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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our first week...

I arrived in Ghana and travelled to Tamale in the Northern region to begin the induction, meeting all the team leaders for the first time. Our training included language lessons, which for volunteers of the LIFE Project based in Sandema in the Upper East, means learning Buli. Induction also included basic health and safety of each individual, the impact we, as ICS volunteers, will make and finally, my favourite part of the training week, learning about the LIFE project in a lot more detail.  
During induction week, the team leaders introduced us to life in Ghana, with our first stop being the Tamale market. The atmosphere in the market is exciting, with everyone busy shopping and selling; I was amazed just watching everything. Matt one of our team leaders introduced me to an ice cream called “Fan ice” I have never tasted anything so awesome in my life - it went down perfectly on a hot day. Then Matt pointed out it had 8 grams of fat in - no wonder it tasted so good because its soo naughty! 
At the end of induction week, we were treated to a local drumming and dance group which was amazing to see, to look at all the traditional costumes and the jingling bells they have on them - it was mind blowing! The first week was just a insight of what’s to come in the future months. Personally I can’t wait to get stuck in.

On our first day in Sandema we went into our office and met everyone and had a little informal meeting with Maxwell the project co-ordinator of CBR.  He talked about the history of CBR and how we fit in with the project and how our role will impact the charity and peoples'  lives.
After talking to Maxwell we took a trip to the market. We went shopping for some yummy food for our dinners for the week. We picked up the basics like rice, pasta, tin tomatoes, tuna and some spices. We all bought some material to get dresses made and I must admit it was hard to pick what material to choose as they are all beautiful.  Margaret, the designated LIFE project seamstress is going to make us our dresses and tops!
Poppy, our team leader, took us to meet the children in the local foster home. They are all such characters. It was good to meet with some locals; they made each of us very welcome and we have been invited for dinner with them on Friday 4th Oct . It was overwhelming to enter another country and have a warm welcome in which within less than 5 minutes of arriving we get invited to dinner. 

I know this experience will change my perception and I am excited for learning new things in the coming months!

- Siobhan

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