News from the 2017 project
The International School of Paris' Sustainable Development Project team are in Ghana this summer. Below you can find the latest photos and activities from the students on the trip. We will be updating this page throughout their trip, so keep checking!
Week 3 highlights
Thursday, July 20
- This is our last update: We have officially made it! Three weeks ago we didn't know much about Ghana or this project, but now we are a lot more experienced, and we have really come together as a group.
- Today was a wrap-up day: We packed our bags, had lunch at the hotel, and then got on the bus for the three-hour drive to the airport in Accra.
- On the way we stopped at an area with arts-and-crafts stalls - a "haggling zone" where we could bargain. We got some good prices on paintings and other items.
- As we approach the airport, we can really see how the team has bonded and worked well to make this three weeks such a success.
- To everyone we say: Thank you for staying updated with us! Tonight we fly back to Paris, and we are all looking forward to being with our families again.
Wednesday, July 19
- This is our last touristy day. We spent the day traveling to a new town, and we went to the beach.
- Now we are preparing for the journey tomorrow.
- Everyone is tired, and sad that the journey is ending, but happy to be returning to our families.
Tuesday, July 18
- We woke up early and had lunch on the beach, like yesterday, and spent time in the ocean.
- Then we took a bus to a new hotel, One Africa, in Elmina, west of Cape Coast. It was started by someone from New York of African descent who wanted to come back and start a health resort.
- We'll be here for one night, and then tomorrow we are going to Winneba, another town on the coast, further east.
- We realized that we have learned a lot about Ghana and Ivory Coast on this trip.
Monday, July 17
- We woke up early and took a bus to Kakum National Park, about half an hour away. We took a small walk with a guide in the forest, and we went on a Canopy Walk - a high footbridge in the national park - where we got good views of the jungle.
- After spending some time in the shop at the park, we got back on the bus for about an hour and had lunch at a hotel-restaurant by the sea.
- We returned to the town where we are staying, and we saw two crocodiles next to the hotel! They were cool.
- We had a nice dinner.
Sunday, July 16
- We left the hotel by bus and visited a natural reserve area, where we had the chance to see animals.
- Then we took a long bus trip to Cape Coast, where we will spend two nights.
Saturday, July 15
- Today was our last day in the village. We said our goodbyes to everyone - they had been so kind to us.
- We traveled in the bus to the only bridge connecting the Volta region, and took pictures.
- We arrived at the hotel in time for lunch - sandwiches and French fries - which we all enjoyed. The hotel has running water, so we are going to enjoy having toilets that flush!
- We spent the afternoon swimming in the pool, and we'll have dinner here tonight.
- Tomorrow starts the touristy part of the trip.
Week 2 highlights
Friday, July 14
- We started the day by going to the primary and secondary schools and singing the French national anthem, in honor of Bastille Day. We also gave away all our material.
- There was a farewell ceremony with all the chiefs present. They said prayers for us, and gave us shirts and bracelets for good luck.
- Tonight was our last night in the village. Tomorrow we travel!
Thursday, July 13
- Today was our last day of work. Before going to the village, we fed the monkeys and took pictures.
- We went into the village and painted the computer room and library.
- In the afternoon, we built a fence around the baby care building and helped watch the children.
- We received gifts with everyone's name on them, which was very nice.
Wednesday, July 12
- Today we cleaned the classrooms and the toilets. We also went round the library and computer room to tidy up.
- We disposed of the trash according to local customs by digging a hole near the orphanage, putting the trash in the hole, and setting fire to it.
- In order to decide who would have daycare duty, our leaders organized a challenge: The teams that found a coconut would be excused from daycare. All teams found a coconut, so the leaders came up with a new challenge - find a goat! One team did.
- A shower and dinner completed the day.
Tuesday, July 11
- Our main task today was collecting water from the pump to replenish our supplies. There hasn't been much rain for a while, so we're running low. We had to fill up the tank, so we took seven 22-liter containers back and forth twice.
- This really showed us the importance of water and how easy our everyday lives are, as we have constant access to water at home.
- Later in the day we were on the construction site. It's shaping up and there are just a few doors missing, but we're looking forward to seeing the finished product.
