Ghana Day 17

What a day. This was our last day of teaching, so Minji decided to do something new and fun for the kids. In other words, we taught them how to play Ultimate Frisbee. It was a blast. Once we had established that you can’t run with the Frisbee, if it falls you have to give it to the other team, and that just chucking it as far as you can isn’t a good strategy, things really got fun. They love throwing the Frisbee, and they caught on well. I played with all three of the classes and am exhausted now. Not only are my feet tired, but the combination of my sweat with all the dust floating around coated my feet in dirt, and there are stripes of white where my flip-flop straps are. It was so bad, the kids kept scolding me to wash my feet!

Afterwards, some of us went for a last stop in Ajumako where it was market day! I know I haven’t talked about the markets so I’ll do that now: it’s certainly an experience. Today, we went with T. Melissa, which definitely makes it more fun. She can speak some Fanti, and whenever we say medasi (thank you) they smile and laugh. She brings a fun, practical attitude and always laughs with the people sitting around in the market. We hopped on the first taxi we saw then waded through the crowds into town when we got out. The market is basically a bunch of wooden scaffolding to separate the stalls (they’re barely even stalls), where wares are generally spread out on the ground or in baskets. My mission: find the cloth, and stay away from the stalls selling fish. (They smell and there are lots of flies. Trust me, you don’t want to eat those fish.) We don’t really bargain, because cloth prices are generally the same. If you want to test your bargaining skills, the best place for that is the touristy craft shops near the beach and slave castle.

I was very successful with my cloth-buying mission. I’m sitting here now, clean, tired, hungry, and happy, but it’s dinner time now and the food is going fast, so I’m signing off for now. Until next time!

Laura

Ghana day 11

Today was hot. That pretty much sums up the morning. I started reading The Magic Treehouse with a group of sixth graders, which was exciting, but I ended the school day sweating and exhausted as we walked back to the house from school. Afterwards, we went back to do our community project: making bricks. (I call it making bricks but according to Kwesi it is really building a house.)

The brick-making process involves a lot of what seems like moving a huge pile of dirt. Then moving it again. Then spreading the pile out. Then piling it back up again and moving it a few more feet to the left. Somewhere in between these moves we add a bag of cement and a few buckets of water to make a mixture of wet dirt/cement. This gets packed into a mold, put on the ground in a row and left to dry. It’s hard to see much difference, such as walls and a roof rising off the ground, but seeing thirty blocks in neat rows on the ground sure does give me a sense of accomplishment. This is how the new classroom building was started, and that won’t be falling down anytime soon.

Until next time,

Laura

Ghana day 10

Once again, the blogging computer has been in short supply, but here goes:

We’ve settled into a routine now in Ghana. We wake up and eat a relaxed breakfast of bread slices with pancakes, oatmeal, or toast in the living room. Any time between 8 and 8:30 the Heritage bus comes to pick us up and take us to school. For the first three periods of school I am in the library helping kids read. There is one boy, Michael, who I’ve been working a lot with. He is in 7th grade, but is much older than the rest of the boys in his class and can’t get through a page of Cat in the Hat without help. I have to shoo his friends away to stop them from whispering the answers in his ear, and I wonder what will happen when I’m not there. Continue reading “Ghana day 10”

It’s Ghana time!

First of all, sorry I couldn’t upload a picture; the computer I’m using is too old to have a place to upload it. I’m writing now with the first we’ve been able to get all trip.

Ghana is amazing. Hot, but definitly worth it. We arrived Sunday, took a two hour car ride with 16 of us crammed into an old van that has probably close to 500,000 miles on it. Today we woke up bright and early like we have all week and spend the day reading and teaching. The kids are all bundles of energy. The first day we came all the younger ones would huddle around us shouting “obroni” and trying to shake our hands or touch our arms. At the sight of a camera, they get so excited that they push eachother out of the way and huddle together posing.

The highlight so far for me has been teaching a group of girls the chicken dance and singing it for 15 minutes straight one day. Their dancing was adorable. There is so much to say, but so little time. It’s almost 12am here and tomorrow we’re going to visit the slave castles and the beach–a welcome break from teaching all day!

Until next time,

Laura

Packing for Ghana!

Packing for Ghana!

Hi, I’m Laura, and in about 70 hours I will be boarding a plane to Accra, Ghana. I’ve always loved the idea of sharing something about myself with others so that they can benefit from my experience (however small that may be), and so that’s why I leaped at the opportunity to go teach at Heritage Academy. I’ll be teaching math – surface areas and volumes mostly – ending in a final project in which  the students measure our classroom to figure out how much of what materials we would need to build a house or building.
I’ve never taught anything before, so I’m definitely nervous about putting myself in front of a class of twenty young students, but I’ll do my best.

For this blog, I’ll be doing a photo journal, with a picture for each post. So here goes.
What I’m taking to Ghana: a camera with an empty memory card, one and a half suitcases full of donations, a few pounds of sunscreen and bug spray, and a few changes of clothes.
I can’t wait!
Laura