Sunday, April 29, 2007

To continue...
Gifty dropped in to the K's home and she and I and Justine spent a couple of hours discussing her work with the women's microlending program. Diana, we gave her what came to 690,000 cedis (James waited so I could give it to her), plus the other things you sent. She seems to be getting a handle on the whole thing. She and James have agreed that she will carry out the women's entrepreneurship part of the WCHH mission in Axim, starting with the women who met when we were there, and seeing who is really energized. She was very enthusiastic, but said it would be difficult to start at first, because she'll have to start the groups and meet with them frequently. She was about 71 groups going, at various stages. She explained the whole process, which is a bit much to type here, but it's a very interesting way of organizing where the group itself takes the risk (5-25 in a group) but loans are individual from 1M to 5M cedis. They pay back weekly at 14% interest which they thought was very low. She has a guy who has written a software program for her to track all this---a specialized program. I met him, but we had to rush and I would have liked to have talked with him a lot more. I also met one of hr staff members, in her office, which is really quite nice and modern looking.

Meanwhile, Frank was thrilled with Leif's passing one of the computers onto him. I have brought Quicken to work with Anastasia, and also a copy for Frank. He can use it himself, and also to coach her, if needed. He loved the book, Suz, on digital photography, and also the Photoshop Elements that leif had suggested. He was just bubbling over with enthusiasm and energy---good to see! His Govt' service is going well, and as a bonus he is learning the Ghanaian tax code, which can't hurt.

James and Justine loved the fabric we sent---I'll pass out the rest as I see people.
Yesterday, J and J and I spent about 6 hours in a meeting about WCHH, where we are going, getting me up to date, etc. It was an excellent session. Justine is getting very involved, and has good insights, esp. as to staff, and children. Very helpful. I can't type it all out, but I'm taking lots of notes on my computr and will give the GCJ alums a "report" when I return.

So, here I am. I think I'll close off now. I just found out via email that one of my very favorite cousins has just passed away unexpectedly---kind of hard when you're sitting here so far away. But I have a lot to do here. Tomorrow, I'll start. By the way, Mr. Elimah (sp?) called James one day and James told him I was there. He asked to speak to me and was very cordial and asked me to meet with him. So that's a good Town Hall followup place to start, probably. The Dist. Social Welfare man wants to see me, too. Also, Chamsou is coming on May 10 for three days! So, that's great news. And according to what Patrick told James, "two white ladies" showed up at the site last week!! Who, I wonder? I'm curious. I asked James if Patrick had asked where they were from, but evidently he was too flumoxed by this unlikely event to get any facts.

So, James has turned over to me all receipts, account books, etc., and tomorrow pm i will start to work on that, and hopefully in a few days, when I've figured out things, I'll start to work with Anastasia. WCHH Board will probably meet soon, before Chamsou comes.
Enough for now. Thank goodness I've connected. I admit to feeling a little guilty about enjoying water and electricty---gifts from God. I did kind of go back to my early farm days, when we carried all out water, etc., but it takes a while.
Did I mention it's HOT here?? Yes, it is, but it's good to be here, to connect again, and feel so much support for our project from the King to all I meet. So, next time. Love you each and all, whoever is reading this! Maryanne