A Small Hiatus

Hello Everyone! I will be taking a small hiatus from making posts as I will be on vacation for the next week. I will make it up to you in August! Have a nice week!

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WE DID IT!

We did it!  We SMASHED our goal!  Thank you to everyone who has supported us and made this a success!  $25 000 is a lot of money and we are humbled by all of the love you have shown us!  Can we double our goal???  To follow our progress or to donate, please visit http://www.meda.org/peoplecare

And just a quick reminder that the Canadian Government has agreed to pay $9 for every $1 raised, so really, we have contributed $285 741, so far!  That is unbelievable!  I have no words strong enough to express our thanks!

The Hippopotamus

After seeing the draft agenda for our trip, I was delighted to see we would be visiting a hippo sanctuary!  So I did a little research and this is what I found out!

Hippopotamuses love water, which is why the Greeks named them the “river horse.” Hippos spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their massive bodies cool under the hot African sun. Hippos are graceful in water, good swimmers, and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes. However, they are often large enough to simply walk or stand on the lake floor, or lie in the shallows. Their eyes and nostrils are located high on their heads, which allows them to see and breathe while mostly submerged.

Hippos also bask on the shoreline and secrete an oily red substance, which gave rise to the myth that they sweat blood. The liquid is actually a skin moistener and sunblock that may also provide protection against germs.

At sunset, hippopotamuses leave the water and travel overland to graze. They may travel 6 miles (10 kilometers) in a night, along single-file pathways, to consume some 80 pounds (35 kilograms) of grass. Considering their enormous size, a hippo’s food intake is relatively low. If threatened on land hippos may run for the water—they can match a human’s speed for short distances.

Hippo calves weigh nearly 100 pounds (45 kilograms) at birth and can suckle on land or underwater by closing their ears and nostrils. Each female has only one calf every two years. Soon after birth, mother and young join schools that provide some protection against crocodiles, lions, and hyenas.

Hippos once had a broader distribution but now live in eastern central and southern sub-Saharan Africa, where their populations are in decline.

 

Fast Facts

Type:
Mammal
Diet:
Herbivore
Average life span in the wild:
Up to 40 years
Size:
Head and body, 9.5 to 14 ft (2.8 to 4.2 m); tail, 13.75 to 19.75 inches (35 to 50 cm)
Weight:
5,000 to 8,000 lbs (2,268 to 3,629 kg)
Group name:
School
from:  http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/hippopotamus/

Thank You MEDA!

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone at MEDA on behalf of the peopleCare travelers.  The amount of work that is going in behind the scenes in booking hotels and flights and shuttles, etc is astounding! We are extremely lucky to be travelling under such great leadership!

Ghanaian Politics

Politics

Kojo Adu-Asare

  • President is John Dramani Mahama.
  • Parliament has 230 members
  • GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is 14 billion USD (2008 estimate)
  • Agriculture employs 60 % of workforce and accounts for 37 % of GDP.
  • Export products are gold, cocoa, timber, bauxite manganese and electricity. Oil was found in 2007.
  • Economy relies heavily on foreign assistance and remittances from Ghanaians abroad.
  • Currency is Ghana Cedi (GH¢)
  • Popular tourist destination

Traditional Rulers

Daasebre Oti Boateng

 

64 Days!

Preparations are in full swing for those of us travelling to Ghana!  All immunizations have been taken, passports are slowly coming to me and our plane tickets will be purchased soon!  We have also started the process of obtaining our travel Visa’s!  

I have a date next week with Michelle to go look at insect repellent sleep sacks that will hopefully protect us from all of the creepy crawlies while we sleep!  We are also going to do a little research into environmentally friendly personal products as we will be in some pretty small villages and do not want to leave a negative impact.

If you are still interested in donating to this project, there is still time!  You can visit http://www.meda.org/peoplecare to donate and follow our project.