Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reflections: Part Two

I have been working this week on two things in particular: 1) Preparing an article for the SEAC Newsletter regarding my research on resistance to water privatization in Ghana and 2) Networking in order to set up appointments/interviews with the "officials" working in the water sector in Ghana.

At first, I was off to a slow start on my research. It took quite some time to settle into this city, this country, this fundamentally different culture. I was also busy settling into my internship here at the Development Solutions Centre, which has also proven to be a time-consuming activity including orientation to office staff, organization, etc. and schedule building, project starting and field trips. But already we are working our way into Week #7 of 8. That means there is approximately 10 days left of my international internship. How did that happen, again? Luckily I've been keeping a very intense journal and have successfully filled an entire Moleskine journal regarding the entirety of my journeys abroad.

But alas, here I am in Week #8 of 10 for my time in Ghana and am just digging in to the real meat of the water management and services sector of Ghana: news articles, interviews and contacts abound. I have been working now for five months on my current research topic. And in Ghana, so far, I have struck only gold.

Last week, I had the opportunity to interview Goldman Prize Winner and #5 hero on my personal heroes list (Vandana Shiva is #1, F.Y.I), Mr. Rudolf Amenga-Etego, Executive Director of GrassRootsAfrica and single-most effective leader in initiating the movement to resist the privatization of water by forming the National Coalition Against the Privatization of Water (NCAP). It is activists like Rudolf this that inspire me to the core. Sitting down to a one on one meeting with Mr. Amenga-Etego was absolutely exhilarating: years of intimate, undocumented and constitutional knowledge; a tried and true environmental and social justice advocate. It is activists or advocates like him that make the world a more just, sustainable one.

After our meeting (after which my head was spinning from the vasts amounts of information my brain had just tried to register) he gave me a few "good" contacts to get in touch with including. I look forward to my next few interviews including one next week with Mr. Kwaku Sayki-Addo, National correspondent to the BBC. I hope that these interviews will provide me with the insight necessary to compose a well-informed, respectable research project on the full scope of "Water Privatization in Ghana."

Wish me luck? Or maybe just good fortune....

P.S. If you'd like to learn more about the Resistance to Water Privatization, check out the Documentary, "Thirst".

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