Friday, April 30, 2010

Shopping !

I spent a few hours at the mall today shopping solely for the things I need for my trip to Ghana. After spending a few hours at various stores I got rid of the following items from my "to buy" list:

1. A long sleeve shirt ( it's white, pretty, summerish, 100 % cotton which should be perfect for hot weather)

2. face moisturizer ( it was a very expensive one, but since I wont be spending any money on make up I thought I could invest in a good moisturizer)

3. sunglasses

So out of the the 100 items on my list, I have now narrowed it down to 97...!!! Shopping will continue until further notice !

Monday, April 26, 2010

Progress !

I'm still having a hard time trying to write about how things are going with my internship, what fomal progress has been made and how I generally feel. And it is hard because I have so many thoughts scattered all over my brain that I don't know where to even begin, I don't know what thought to pull out of my brain first.

So I guess the highlight of this week has been finishing exams, packing, and going through departure training with Dr. Robinson who is by the way the head of the organizing team.

We have now gone through all the details of what we need to know in case of emergiencies, health related issues, what we need to be aware of in terms of culural and social interactions with others and how foreigners basically need to handle things in a developing country, I could go into detail with what we covered but that would take pages and pages of writing.

The outcome however has been quite comforting. I was and still am going through very different emotional phases when it comes to how I feel about going away to Ghana. Most of the time I am just excited and it seems like I couldn't leave early enough but at times and it is usually late at night when I come home and have some time alone to myself that I start thinking about what could happen that I just simply cannot predict. I have discussed my worries and concerns not only with people that I'm going there with but also with Dr. Robinson who has done alot of work in a develping country and also with students who have gone overseas to various parts of Africa before but for some reason I expect myself to be prepared in all ways possible. They always say except the "unexpected" but I think I try to not only define what the unexpected is but also how to deal with it. I think unconsciously I put this pressure on myself and now that I think about it, it is incredibly unrealistic.

But I as I mentioned this whole traning process has been very comforting, because aside from the general worry that comes with traveling to a place I have never gone to before, all of my other conerns have been shared and discussed.

It is now time for bed , I need to wake up early in the morning as usual.

I should also mention that I am very excited about tomorrow, I get to relax and enjoy the day with my friends whom I will be leaving for the summer, not looking forward to saying goobye. Tomorrow will be one bittersweet day.

Also, I will be deticating my next post soley to everything that I am looking forward to this summer, because the list has been sky rocking.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


It is now April 23 and I am getting closer and closer to the departure date. My elevated stress levels due to exams have finally started to subside, I don't feel as guilty when it comes to having drifted thoughts about Ghana for "long" periods of time when I should be studying.

I still feel there is a lot of work to be done before I leave for Ghana. We have been having some trouble with our visa applications but I'm sure everything will get sorted out very soon. I was not paying much attention to the Euro air lock travel but I'm hoping that will go away too.

My room has become quite the mess, I definitely fit into the perfect description of a traveler. It would explain the large volume of books, clothes and suit cases that seem to be everywhere. And when I say everywhere I mean everywhere, I don't even think I have a closet at the moment, or better yet I think my entire room and living room have become my closet, like I mentioned my stuff is just literally everywhere. Although I must say I am quite excited to get packing and having my stuff sorted out, I'm hoping it will contribute to emotional/mental state of departure as well.

A lot of packing is coming right up !! I should probably get some sleep now though, I still have one exam left and studying is not over yet.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dear family, friends, and general blog browsers,

So if you know me, you have probably heard me talk about my summer trip to Ghana this summer more than let's say a few times. You have heard me complain about the slow process of becoming prepared but have also seen me jump up and down from all the excitement that I cannot contain within me at times.

Below is a little description of what it is I will be working on oversea in Ghana:

Along with my partners Jessica Barker and David Marmor will be working with a solid waste management (SWM) company called Zoomlion which is currently the largest SWM company in Ghana. We are scheduled to work on two projects, the first one will be on a plastic recycling inventory - what plastics are used in the country and what the facilities are like to recycle them and the second one is working at the Korle Bu teaching hospital to categorize the waste being produced.

Continuing on.... I would like to get started on where I stand with everything related to this trip ....with the fact that there is only 21 dayssssss until departure time, which means I've got 21 days to actually wrap my head around that fact that I AM Going. Apparently all the planning/work that I have done so far for preparing myself for this trip has not been enough, at least not mentally. When it comes to every other way of being prepared however, I must say I am ready to go. From booking flights, getting vaccinated, travel insurance, passport application, organizing fund raising events to budget preparing and still on going work I must admit I still feel as if I wont be leaving in a long while from now, even though I will be leaving in TWENTY ONE days!

And the part that I find most interesting is that, due to the fact that I have such a vague picture of what life would look like 9452.19 kilometers away ( distance between Canada and Ghana), I keep on trying to picture life here.... without me. I definitely will not be going to Windsor to my family and I definitely will not be spending my late summer afternoons at Windsor's good old river front like I do every summer since I've started university.

And as for how I picture life in Ghana.. well.....the painted picture in my head is currently too good to believe. Me being in a different continent, country, city, with my parents being in peace (inside joke only some people will understand it) and be doing the kind of work that is of greatest value to me is just too much to ask for. And by work I don't just mean working with Zoomlion, I mean what I get to do since the time I would wake up in the morning to the time I go back to sleep (may or may not include me being very sick, hot and sweaty, me missing everyone terribly) !

I am going to end my second post here, I am noticing that I've been talking generally about everything and not specially about one topic. Maybe I should start posting material based on themes or specific topics, if you have any suggestions on how I should do this please let me know. I am very new to this and I feel like I need to talk about everything.

Also, I feel very awkward writing my thoughts away on this blog and having it fully exposed to the world but I am already starting to get over this fact.

I am hoping not only this blog allows me to enhance my communication skills but also provide some sort of reliable insight on what the process of traveling to Western Africa and working on development projects will be like.


ps: for those of you that do not know me, my full name is Katayoon Pejman, my first name means planet Venus in Persian and was apparently the name of one of the greatest queens in the Persian history. I love the connection between the meaning behind my name and the word Ghana which means the "land of warrior king", just a little side note.
FIRST Entry:

Hello world of blogging !!

Firstly I would like to welcome myself to this new world of communication, I am quite unfamiliar with this territory..... at least for now.

And to everybody else who is visiting my page for the first time.....WELCOME !