May 29, 2004: Headlines: COS - Ghana: Personal Web Site: Kirstin Green, a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) in Ghana

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ghana: Peace Corps Ghana : The Peace Corps in Ghana: May 29, 2004: Headlines: COS - Ghana: Personal Web Site: Kirstin Green, a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) in Ghana

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Kirstin Green, a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) in Ghana

Kirstin Green, a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) in Ghana

Kirstin Green, a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) in Ghana

Kirstin Green, a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) in Ghana

Caption: Kristin Green and members of the Zongo community in Kumawu, Ghana at the foundation the community dug for a new latrine. Green, a Peace Corps volunteer from Coronado, is hoping to get donations to complete the latrine. Photo by George Green

See Article In the Coronado Eagle.

If you’ve been to the concert at the park during the summer or played tennis at the Cays tennis court you’ve seen the
mosaic tile work of Kirstin Green. This is a brief description of what she’s been doing for the past year and a half.

In January-February of this year my wife, I and fellow Coronado High School track coach, Jack Nash, visited our daughter, Kirstin Green, in the West African country of Ghana where she has been serving in the peace corps for the past 18 months. During our 3 week visit we stayed with various PCV’s (Peace Corps Volunteers), Ghanaian families, and hotels from the Capital city of Accra on the coast to the northern town of Bolgatanga and the sacred Crocodile ponds of Paga. We spent time in the Ashanti town of Kumasi –West Africa’s largest cultural center, Tamale, Cape Coast and the slave castles. We walked a rope bridge nearly 200 feet above a rain forest, walked the markets, rode the trotros, haggled with merchants, swam in lake Bosumtwi -a huge meteor crater and danced to the music of African drums. But best of all we made many friends. Because of Kirstin’s and her fellow PCV’s involvement with their villages we were able to get a perspective of Ghana not possible had we been merely tourists on a packaged trip. We “bathed” with a third of a bucket of cold water, dined on ground-nut (peanut) soup, fufu, banku and kenkey (various starchy pastes pounded into submission by large sticks). In some families we stayed with the “bathroom” was free-range -the goats knew it and would follow you into the bush.

Family heritages were willingly shared and in northern Ghana, in the town of Tongo, we were the honored guests, of a ritualistic christening of a hut the village constructed to show visitors how they live. This involved many incomprehensible speeches by the elders, sacrifice of a chicken (actually a daily occurrence), consultation of the Gods, magic, the drinking of much akpeteshie (a type of local gin) and lots of dancing. The best part of the trip, however, was the people. Ghana is a very poor nation and has been declared as a HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Country) by the World Bank. In spite of this the people were among the most friendly I have ever encountered. Kirstin’s village, Kamuwu, is a 40 minute drive from Kumasi. Most of the residents there have no electricity, running water or restroom facilities. Her official job description is “WatSan,” or Water Sanitation consultant. Water is a big problem in Ghana, not only because of its scarcity but because it’s mostly unsafe to drink without some type of processing. In this capacity she has traveled all over the country as an educator on how to avoid various parasites, especially guina worms. She’s also involved with AIDS education and volunteers at the local clinic. She’s taught computer skills at the local high school, spearheaded an AIDS Art show in Kumasi that drew participants from all over the country –from Talking Drums to Quilting. In addition to 10 hours of video, we took over 1500 digital photos. Only a few are currently on this site but I plan to expand it to include the entire trip so keep checking back there’s a lot more to come.

There are two projects that Kirstin would like to complete before her time is up. One is the completion of a public latrine, the other is procurement of a water tank for the local clinic. My wife, Katy, has been a nurse at the Coronado Hospital ER since 1967 and met with the nursing staff there. For what they have to work with, they do an amazing job. They currently have one large water tank for the entire clinic and are required to hand carry the water a bucket at a time.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

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