My day started at the bank where I got really pissed for waiting and waiting just to find out I didn’t get paid yet. Left the bank and called Cara crying because I don’t have enough money to eat and I was hungry. Then I called PC and asked how I can change banks.
Then after I picked myself up, I started mapping Wenchi. I didn’t get very far because I ended up talking to so many people. I started at the center of Wenchi – a cell phone shop of all places. This place is immaculate. They even sell digital cameras! He probably had a selection of 300 different cell phones. I sat down and talked with him, explained what I was doing and asked him a few questions about his store. People will tell white people anything! I wrote notes about things I could help him with and things that he could do in his shop. Then I ran into my neighbor’s mom and she took me to her spot to show me where it was. Then I went back to the street and continued mapping. I stopped in the back of a cobbler’s store. He was making some sandals and I talked to him and some of his family. There was this old man too who came by – he only had 2 teeth but was incredibly articulate in English. It was awesome. They were telling me what is good with business, what they need, what’s wrong, how I can help them. IT WAS AWESOME.
In that moment, I realized holy cow! I am a Peace Corps Volunteer. I am meeting with local business owners and discussing their needs. I felt like I needed a camera crew behind me or something. So after talking to the sandals peoples, I ran into two men who asked me what I was doing here in Wenchi. Here come the spiel. Turns out they work for the local radio station that is incredibly popular. They were asking me all sorts of questions about what I am here for, what sort of trainings I have in mind, and how we can collaborate. They want to have discussions over the air about topics relevant to farmers and if I am having a training – they want me to come over and discuss the stuff on the air beforehand so that everyone gets to hear! They are really excited about working with me and want to do everything possible to work together to get the information out there. They are going to introduce me to the CEO next time I am around. This is perfect!
After I spoke with them I chatted with a men’s clothing store owner. The woman was really nice and we talked a lot about her family and how her business works. She taught me some small small Fanti too! We had a really great discussion and I am glad I stumbled upon her store. She was hiding in the back.
I continued mapping for a while, talking to more people. Then I headed to my favorite place in Wenchi. Berlin. This place takes the cake for awesomeness. It is such a great spot and the guys that work there are so friendly. I sat down with the main dude and we talked record keeping. He showed me his books and invoices and explained how everything works. I thought of some ways that he could improve and briefly described them to him. I told him we would work together soon to do more. After that I had a call with Germany and we hashed out a lot of issues.
Oh, also, I ran into a chief who owns 100 acres of cashew, and 245 acres of cocoa. This guy was ridic. I loved him! His name is 6 names long and his wife is a queen mother. Hell his wife even had 50 acres of cashew. We talked to farming and issues relevant to cashew farms. We discussed lots of stuff in detail, including weaver ants, pesticides, bushfire, pruning, grafting, and financial issues. He wasn’t familiar with grafting, but luckily I had a cashew translator there who explained everything for me in Twi. It was so cool! We explained the concept of grafting and I taught him the weaver ant trick with the strings. He was really excited about that. He told me the best place to hold trainings in Wenchi and gave me his phone number and his wife’s number too so I could sign him up for text messages from ACi. It was so incredible. That conversation was enough to turn around my entire day.
I truly felt like a Peace Corps Volunteer today. It was phenomenal. I loved it. Well minus the being poor and mooching off my friends part. My brother bought me lunch because I made a sad face about how I haven’t eaten since Saturday. Then I strong armed my other brother into doing some quick printing for me.