Now all the Twi I learned in the first few days here is gone from my head to make room for Gurune! Last week we started lessons with our instructor Ida. Tuesday through Saturday we had language from 8-12 and 1-230, then a short technical training lecture each afternoon. Its an exhausting schedule! This week will be just like that as well, but then on Sunday we leave our homestays to go travel around the country for a month to do our hands-on technical training and visit our service sites. So its a crazy busy two weeks, but then after it will be mostly technical training, and just a little language.
We have our lessons at the Presby Church in Anyinasin, where my homestay is. After the first week of training, I can now greet someone in many different ways, introduce myself, say where I'm from, what I do, where I live, what I like, where I'm going, what I'm doing, and I can count to 20. Greetings are very, very important here in Ghana, so lots of attention has been paid to how you greet people in your community and anywhere you go. Especially in our communities its going to be very important to greet and get to know everyone we come across so that people know who we are and what we are doing. If you don't greet someone, they will probably not like and in the future won't try to help you if you need help. Even as I walk to and from my homestay and class, I am supposed to greet everyone I pass by. It is hard to now though, because I am no longer learning Twi, but I try to at least say hi and ask how people are. If possible, I walk with another person who is actually learning Twi for their site, so then that person can talk more with the people we pass and greet.
The church is about in the middle of town, so we get a lot of school children that pass by us. It is so hot that we have to keep open all the windows and door, which means periodically Ida has to go out and shoo away all of the kids that are yelling "Obroni!!" from the windows. We also get a lot of farm animals interrupting our conversations. The goats and sheep and chickens and ducks all freely roam around town, so especially in the mornings, the goats and chickens make a lot of noise.
Richie Rich from Brooklyn had his 31st birthday today, so on Saturday we all went to have a drink at Chase's mom's spot in Anyinasin, which is right down the street from where my homestay is. (In Ghana, they call bars "spots"). Luckily there weren't any funerals or weddings in town this week, so it was very quite and we had the spot to ourselves. It was a nice way to relax after the long, intense week of language training. But like I said before, Ghanaians go to bed very early, so we all left the spot at 9 so that our homestay moms wouldn't get mad at us and worry!
On Sunday we had another free day, but this time I got out of going to church. Our whole group took a field trip to Boti Falls, about an hours drive from the hub site in Kukurantumi. We saw two different falls, which were beautiful, and we also got to go on a hike, that had some great hills we had to slide down and climb up! It felt good to get outside, and sweat from actual physical activity for a change. We got some beautiful views of the area...unfortunately, trash was littered everywhere, as it is all over Ghana. For me, that has been the hardest thing to get used to here in Ghana. There are no trash cans and no trash collection services, that I know of. If you have trash, you just throw it on the ground. I still cannot just throw things on the ground yet, so I have my own little trash bag going in my room. I know that they burn some of their trash, but most of it just ends up in ditches and waterways and on the street. My homestay mom will just throw trash out of her store, and every morning you see her and everyone else sweeping up the garbage that accumulates in front of their houses and stores. At breakfast each morning, as I'm eating my egg sandwiches and drinking tea in my mom's store, and visiting with the cat, I see her sweep up all the garbage. I'm actually not really sure where she dumps it.