I passed my LPI with an Intermediate High rating. Peace Corps trainees need at least an Intermediate Medium rating to pass. My LPI lasted 17 minutes and I had to introduce myself, introduce my American and Ghanaian families, talk about my daily routine, and do a market role-play all in Ewe. Passing the LPI proved that I can memorize a monologue in Ewe, but at this point I still struggle when it comes to actually conversing with someone in a real-world situation.
Last week all of the Peace Corps trainees travelled to Kumasi for our “Counterpart Workshop”. We finally learned where we will be living and what we will be doing for the next two years. I previously knew that I would be heading to the Volta Region, but I didn’t know which community I would live in.
The Peace Corps staff revealed our sites to us by drawing a map of Ghana and marking each community with chalk. One-by-one each person’s name was read and each person stood on his/her location on the Ghana map. After this, we met our work counterparts and discussed our work projects. I will be working on the Ghana WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene) project improving sanitation and hygiene in multiple communities. I’m exited about my project because it seems relatively structured and there is a lot of work to be done. I don’t think I’ll be sitting under a mango tree for the two years.
After the Counterpart Workshop I travelled from Kumasi to my community, Abutia Teti, which is right outside of Ho, capital of Volta Region. I only had two days to visit my community and the surrounding area, but so far I like what I see. My living area isn’t what you would expect from the Peace Corps. I have two bedrooms, a toilet, and a shower. I was told that my community has been waiting for a Peace Corps volunteer for 8 years, so everyone seems happy to have me there. I was surprised at how few children yelled “yevu” at me. “Yevu” means “obrini” in Ewe, which means white person or foreigner.
The first day of my visit I went to three churches in my community and introduced myself in Ewe. All it took was just a few lines from my LPI monologue to impress my community members. The second day my counterpart and I took a taxi to Ho. She showed me the office of the Local NGO and introduced me to the people I will be working with. After that I was introduced to the Municipal Assembly of Ho. The Municipal Assembly is the group of Government of Ghana officials that govern the district of Ho, which Abutia Teti is located in.
It was a short two days visiting my site, but I’m happy with it and I can see myself living there for the next two years. The only downside is that I won’t return for another month. All of the trainees are meeting in Tamale for technical training for 3 weeks and then we return to our homestay community for 1 week.
A picture of my room, mosquito net and all.
Introducing myself at church in Ewe. I accidentally greeted the group in singular form, but they cut me some slack.
Introducing myself at another church. They prayed for me afterwards.