So I’ve been here for a little over two weeks and wow, talk about a culture shock. It’s hard to see, but feels amazing to be able to help out here. I live 4 hours out of Accra, the capital of Ghana, in a village called Atorkor. Don’t bother looking it up on Google Maps because it isn’t there. My little village sits on the coast and I can literally walk to the beach in 5 minutes.

IMG_0487

This also means that there is an extraordinary amount of sand everywhere. Actually the entire village is located in sand so you get used to having sand in your bed, on the floor, etc. Prettiest place I’ve ever been though for sure. I’ve always had this dream to live on the beach and it finally came true. 🙂

I happen to live with the chief of the village, the Village Volunteer Supervisor, and one other volunteer. My best friends have become 12 year old boys that I teach. They teach me Ewe and play futball with me every night.

Right now, I am in the process of teaching an Acting Club I developed for the school. I currently have 81 kids signed up for it and have more show up every other day. At the moment we are doing ice-breakers, getting them out of their comfort zone, and yesterday started working on our first performance. We have plans to do a performance every month, with our first one being about a trash monster and the importance of picking up trash because of the major littering problem. I’m also organizing two libraries, hand labeling over 5,000 books, and creating a system for them to check out books under.

Since I’ve been here I’ve done such a wide variety of things that it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite. The most shocking thing I’ve seen here so far was when I attended a funeral for the local carpenter’s mother. I’ve never met her, but I have known him since I arrived. The shock came when I saw how funerals are perceived here. In Ghana funerals are seen as celebrations rather than mourning a loss. I arrived at the funeral, which just happened to be located next door to my house, and saw everyone wearing bright colours and dancing around. There was also an ensemble of drummers that accompanied the funeral, playing rather upbeat music to lighten the mood even more. The most surprising part of the funeral was seeing the woman who passed away, sitting in chair at the party. She sat at a table littered with food and drinks that were for her in the afterlife. It was interesting to get introduced to someone who was no longer alive. I hope my funeral ends up being like the one’s here personally, with everyone happy and joyous.

Anyway, I’m living it up here and can’t wait to see what else is coming my way. Hope everybody else’s FVP is treating them as well is mine is. Be safe and seize the day.

P.S. Shout out to my SE Asia crew, Madison in Senegal and Derek in Ecuador. Miss you guys!

Chris Krauss

IMG_0488