Half way point

17 04 2008

I’ve been here more than six months now. In fact as I write it’s been 214* days since I arrived in Ghana. I’m writing this in the office due to a general lethargy that has overtaken me. I’ve got bits to do, but it’s really hard to motivate myself as there is absolutely no sense of urgency here (at least not until a deadline hurtles past, and I’ve not been given any deadlines) and most of the office are out at a workshop.

Since I’ve passed the halfway point I thought I’d list my achievements here in Ghana so far:

  •  Created spreadsheets for the ARHR project to track information about their LNGO partners
  •  Given training on folder structures and created a shared folder structure
  • Set up an automatic backup of the main shared area to another computer
  • Created the first version of the AGSP database
  • Created the first version of the spreadsheet for tracking the disaster relief stuff
  • Provided (some) IT help to other vols
  • Organised the ICT forum
  • Written documents on using the internet, viruses and problem solving
  • Done “Ad-hoc” training (answering questions, solving problems) to increase general confidence around computer
  • Provided self learning material
  • Avoided serious illness so far
  • Coped with a new culture and conditions
  • Made friends amongst the volunteers (and to a lesser extent Ghanaians)
  • Experienced aspects of Ghanaian culture
  • Seen some of the country
  • Learnt a bit about international development issues
  • Learnt a bit more about myself
  • Blogged

It seems a bit more when I write it down than it feels like. Sometimes it feels like most of my time is spent surfing the net, chatting or doing other unproductive stuff. I realise that one of the ways to fail here would be to pile in expecting everyone to jump and eagerly give you time to learn, and that slowly, slowly building up confidence and understanding is much more likely to achieve things, but it’s an extremely dull and frustrating lesson to learn sometimes.

*I haven’t been counting, I used Excel to calculate it: =int(now() – date(2007,9,16))




One response

3 05 2008

Enjoy reading your blog. Lived in Tamale a few years ago and can understand how it takes time to settle in and find out where you can be most productive and helpful. Keep up the good work. Constant activity isn’t everything in life……….. but it’s an awfully hard habit to kick.

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