So, my site announcement. Here is how it went: so we had training beforehand and all of us were really excited and nervous about announcements. Finally after lunch they brought us over to the side and under the outdoor pavilion they had sketched out in chalk a map of Ghana with all the regions. They had traditional drums going and then our ACPD started announcing. He started with the Upper East region which border Burkina Faso. There were a lot of people assigned to up there. I think maybe 6 or 7. It is a small region so they all had to squeeze into their region on the map. Then Upper West and my good friend Janette was placed in Upper West. Everyone who got their sites had their heads buried in their papers we were given that described your job, your location, your housing, and the assignment. Then they called the Northern region and a few people went there. Finally, Brong-Ahafo was called and they told us that everyone in Brong-Ahafo would be working with cashews. I started to get excited because this was the region I wanted. Four people were called to Brong-Ahafo, then the ACPD started describing a site that had a lot of marketing involved and the PCVL, Mikey looked at me. I knew it was my site! They called my name and I was probably grinning from ear to ear. I got my packet and tore it open. I didn’t really pay attention afterwards to anyone else’s assignments. I was reading through my packet, mainly skimming and the first thing I saw was flushing toilet. HOLLA. Then I read my own house, electricity, and pipe-borne water. And it was like the heavens parted and released Peace Corps paradise. I continued to read that my language would be the one we had already started learning, which was awesome. And that my town was actually a city and has a population of 40,000 people. I was in complete shock. Did I really join the Peace Corps or was I joining the palace staff? Then Mikey tells me that my house is owned by a guy who never uses it, so he has a caretaker that watches over the house, basically a landlord/security guard. And that’s when I about died. I was so excited. When we were standing on the map of announcements, I was jumping up and down and dancing. I truly could not have asked for a more perfect site. AND I was working with cashews. I LOVE CASHEWS! Honey roasted cashews from Whole Foods – yummy! Especially since I pay about 10 bucks a pound for them. Talk about value adding. So needless to say, I got the best site amenities wise and location. I have a really good feeling that my house is going to be a popular spot for people to come visit. If it is a house, I will probably have an extra bedroom. I can’t wait to visit my site and see what I will need to buy. I think if I can save enough of my walkaround allowance, I will buy a fridge. We get settling in allowance, to cover furnishing your place, but I think a fridge is above and beyond. I want to be able to buy some furniture, get some cabinets made, and get some little touches that will make it feel like a home. I mean I am going to be living there for 2 years, maybe more if I really like it.
So far, I love Ghana. This country is absolutely amazing. The people are incredibly friendly, the terrain is so different from Oklahoma. The land is lush and green. You can see so many stars at night. The rains (god bless the rains down in Africa) are spectacular deluges. The weather is hot and sticky, but it makes taking cold bucket baths feel like Christmas morning each time. While I miss ice cream, cheese, and my dog, I really think that Ghana is my second home. Every day reinforces why I came here and that I made the right decision. There is always something small that hits you and I think – I am living in Africa, learning a language spoken by probably less than 17 million people (about the population of Florida I think). I am meeting incredible people, creating wonderful stories and memories, and I know that I will be able to affect some form of change, even if it is very tiny. I already taught my host sister about guinea worms and how to properly wash your hands. Every day is a new day filled with new experiences and new exciting things to learn. I love it here. I hate to admit it, but I think so far I like Ghana more than Oklahoma.