It’s been 2 weeks since I left Saskatoon so it’s about time for an up date.
I have made it to Ghana with only a couple awkward run-ins with security agents in Toronto and Frankfurt. Tomorrow I will be leaving for my village stay and I am already behind on my blog posts so here is a quick update of what my first week looked like as an Engineers Without Borders Junior Fellow which from here on out will be abbreviated to EWB JF to save me the embarrassment of misspelling the words engineers, without, borders, junior, and fellow.
Pre departure training in Toronto
My first week was spent in Toronto living out of an old town house in the little Italy district of Toronto. This was quite the experience itself to best sum it try to imagine 24 people living in a small and very cramped house. Due to the age of the house there was only enough water pressure to operate one of its two showers at a time. Moving about the house was not always easy seeing as almost every inch of floor space was either covered with a mattress or somebody’s stuff. I once again apologize to all who had to endure my bear like snoring throughout the night. The cramped living space provided an atmosphere full of lively discussion, debate, and laughs.
Most of the days were spent in a U of T classroom learning about gender issues, development history, health and safety, frameworks, human centered design, were just some of the topics covered. Highlights included George’s (cofounder of EWB Canada) Q & A session, visiting the EWB head office, and my Kulemela practical exercise.
For the practical exercise Ingrid (my fellow junior fellow who is also working for Kulemela this summer) and I were given the task of locating and interviewing an urban farmer about their experience with accessing private sector financial services in Ontario. This was followed up with a trip Toronto’s financial district to learn more about what financial services are available to small farmers in Ontario.
Possible the most embarrassing thing to come out of the week was my break out performance as the future king of hip-hop, Jf Rj Smalls. I was able to display my lyrical genius with a short performance of the 3 Jf commandments which and no way resembled Biggie Small’s 10 crack commandments. Mix tape coming soon?
Well time for bed I have to be up early tomorrow to beat never ending traffic jam that is Accra. After I return from my village stay I’ll be posting another update about my first week or so in Ghana