Saturday, January 20, 2007

The last Saturday

Mark is in Accra. Today's my last day to run around and pick things up, drop things off, and make sure everyone knows how to reach us, our plumber, carpenter, and my mother, while we're away.

I felt pretty organized yesterday, but still had 10 last minute items I had to do on the last day I could access the North American working world - one being go to Service New Brunswick to replace the licence plate that fell off the car last June! The plates are sitting on the kitchen counter and still need to be installed.

Mark seems to be doing well in Accra. He arrived Tuesday night and I will join him next Tuesday night. I keep telling him he has to post something to the site, and hopefully he will soon. He's the one getting the head start on the adventure.

I guess he's already witnessed difficulties with the infrastructure in Ghana. Our apartment wasn't ready when he arrived so he's been staying in a hostel. The hostel's power cuts out every night so I think he's been going to bed early. Without light, it's tough to read in bed :)

He said he had a great bean and fish stew this week. As a vegetarian, I think he was happy to see this served as a common meal. We were all making bets on how long he'd be able to stay vegetarian in West Africa.

I also learned what I'm going to be doing in Ghana. I am going to be on a volunteer placement with the West African AIDS Foundation working on a microcredit project. It all came together this week. Canadian Crossroads International, an organization that Mark's worked with for close to 15 years, had an unexpectant vacancy open to work with their partner in Ghana. They needed to fill it by February 1st, and weren't sure how to get someone in place by then. Mark had happened to drop into the organization on Monday enroute to the airport and mentioned that I would be going with him to Ghana. He explained my skill set, and they said I'd be welcome to help out with the program from time to time. An hour later they were notified of this placement that needed to be filled, and after a few minutes of reflection realized I was a good fit.

We've been working out the details this week, and on Monday at the Toronto airport during my 4 hour layover, I'll be met by a Canadian Crossroads representative to sign a contract, exchange personal details, and begin my training.

From what I know right now, the West African AIDS Foundation is running a program with 15 AIDS patients to help them build skills to run their own businesses. The participants are being trainined in the art of bead, bread and batique making. There are some challenges with the participants moving from the training phase to running the business phase, and they'd like me to get involved to see how I might assist with this transition. It sounds like an interesting challenge.

It's already noon and I still need to drop off our espresso maker to Dave, pick up a lawnmower for John, take the kite surfer to Mike, clean the car to sell it, drop off information to our tenants, pick up last minute items for Ghana, and head out to Christine's for dinner. The deadlines are now real.



Anne said...

This is a great way to keep in touch with what my daughter is doing. It is good to read that Janet is looking after the last-minute details today. Otherwise, you know who would be looking after them following the drive to the airport on Monday!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mark, I will be following your journey on a regular basis to know what you are doing and how you are doing. I wish you all the success that you hope for, giving the way for human rights.

Janet, This is your last local report for a while and I hope that your journey will be as fulfilling as only your dreams can imagine.

I will read you soon, Patrick Sohy