Settling into routines

During the first week of the trip, our volunteers settled into their routines. Breakfast would be served between 7 and 7:30 each morning and both groups would then leave for projects at 8am.

At work our community builders got the hang of moulding the bricks and started to organise themselves to share the load and allow for rest periods in between mixing and carrying. Meanwhile, the teachers got to know their classes and the types of activities which worked well with each age group.

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At both schools, break time was an interesting experience for all of our volunteers as the school children were so excited to see them. We had gone prepared with ice breakers (bubbles, balls, books etc.) and the team were often swamped with pupils all straining to get closer to see the pictures in a book or to take a turn blowing the bubbles.

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At around 12pm each day our lunch would arrive at the project, delivered by Maisie or Martin from the hostel. We were treated to a number of stews with rice and plantain as well as delicious fresh pineapple. After lunch the project work continued until 2pm with more lessons and brick moulding as well as some washing up for those mixing cement.

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Back after the hostel after a busy day, many would congregate on the veranda to read, share stories about their day or play with the local children who would come to the hostel to see the volunteers. As the temperatures dipped in the early evening there were also many games of volleyball, rugby and frisbee. On most evenings the volunteers had an evening activity planned for them and over the first week we learnt some of the local language (Ewe), found out more about the traditions and ceremonies which take place in Ghanaian marriage and also visited the local market.

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On return to the hostel, the volunteers had their evening meal between 6 and 7pm and then spent some time reflecting on their day by filling in a Ghana journal. Our trip host Livingstone was also keen to hear about our volunteer’s day and what they had enjoyed and disliked. These evening meetings provided a chance for everyone to talk about what they had achieved so far and also to find out what was planned for the next day.