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Peace Corps Ghana – extra room in your luggage?

Preperations are under way to receive 70 new volunteers and welcome them for the next 2+ years of their lives.  The new batch of volunteers will be arriving in Ghana in June 2011.  Most of the future Peace Corps Volunteers who will serve in Ghana have been sent their invitiations, and are now turning their attention towards the internet to exhaustivly research all there is to know about Ghana.  An excellent resource for volunteers searching for anwers can be found at the Peace Corps Wiki website.  Information available includes history, packing lists, health and safety information, and much more.  The purpose of this post is to add a couple of items that I recommend packing.  I don’t expect you will find these items on any other list.

The following is a list of 5 books given to me by the English Literature Teacher at the Volta School for the Deaf.  She made this list known to me during a staff meeting, when she expressed her frustrations at not having these books that are required texts for Junior High School Students in Ghana.  These books are not easily aquired, and have made it difficult for Junior High School Teachers to comply with the Ghana Education Services curriculum.   Making these 5 books more available to the community you serve could act as a wonderful gift, whether you are posted in Education, Natural Resource Management, or Health and Water Sanitation.  You will make friends with families that have Junior High School aged children, and hopefully work with schools regardless of your placement.

Weep Not, Child – James Ngugi

Animal Farm – George Orwell

As You Like It – Shakespeare

The Dilemma of a Ghost – Ama Atta Aidoo

She Stoops to Conquer – Oliver Goldsmith

For volunteers placed in Art Education, I recommend bringing The Joy of Signing.  The students and staff at my school have fallen in love with this text and use it to settle language disputes and help develop vocabulary.  I have encouraged the Peace Corps Training Staff to make this text available to all the Art Education volunteers, but there can never be too many copies of this book at your school.  My family has sent me 15 or so copies of this text, which I am selling at my school for about $10.  The teachers and the students buy it faster than I can get them here.  Pack your bags full of all you will need in Ghana, and remember… if you have extra room, stuff a few copies of The Joy of Signing in as well and you will not regret it.

If you have questions about the Deaf Education program in Ghana, or Peace Corps service in Ghana, please ask and I will do my best to answer them.

7 Responses to “Peace Corps Ghana – extra room in your luggage?”

  1. Susan Anderson says:

    I continue to collect these titles for you. What a great idea to have new volunteers add some to their luggage!!! I can’t wait to see you in September. I will have a “stache” for you to add to your luggage on your return. Love you, Mom

  2. Lauren Corke says:

    Just came across this as i was “exhaustively researching all there is to know about Ghana!” (you hit the nail on the head, instead of doing productive things like packing i’ve been glued to the computer…) I’ll be joining the June 2011 trainees teaching deaf ed, so I’ll be sure to pack at least one copy The Joy of Signing, as well as some of the others. Thanks for this!

  3. Scott says:

    @Lauren – happy to hear from you! I am the deaf ed trainer for your group. I am really looking forward to meeting you in June. I can not imagine a better job in Peace Corps, you will love it!

  4. Kate says:

    I’ve got my copy of ” JoY of Signing” ready to go! Anything else you wish you’d brought as an art teacher? I’m excited to meet you and the rest in only 2 weeks!

  5. Tony Hoare says:

    Hey Scott:

    I hope things are well and your project is going well. Nathan said as much when we met up in Bangkok. I am writing because I am thinking about a return trip. This time I would like to go across West Africa, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Ideally I would combine a few projects. Do one or two shoots on a volunteer basis for NGO’s, a travel piece and a yet to be photo journalistic piece that I am still searching for a theme for. Finally and importantly I would prefer some company and that company to be you. My timing would be the same as last year, it seems to be a pretty good travel time after the rain and before the Harmattan, so roughly from early November to the new year.

    I thought I would write and see if is a possibility for you to make that kind of road trip. Let me know when you can. Your email bounced back so I am hoping this one reaches you.

    I put up some of the images from last year and you can see them here if you are interested.

    • Scott says:


      It is great to hear from you! I am doing well, as is the project. It has grown since your last visit, with this past week bringing DSL to the school via Vodafone. We have just started introducing the internet to the students, and I am now beginning to piece together a network for the school lab. I have plans to travel to Liberia on January 9-14 to work with a contact at a school for the deaf in Monrovia.

      I would not be able to get away before than, as I have a lot going on between now and January. Not to mentioned pretty tied up financially. Have you set final dates yet for your trip? We have an interesting project in the works with the school in Monrovia and I would love to meet up if you are around in January. Also, if you revisit Ghana, you are ALWAYS welcome to stay here in Hohoe.

      Your photos are beautiful. I can’t wait to see photos from your latest adventures.

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