This week we continue to live with our host family. I learn more each day about how to survive here. Today I did my laundry. This involved three buckets: 1 with powder detergent for first cleaning, this is very soapy and is the stage to remove most of the dirt; 2nd bucket was water with a bar of soap, to clean the other soap out more; finally a rinse bucket. You don’t wash your underwear with others, so I will need to start cleaning a few pair each day in my room, so as to not offend. I probably should’ve been doing this all along, but each day brings more information. Not to worry, I brought many pairs of underwear.
Today I had to buy a new roll of toilet paper (referred to here as t-roll). This was a bit confusing, as it is a private matter that I had to be public about, inquiring at various shops if they sell it. Awkward!
Good news: our languages were announced and I got Twi, which is the local language in our village. It is the language spoken throughout six of the ten regions in Ghana. It suggests I will be stationed in the south half of the country. I have many new friends telling me words and trying to help. I’m a bit overwhelmed, while absorbing what I can. There are at least 4 distinct versions of Twi, so that complicates vocabulary as well. This morning I got an anatomy lesson over breakfast. I jotted down all the body parts, but the dialect and slightly different alphabet here make oral lessons without a chalkboard difficult. We’ll see how I did when I meet with my language teacher (“tikya,” with “ky” producing the ch-sound). Their alphabet is phonetic, so if I can spell something my chances of saying it increase significantly. (Thanks to all my Spanish instructors at Coastal for re-engaging my capacity to learn a new language…)
Today many volunteers are headed to Koforidua, the nearest large town. Sunday is our day off, when we have one, so many are headed in to use the Internet and possibly buy some fabric to have clothes made. I am somewhat hopeful that I can find wifi so I can use my iPhone. I still need to unlock it, which super complicates my life. Once it is unlocked, I can get a new SIM card and use it for Internet through a cellular provider. I hope this can happen. Otherwise, my iPhone and iPad are useless here…
If you’re reading this, I have at least found wifi. That’s a good first step.