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Hear from a Volunteer: Declan's 3 months in Ghana

By Declan, GVI Ghana Volunteer 3 months ago
Categories In The Field

There are 2 very shocking things that I can’t believe at this moment in time: Firstly it’s the end of my 4th week in Ghana. It feels just like yesterday I arrived here. Really don’t know where the time is going. And Secondly, I SHAVED MY HEAD AND BEARD! I’m 23 years old and I’ve always had long hair ever since I was 7, I’ve also always had a beard since I was 16. It may sound ridiculous but I was more nervous about cutting my hair than actually travelling. But, this trip was all about change!

Me before

Me after

There’s not much too say about project work this week unfortunately. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have been put on lockdown so we haven’t left the base this week, or had any of the locals come round for projects. We’ve had to put all projects on hold for the time being, which is a real shame but very sensible. I have still had a busy week though. I’ve been helping Sam – GVI’s Project Coordinator -with some handy work around the base and doing a bit of everything. We have these cupboards that we store our workbooks in which needed some work so we sanded them down and painted them. And I’ve done a lot of gardening work as well. At the side of the base, we have an organic communitygarden which I’ve helped Sam in trying to restore. It’s going pretty well, we’ve already got some Aloe Vera plants growing and Sam’s been saving tomato seeds which are already starting to grow. So we’re making progress there. We also made an ‘improvised’ slug fence around one of the beds which was actually more difficult then it sounded.

Our freshly turned organic garden ready for planting

The most difficult challenge, for me, was helping to clear an area of base’ back garden, which was only really possible due to the lockdown as base is so busy normally. I’m not a very physically fit person. Back in England I’m care worker so I don’t exactly have to do a lot of heavy lifting. This has probably been the most physically active week I’ve had in quite a long time. I was definitely exhausted by the end of it, but that will teach me for not being in better shape. The plan was to move the gravel from the back garden to the front. And then fill the empty space with sand, to make the area more maintainable and attractive. We used quite a lot of broken stone and concrete to fill the road outside the base. It was actually quite fun smashing all that up, kind of like being in one of those rage rooms. Now I must sleep haha!

After tidying up the rear corner of the compound