The whole purpose of my trip to Ghana is to witness the work of Adventure Travel Company Madventurer and explore the ways in which they work with African communities and UK volunteers to renovate and build classrooms, health clinics and toilet blocks. It’s been 5 years since I first met John Lawler (founder and Chief) who set up Madventurer (fondly referred to as MAD – Mottey African Development) back in 1998. Since then, the demand from our supporters to volunteer overseas has become increasingly apparent just as the desire for MAD to partner with a developmental NGO such as COCO has occurred to John.
We are staying in the village of Shia in Eastern Ghana on the Togolese border where MAD renovated a nursery in January this year, one of many projects MAD have undertaken in Ghana.
After a somewhat bumpy ride to the village we arrive at our accommodation. I’m really pleased to see that there is electricity but the skinny mattresses on the floor, lack of running water, mozzies and 29 degree heat of the night are not so welcome but necessary if I am to truly experience volunteering Madventurer style. After a liberal application of mozzie repellent we head to the Chief’s house for dinner via a local bar for a much needed ice cold coke.
Dinner is rice and some kind of spicy corned beef dish accompanied by ice cold water (the Chief has a fridge): delicious! Water for us normally comes in a plastic bag as opposed to a bottle and we have to bite the corner off and suck it to quench our thirst. The heat and
the travelling has made us all quite tired and although our beds are not very appealing, we are too sleepy to worry about it. After our mozzie nets are secured over our skinny mattresses, we get our heads down with a cacophony of nocturnal creatures providing a soundtrack!
The next few days will comprise painting classrooms, speaking to volunteers and community members about the impact of volunteering in the area and witnessing how sustainable development is taking place in this community.