It seemed to take me longer to acclimate than in prior trips. I suspect this had to do with being the long gap since I’ve traveled – having gotten out of practice so to speak. That plus all the stress related to COVID test requirements and whether I would actually get into the country. Be that as it may, I made this trip because of the Theodora Project. We have had more success than we could have anticipated. But that same success brought on other challenges, particularly in Ghana. These challenges were ones that required my personal involvement as the project up to this point has been very dependent upon me individually. Specifically, we needed to 1) establish a sound Ghanaian not-for-profit organization with its own leadership that could oversee things there, 2) determine how we would manage our existing group of participants both in their work and in their personal development, and 3) lay the ground work for expansion and sustainability by documenting training and recruitment.
Happily we have had the kind of success I hoped for with the first and third goals. Not only do we have the independent Ghanaian organization required but its Board has members who are committed to our goal. Our initial group of participants found that the training that was developed during our very chaotic start in April fulfilled their requirements and allowed them to make the necessary transition to an American work environment. So we are using that curriculum as the basis for future training.
The second goal has been more problematic. I was far more optimistic about our initial group being able to grow into a self-managing team than the reality of capabilities is allowing. It is clear that we will need some kind of local management that can provide the structure and discipline that a group like this needs to function effectively. Fortunately, I have members on the local Board that I can lean on to assist in that effort.
Due to the pandemic, I have restricted my going out. Fortunately I have the best apartment I have had yet. It is spacious. I have been able to run all of my group meetings in it. It is well situated with many more places one can walk to. I hope to secure it or another in the facility for future trips. I have one-week to go. I took a trip out of Accra this weekend that was both ‘interesting’ and nice. I will put up a separate post on that. It is the first time I have taken time to myself on one of these trips to Ghana.
The last week will be devoted to summarizing and putting in place a project management system that will allow us to start pulling together the volunteer efforts that include a wide variety of individuals in different parts of the world.