Teach, Eat, Sleep

Hi guys!

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. We just got internet recently and we only have a limited amount of time we can use it for. So much has happened since I arrived in Ghana. I don’t think I can fully summarize everything I have experienced but I’m going to at least try. Teaching has been fun. It started off as a struggle because we have about 30 kids in each of our classes, which is a large amount to keep fully engaged and under control for 50 minutes. I was upset at first because I felt like I wasn’t engaging all of the kids enough but then we had a discussion with our group leader about the purpose of this trip and I realized that the purpose is not to have an effective lesson every time or to have every kid engaged at all times. The purpose of us teaching Kwesi said is for the students to understand that even if we look different or act differently than them we are all human which makes us all the same. These kids are not used to seeing foreigners and they look at us like we’re aliens a lot of the time. So the purpose of us teaching is to help the kids be comfortable with us and realize that we are all the same. So there’s no reason to look at us differently.

That said, teaching my classes has still been a lot harder than I anticipated. I manage to somehow use all 50 minutes each time. (Colored pencils always help time fly faster.) I realized that they love learning new games so I have been trying to teach them American hand-clapping games because even though I’m teaching choir these games help teach them about rhythm. I try to connect the class. I tried playing some American pop music for them too but  they said they needed “faster music” to dance to. I guess our music doesn’t have a good enough beat to shake to.

The food here has been great. I’ve tried everything that we have been served and I’ve loved it all. My love for rice has been reestablished because we have rice with every meal and it is delicious. The fruit here is also incredible. The mango is indescribably good and so is the pineapple. When I return to the U.S. I won’t be able to look at fruit or rice the same way.

The last thing I want to talk about is being not just a minority but a spectacle. You may have read from some of the previous posts that people refer to us as “obroni” which means foreigner (or,a lot of times, “white person”). The people here are very blunt and will call you what you are. It’s not meant to be offensive. It’s just the name they use to call us. It gets frustrating a lot of times being an obroni here though because you might be walking through the market and a little child or maybe even an older person will stop in their tracks to literally just stare at you. It makes you feel very self-conscious and almost like there is something wrong with you. My entire life I’ve lived places where I was the majority and for once I understand what it’s like to be the minority. I know it’s not meant to be hurtful but I hate being treated differently or looked at differently because of the color of my skin. I hate when kids stop and point and yell “Obroni!” I’m beginning to just deal with it but it’s a constant reminder that I will never fit in here. I love the culture here, though, and the people are all very nice and friendly.

I think I’ve written enough for now. I will share more later when I get the time. I’m not really sure when that is going to be, but stick with me!

Until next time!

~Arielle

One thought on “Teach, Eat, Sleep

  1. HI Arielle,

    Your Mom told me that you were writing for this blog since you’re now over in Ghana. How exciting for you and teaching as well. I bet this is really going to be an amazing experience for you. Sounds like it’s giving you some perspective on how things are in a different country and here you are being the underdog. I know that must really feel strange.

    I hope you’re enjoying your time and being with the kids. I think that would just be an awesome experience and I appreciate you sharing part of it with us.

    Enjoy your time, I know your internet is limited but wanted to stop by and say Hi and best of luck to you.

    ~Adrienne

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