- A few of us took a lesson in the local dialect and we learned how to count from one to ten and introduce ourselves.
Monday, July 10
- The team split into groups this morning and worked on construction and cleaning the house.
- After lunch one of the groups gave a presentation on HIV and AIDS .
- In the evening we did some more construction and our laundry.
Sunday, July 9
- Today was a day off so we went to a waterfall and took a ride in a tiny boat.
- We also had a tasty lunch.
Saturday, July 8
- There was no construction on the agenda today, but we went to the daycare center and did some painting. The daycare center will be for children aged between three and four, so we did some paintings for them.
- It was too hot today so we took a nap, did some of our laundry and played soccer.
- Tomorrow we will be visiting a waterfall.
Week 1 highlights
Friday, July 7
- The day began with breakfast, then we went to the orphanage and left our handprints on the wall. All the students, teachers and construction workers left their mark!
- Then we set about our duties, including looking after children at the day care center. This involved taking care of about 30 children both in the classroom and on the playground, which was...difficult! We found it hard to control the children, especially as we don't speak the same language and had to rely on hand signs. After about three and a half hours, we were exhausted.
- We took a long lunch and then a nap.
- In the afternoon we had our individual duties to see to, including construction inside the orphanage. We worked on the uneven ground, using shovels and pickaxes to break up the dirt for levelling. This was a rather sweaty job!
- In the evening we decided to give everyone in the team a superlative to describe their role in the trip. The titles we awarded included: strongest; most liked; sweatiest; smartest; funniest; smallest with the biggest heart; most invincible construction worker; the one who takes the longest showers; quickest; palest; most chilled; the most indestructible; and worst nightmare.
- We reflected on what we had achieved this week, which included opening the daycare center, the computer room and the library to the kids and working on the dining room.
Thursday, July 6
- We were back at the construction site today, mostly painting this time.
- After lunch, three of the teams went about washing all the clothes.
- We had showers in the afternoon and then we supervised some of the kids using the computers.
- In the evening we had dinner and played cards.
Wednesday, July 5
- Today we opened up the computer room and library to the children. Some Primary School children and a few older ones came to visit and we played a game of Pictionary.
- We ate some local food for dinner and afterwards the team leaders met to discuss tomorrow's tasks.
- We made sure to stick to today's schedule. This included cleaning duty, such as mopping the floors.
- We ate a good breakfast of porridge, bread and jam.
- We received some new chairs for relaxing on when we're not working on the construction site.
- In the morning we played cards and then it rained very heavily. We trived to save the water but it rained so hard that the buckets overflowed and we had some difficulties.
- After lunch we worked in the daycare center, building upon the 2016 Sustainable Development Team's progress. We also painted the hallways and used pickaxes to break up the dirt floors so we could even them out.
- Everything is going well in our teams and we have an exciting few days ahead of us.
Tuesday, July 4
- We continued working at the construction site today.
- Our bodies are beginning to adapt to African temperatures.
- Luckily we had some rain today, which means we don't have to collect water for the river.
Monday, July 3
- The whole team went to the construction site and prepared to open up the computer room soon.
- We're waiting for the rain to come because we're getting pretty tired of collecting water from the river!
Sunday, July 2
- We woke up at 6:30 and had breakfast.
- At 9:00 we all went to a local church. We attended the Sunday service and spent three hours there participating in the singing and drumming.
- After lunch we split into our groups to get to work on our duties, including picking up rubbish in the forest and cleaning up the school. We also collected water from the river.
- Later in the afternoon we played volleyball with the children, before taking some time to relax and have showers.
Saturday, July 1
- We took outdoor showers this morning before heading to the rainforest to pick up rubbish.
- We visited the contruction site for the first time.
- Everyone is OK and we're not feeling too sick.
Friday, June 30
- We made it to Ghana! There were a few hiccups – we had to wait for a long time collect our luggage at the airport and a few of us threw up on the bus journey this morning.
- We woke up to a nice breakfast and took a three-hour bus journey to Ghana City, where we stopped for lunch.
- Another three-hour bus journey later, we arrived in Tafi Atome.
- We met the community and got to work collecting water from the river in buckets.