Thursday, April 19, 2007

10 days...

Tonight, on the evening on the 19th, my friend asked me, "How is your head not exploding? How many days is it until to leave?" I could barely answer, and the truth is that while I have been preparing myself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, accepting that I only have until the 29th to do all my last minute packing and spending time with my friends and family has yet to come. Somehow, I'm keeping the excitement and nervousness at bay.

It was easy at first... have to get through this assignment, have to get through finals, can't wait until the year end formal... even now I'm focusing on my goodbye party and logistics of how to get Harry Potter 7 to a town in rural Africa instead of letting the full force of emotions hit me. That's for Sunday.

Instead, I'm setting up this blog to help in communication with my friends and family during the time I'm overseas. I'm Laura Robson, and I am heading to Ghana for an internship with Engineers Without Borders for four months with the Junior Fellowship program. I'll be working with a governmental body, the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), in Northern Ghana.

CWSA was established to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities for rural communities and villages in Ghana. CWSA oversees bilaterally funded water and sanitation projects, ensuring that these projects are executed well and that they adhere to national standards. The goals of these projects are to drill boreholes and build latrines, as well as to set up community-level “water and sanitation committees” to manage the facilities and promote safe health and hygiene practices. (or, at least, this is what the email that I was sent outlining my project said. Things are known to change) I'll be working in Savelugu, the capital of the Savelugu-Nanton District in the Northern Region of Ghana with CWSA, though my direct role is yet to be determined. I'll probably be outlining my own goals once I get there. Savelugu is about a 20 minute taxi ride from Tamale, and I'll either stay with a family in Tamale or Savelugu (though I hope to find a family in Savelugu)

So, this is where I'll posting thought, experiences, pictures and stories. I hope that you can all experience Ghana through my eyes.