They were very excited to hear that I'd picked their school.  The Kindergarden teacher, who is now sharing a classroom was even more excited!  Haha.
The KG students who get to learn in the new building.
 

The problem?  The funds are in a bank in Accra, nearly 5 hours away that I can't get to until Monday.  We're hoping maybe we can get some materials on credit and pay on Monday so we can start this weekend but if not we start on Tuesday.  I'll come back to the region from Accra Friday and stay with Bless overnight so I can see the work over two days of hopefully the almost completed building!  Fodome will be worked on the following week and I'll just have to be updated with photos.

It's so exciting to know that I'm able to do such a large project with the help of just a few friends.  There were only 8 people who donated and those 8 people are now providing a safe learning environment for hundreds of children.
The teachers and community leaders of Akplamafu


On a side note:  My driver seems to think you get anemia by having a ceiling fan on too high while you sleep and my right shoulder is progressively getting darker than the rest of my body from sitting in the passenger side of the car for the last week and a half!  ARGH!

I miss my dog too!  =(  She's like my baby and I haven't been away from her for more than 5 days since I've had her for the past year!  My brother says she's a completely different dog =(  Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing yet as she was a little hyper and needed to calm down.  The girl who is subleasing my room is probably also staying for good so yay!  That technically means I'm homeless when I get back, but it's good because now I can move into a place I'm happy! 

I love this trip to Ghana but wish I could just slow down and spend the time in the communities that I really enjoy.  That's what I love about Ghana...the people and the sense of community.  But unfortunately, research is also important and surveying communities won't get done if I don't go to them!
Kondo says:
My name is Kondo Komla Mensah, an Airforce man, presently in Accra. I come from Gbi-Kordzofe about five mile from Gbi-Hohoe. Very interesting to read about your help to Akplamafu Community. You have done very well to the community and I hope they will be grateful to you.

May I please know your email address to have my personal words with you. Mine is Jonykondo@yahoo.co.uk

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Thanks

Mensah

Posted on: Dec 31, 2008
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The school we completed.  Though i…
The school we completed. Though …
My new English friend who happened…
My new English friend who happene…
More surveying
More surveying
The KG students who get to learn i…
The KG students who get to learn …
The teachers and community leaders…
The teachers and community leader…
Look at those smiles!
Look at those smiles!
The masons working on the school
The masons working on the school
Helping mix cement
Helping mix cement
Hauling sand.
Hauling sand.
Trying to carry an empty bowl on m…
Trying to carry an empty bowl on …
Balance!
Balance!
In front of the soon to be blackbo…
In front of the soon to be blackb…
Scoping out the work that had been…
Scoping out the work that had bee…
Where the future tree of life will…
Where the future tree of life wil…
Villagers waiting for the ceremony…
Villagers waiting for the ceremon…
Dancers
Dancers
Getting introduced to the village …
Getting introduced to the village…
The chief, queen mother and their …
The chief, queen mother and their…
After Id been draped by the Queen…
After I'd been draped by the Quee…
The queen mother and the chief
The queen mother and the chief
Honorary Queen Mother-> me!
Honorary Queen Mother-> me!
This little girl was petrified of …
This little girl was petrified of…
Dancing
Dancing
He fell asleep
He fell asleep
Akplamafu
photo by: sassicassi