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.
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.