There are so many things I am doing for the first time because of my trip to Ghana. I love the wonder, excitement, nerves and anticipation of such a life experience. I think about all the feelings, emotions, questions, doubts, etc. that I am going to have while I am there; I continue to pray that I have the strength and wisdom to be present in the lives of the children in a positive and lasting way and that I can continue to encourage and support Kwame and Renee and the teachers for the amazing work they are doing with the school program of the Mawuvio Outreach.
A few of the FIRST ....
Getting a yellow fever shot, taking malaria medicine, having to pack DEET, getting a visa for entry into a country, packing for 20 days in a carry-on suitcase.
Teaching, well maybe I should call it sharing my love of poetry and then I won't be so nervous. I am actually putting my POETRY lesson plan together this weekend. I am also going to share 4 of my favorite places in the world and do a show and tell presentation of Venice, Italy, Panama, Iguazu Falls in Argentina and of course Ghana. When I speak about Ghana I am going to highlight some of the things I have learned about the country in my preparation for traveling there, then I am going to encourage the children to tell me about them and anything they want me to know about Kissemah, their lives, school, their teachers, their dreams, hopes; I want them to know that I truly care and value each one of them individually. I will ask them to teach me a few key phrases in their native language. When I share my love of Panama, I am weaving in a mini Spanish lesson and will teach them a few phrases in Spanish.
We are doing one art project for sure. I am bringing squares of sand paper, the kind you buy at the hardware store and 2 large boxes of crayons and oil pastels. The children will paint whatever their creativity calls for: flowers, fish, trees, fruit, hands, hearts, whatever they want to draw and paint. I did this type of painting with my niece, JoAnn, and they turn out very cool. When you see the painting, unless you get really close you don't have any idea it is painted on sand paper - and the rough texture of the sand paper gives the painting a shiny type of glow. I will for sure post some of these on the blog when we have the art project days.
I am going to get help from JoAnn this weekend, she is here for a few days as she starts her vacation after completing her first quarter at SCAD in Savannah.
One of my first that I will continue to provide updates on is making rosaries. I am going to work with the children to make rosaries out of the recycled glass beads, hence I have to buy crucifixes. I had no idea that making rosaries was such an industry. There are several major sites on the internet that sell all the parts to make a rosary and the selection of crucifixes is amazing. I will post a picture so you can see.
I had no idea there were so many different renderings of the crucifix, all so beautiful. I was overwhelmed not only by the quantity, the different versions, but most important, the idea of what I am trying to do; creating a beautiful instrument of prayer, that can be sold, so the children can eat, have a place to sleep, go to school and PROSPER. I actually got tears in my eyes when I first saw all the crucifixes on my computer screen, thinking GOD is watching me, GOD is leading me, GOD is going with me to GHANA and GOD is incharge of all that will happen.
I dont know any other way to explain this amazing journey that I am on, other than God and his troop of angels that watches over all the children of the world, wants to be meet the children and be part of their lives. I continue to be blessed with such an incredible opportunity and with family and friends and co-workers that are so supportive. Hugs to you all.