Anansi News – Pepper Spray, Computers and a Printer

On my return from the U.S., where I went for eye-shots and Christmas with my family, I brought back with me, as usual, a bunch of stuff.  Included were 18 defensive pepper spray units for our girls at the Anansi House in Abura (they often walk home after dark from school and were expressing concern for their safety), a computer for Emmanuella (Maryanne Ward’s blind student at Ghana National College) and a printer for our new garage office here in Mpeasem.

The printer made it safely to my house in the original shipping box covered in duct tape with nautical knots in the rope and handle masterpiece by Christine Myer’s husband, Stephan.  And “Fragile, Breekbaar and Obetumi Ebu” (“It will break” written in English, Dutch and Twi) on all five upright surfaces.  I was pleased and surprised to see that no one had entered the box, and it looked exactly like it had when I checked it in Seattle.  Thank you, Stephan.

Pepper spray for the girls was interesting.  When we were checking out the spray containers here at the house, I pressed the button to see how far the spray would go while aiming it at a far wall.  One should never, never let pepper spray loose inside a house.  We all started coughing and had to leave the dining area of my house for a few hours.  When I took the spray bottles to the girls I tried to explain to them the serious nature of what I was giving them for their walks back to the house in the dark, but somehow I’m not at all sure that they heard me properly.  I expect any day to hear about a mishap involving Anansi girls and pepper spray.

Delivering the computer Maryanne sent with me for Emmanuella was another experience altogether.  She was so happy to get her own computer.  We waited around to help figure out how she would be able to keep the computer safe in the school environment.  We need not have worried.  Emmanuel, a classmate of Emmanuella, came to the classroom for visually impaired students at Ghana National College to help us explain the use of the computer to Emmanuella.  Emmanuel is amazing.  He was able to ascertain that the computer we brought needed the application he had on his computer so Emmanuella could hear what she was typing.  With confidence and skill he downloaded the application he needed to his pen-drive and then uploaded it to Emmanuella’s computer.  Not a hitch, and he is totally blind.  He said he will keep Emmanuella’s computer locked in the desk in this classroom with his computer when she is not using it.  We left there feeling good about the security arrangements and the expert she will have teaching her how to use her new computer.  By the time Maryanne comes again to Ghana, Emmanuella should be quite proficient.

At the moment we are building, with the help of a carpenter, a space for our Anansi office outside of the house in the garage.  I’ll attach a couple of photos taken after the cleaning and at the initial stages of building the room for our new printer and the Anansi computer.  This way, Anansi business will be separate from the house.  A nice concept.

-Kathryn Roe

Emmanuella on her new computer


Mohammed and Emmanuella

Emmanuel, Mohammed and Emmanuella
The front wall of the new Anansi office

Hard at work on a new office for Anansi
Mohammed and Jusif working on the building project