It seems like these posts keep getting fewer and further between. The time is drawing nigh, though, and soon I will be at home, enjoying Christmas in Virginia. That seems strange… that Christmas is almost here. I am used to cold and late-fall frosts as precursors to Christmas. Instead, I have soft red dust underneath my feet and tropical heat at the end of November.
Things are happening so fast here that it’s hard to keep up. My parents came to visit me last week, and we had an amazing time. We went to Kakum National Forest and walked on a tree-to-tree rope bridge across the rainforest canopy, we stayed at a hotel that had crocodiles in a pond underneath the restaurant, we went to Green Turtle Lodge and basked on the sunny beach, and we saw a rural school, where the kids were practicing balancing sand on their heads for gym class! I think that they enjoyed themselves and got to see a lot of the reasons why I love Ghana.
Today is my last day of class, and then tomorrow I embark on my next journey. Many of you know that I have a strange and remarkable interest in social science research (surveys and statistics and the like), and that I have been going to the Liberian refugee camp while I’ve been in Ghana. For my one week travel break, I am going to stay at Buduburam (the camp) and conduct a research study about child sexual abuse. Apparently, incidence of children being raped is on the rise, and there is very little empirical information about how the community responds to it, other than the obvious horror-struck reaction. I want to find out about the community’s attitudes and beliefs about child sexual abuse, and then investigate some of the community’s responses, and the resources that they have to deal with it as a social phenomenon. I will be conducting focus groups with citizens and doing interviews with community leaders for 7 days.
I am going to stay at the camp with one of the women who works at Center for Youth Empowerment (the organization through which I’m doing this study), but coming back to campus for a few days in the middle for personal debrief and a rest period for myself. Please pray that things go smoothly and that I would have access to all of the resources that I need. I think that this will be hard and somewhat stressful, but important. Very little research exists about cross-cultural community beliefs about child sexual abuse, and this is a new and important area of study. It would be a perfect master’s thesis topic, too.
So anyway, please keep me in your prayers. I’ll let you know how it’s going.