And so here we are again, another plog post! Last weekend we visited Mole National Park, which was absolutely fantastic. But first, this post will also contain a little update into how my work at RAINS has been going…
Last week we visited the Yama community in West Mamprusi to interview the pupils, mothers and teachers about sexual health knowledge and awareness, and also to see what they thought of our plan to bring Dinani to their community to perform a drama that taught correct sexual health knowledge and eradicate myths. Since conducting the surveys, I’ve been mashing the data up in excel to find some shocking statistics. E.g 67% of pupils interviewed did not know what contraceptives are or had not heard of them.
One unexpected role I have taken on is to sometimes become RAINS’s ‘resident photographer’ for the events, conferences or workshops they have. It is linked to my work in re-developing their website, which I will go on to next. This is Hardi, the Executive Director of RAINS, talking to the PTA of Kpachelo Primary School about 2014 plans for their community under one of the projects RAINS is currently leading.
This is the current RAINS website, which I was dealt the task of updating. It was not only looking outdated but also heavily lacking any detailed or up to date content on the projects RAINS are undertaking.
And here we have the brand new one! Aesthetically the update is mild, but the importance lies in the fact it is now packed full of up to date information on the current projects, including recent project reports, a photo gallery and the eventual uploading of the 20 year anniversary documentary made last year. I’m now in the process of developing a ‘how to’ manual on how to do basic regular updates to the website from which I will train some of the RAINS staff, in order to make the website sustainable. RAINS have had many great successes over the years but are always very modest about their achievements. It is vital that their accomplishments are recognized, and with the website doing just that it creates a professional front for prospective funders and for the community to be more aware of the work RAINS is undertaking. RAINS have received funding from many large charities such as Comic Relief and Hope for Children over the years, so it is essential that they continue to develop into the 21st century in order to further promote their work and attract further funding from big donors. That said, with this nearing completion I am looking forward to having a hand involved with the direct ground work once again – hence the work on the sexual health stats.
Lastly, there is of course the video I’m making. Inspired by the ’50 people, 1 question’ series of videos, I’m asking 25 Ghanaians and 25 British people the question “Why do you think education is important?” in order to compare their answers and see how/if the two cultures differ. It’s been fun making it so far, especially having the Ghanaians speaking in their local language and then having it translated by Justice and Festus for the subtitles. Some of the answers have been really fascinating!
And then the weekend and Mole National Park! After a veery bumpy ride in a minibus, and a wrong turn that took us half an hour the wrong way, we made it.
And the view from the hotel where we had lunch was simply stunning.
As it was getting late into the afternoon, we decided to go on the canoes and leave the safari for sunday morning. This turned out be a very lucky escape for me, and particularly the camera. I and 4 others got on the first boat and headed off all ok, but the second boat was over capacity and capsized, leaving many people wet and wrecking a fair few phones and camera as well! Never again will I take any valuables onto a canoe again…
We spent the night in a treehouse, which took the feeling of isolation to a whole new level and gave us a great insight into the sounds of the park at night. It got very cold in the night unfortunately; it was probably still around the mid to high teens, but it had us almost shivering.
The following morning we got up and walked with our guard/guide back to the hotel, tracking animals occasionally along the way. Just several metres from our treehouse we found hyena tracks from the night before. We then set off on the foot safari…
…and found elephants almost instantly! We followed them down a hill to a waterhole where we sat and watched them for a long while. There were of course other animals, but apart from elephants Mole doesn’t have many other exotic animals unfortunately due to hunting. Still, it meant we spent a long time with the elephants! We did, however, have an amusing encounter with a baboon stealing the remainders of Charlie’s lunch.
And that was that! Rounded off with a group photo with our guide.