I am working with an NGO who has created an organization called HEPENS (Health Protection + Environmental Sanitation). He is so great... completely passionate about what he's doing to help his community. He works all day every day and is the only Ghanaian I have met who is always on time :). The first two weeks that I'm here we're going to schools to teach basic hygiene (hand washing, brushing teeth, etc.). We're using the project budget to put buckets with taps (like water coolers) in schools so that kids wash their hands with running water instead of the existing bowls where all of the kids wash hands in the same, dirty water. We are also using money to place trash bins in the schools and around the community (currently, everyone just throws trash on the ground, and the garbage attracts mosquitos...you can always see little kids playing in trash heaps, so it's a massive health problem). We had our first full day in a school today, and it was so much fun! The kids are really receptive, and they catch on really quickly. I think it's really important to educate the youth on how to better protect their health and build a healthier community. The teachers were also very excited to have us there and asked us to come back to the school if we have time. I also had my first Fante lesson this afternoon with one of the national staff. I've also finally gotten a good grip on directions and how much taxis should cost, so that helps a lot (it took me a couple of days to figure out the difference between a drop taxi and a shared taxi, but I think I've finally got it down). We had a group dinner tonight at this restaurant on the beech... the atmosphere was incredible! The tables are outdoors under a gazebo and there are palm trees and flowers all over the place. Unfortunately, all of the nice beech resorts are run by foreigners, so the tourism doesn't do much to help the local economy.
Tomorrow we are splitting up to talk to older kids about HIV prevention. I think it is so great that it can be talked about in schools. I hope it goes well since the kids in these schools are not as proficient in English as the kids who we worked with today!