I think at one point in my life I was a shy person. I actually remember feeling sick to my stomach and my heart nearly beating out of my chest as I tried to phone around and find the cost of a pogo ball when I was about ten. Who would have thought that 20 years later I would be walking up to strangers in Ghana and introducing myself? (Yes, Iris, I am picking my strangers carefully!)
In our sessions over the past two days we had to write out two successes, two challenges, and two things we have learned so far. Since I haven’t been here very long, mine were fairly small successes and challenges compared to most others but I still think I have learned a lot so far. One of the things I put on my list of lessons was that you should talk to anybody and everybody. This has paid off for me many times and did so again last night.
We went to the Relax Lodge in Tamale for a fancy meal. I had the most delicious pasta with some kind of a tomato sauce and lots of green pepper, yum! While we were sitting there I was telling another volunteer about how I have found an amazing resource put out by JICA, a Japanese NGO, but that I have tried everything to get these booklets and even though many people know what I am talking about they don’t seem to know how I can get them. Just after I finished saying this the door opened and in walked 10 Japanese young people. As there are NO tourists here, this is not Banff, my friend suggested that these people were probably with JICA. At the end of the meal I went over, introduced myself and told them my dilemma. Not only do I now have one of the girls on a mission to get me the booklets, she has also sent my phone number to two JICA volunteers in Jirapa (I haven’t seen any Japanese people in Jirapa yet!) as well as vowed to keep in touch as she is not too too far from Jirapa. How amazing is that? I have had the same experience with getting the resource in the first place, attending a workshop already planned for my area, finding a seamstress, getting my bike tire fixed, the list goes on. My only concern is the looks I will get from people at home when I start saying “Good morning” to every person I see. Ah, but no time to get into the long greeting process now. Maybe that will be tomorrow.