Tsanko Dimov is spending two months volunteering in Ghana and is keeping us updated whilst he is there – we hope you enjoy his second blog post!
I don’t know how it has happened, but 3 weeks have passed since I last sat down to collect my thoughts on what I’ve been up to. Time certainly moves quicker here in Ghana, it still feels like I only just landed but in fact I’m counting the precious few weeks remaining!
My time has mainly been focussed on the redesign consultation studies which Sabre has been working on. The pressure was on to receive feedback on the current Sabre classrooms from head teachers, school coordinators, kindergarten teachers and pupils before they broke up for summer vacation. Constructing and conducting a series of studies which would capture the schools strengths and weaknesses was challenging but very rewarding. Attending the consultations felt a bit like lifting the bonnet of a car and seeing all the whirring, rotating parts that give drive. It was fascinating to see the value placed on the different elements of the design, hearing which components teachers found essential, seeing which the children’s favourite were and feeling the pride of the head teachers as they toured the school. After the excitement of the consultations came a healthy amount of data entry and report writing which I can say wasn’t exactly my highlight of the week, but it isn’t too bad when you can see the beach from your office…
A big new experience for me was getting my first malaria test. I had come down with something, and with a combination of spending a whole day in the sun I was feeling pretty questionable. While sitting in the house and resting, I decided to read up about the symptoms and the whole biological mechanism of Malaria and consequently had convinced myself I had contracted it despite the antimalarial tablets I had been taking every day. Thankfully the test came back negative and I learnt that you can get man-flu in Ghana as well. Better safe than sorry I guess!
Aside from spreadsheets and malaria scares, I had time enough to enjoy the Bakatue Festival, do a couple of beach trips and also have a tour of the Elmina Castle. Ghana seems to be so rich in culture and history and I’m starting to feel 2 months isn’t nearly enough time!