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Friday, April 27, 2012

Back home again

Submitted by Rachelle Milam

When I stepped off of the plane in Accra, several things hit me at once. First, it was hot! Second, the smells of the city of the city were so familiar that for a brief moment, I couldn't take a breath. Third, and possibly the most surreal thought, I was finally in Ghana again! I grew up here in the Brong Ahafo region, about 10 hours by car (or 2 hours by plane) north of Kpong, and though I have 13 years of experience in this country, there's something very unreal about being back again. This time I'm not here because my mother and father have work to do...this time I'm here to work.

Today was my first full day on the field, and it certainly wasn't boring! The day started earlier than my jet-lagged body would have liked, but once I was out of bed, it didn't feel like the day really ended until after dark. I sat in on my first "team meeting", and Ben gave me a tour of the workings of the field. I got to see the planes and where I'll be working with the AvTech girls (who, for the moment, remain somewhat cautious of me). Then, I got a real welcome to the field by helping to push a truck out of the mud. I've never been so pleased to have dirty shoes! The rest of the day was spent helping Ben and Michaela prepare for tomorrow's drop by typing up lists, editing, and printing other materials. I had never really grasped how much work goes into preparing for one of the ETCHE drops, but I'm so glad I got to be a part of it!

Next week is when the real fun begins. On Tuesday, I go to my first meeting with the Fulani, and I have to admit a certain amount of nervousness. As any person, I'm apprehensive of what I do not know, and right now, I simply do not know what will happen. I'm excited, I'm thrilled for this opportunity, and I cannot wait to see how this experience helps me grow, but I really can't wait for that initial meeting to already be over and done with!

Besides my work with the AvTech girls and the people in the Fulani camp, I'm going to be wearing a lot of different hats (everybody at this field is)! I look forward to more African food, my first time in a small plane, and all the things I'm sure I'm going to learn in the next four months!

Until next time!

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