Friday, January 6, 2012

Off-site technical training in Techiman (Nov. 12-16)

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) interviews with local businesses in Techiman- I got assigned to go to Hooters, of ALL places for me to go, really?  Luckily it wasn't like at home, it was just another bar and nightclub.  I guess the owner of the bar lives in the U.S. and he chose this of all places to name his bar.  Go figure.  It was a useful session though, we learned a lot about how people run their businesses.

GoG (Government of Ghana) meetings in Sunyani- We split into four groups that went to the District Assembly, Ministry of Food and Ag, Forest Services Division and the Business Advisory Center.  I was assigned to the District Assembly; depending on the size and development of the town or city, you will be designated as a district, municipality or metropolitan assembly.  Sunyani, for example, is a municipality.  My site, Kongo, is part of the Nabdam Talensi District Assembly, and my counterpart is the assemblyman for Kongo East in this district.  The District Assemblies are important to volunteers because we must go to them to register associations and to discuss/disclose projects so that they will not shut your work down.

Moringa processing- learned how to make moringa soap and butter.  We got to take some of the soap, which we all appreciated because it saved us a little money on soap!

A few sessions on food security, microloans, organic agriculture and forest stand inventory.  

Rabbit rearing-  we went to a small rabbit production area, learned about how to raise them.  We were supposed to be shown how to slaughter them, but they did the slaughtering before we got their so that they could feed us rabbit for lunch.  Oh well.  Everyone made friends with the rabbits, so maybe it was better that we didn't kill one of them.  The rabbit tasted alright, but I still prefer chicken.

Trip to the monastery outside of Techiman-  we were supposed to stay here, but they didn't have enough room for our whole group.  Luckily we still go to visit, even if it was only for an hour.  This place has HUGE rock formations that you can hike/climb/scale (the inner Tarzan in all of us came out), and you get to see beautiful views of the area. 

The food was really good at the hotel:  breakfast was fried eggs, oatmeal, and GOOD bread (I have not had decent bread before or since this hotel); lunch and dinner we had fried chicken and fish, veggies, rice, yams, plantains, cabbage salad.  After a while though, we all got tired of the fried chicken.  Starting in Techiman, we had fried chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner for two weeks straight.  Ok, well maybe not breakfast, but it sure felt like it.

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