Dec 10, 2011

Day one in Kissemah....Saturday December 10th

Yesterday we were greeted at the airport by Augustin, a good friend of Kwame's, and we were escorted through immigration and customs like diplomats, no waiting, just a few reviews of our passports and that was all. We were finger printed and photograph at immigration. Once we were in the larea to get our luggage, Kwame and Renee joined us.
We, who is we? One of Renee's childhood friends, Lizzie Rolling and her cousin, Traci, both from Iowa made the trip with me. Both delightful young ladies, it will be fun to share all these wonderful experiences with them.
It took about 20 minutes to drive from the airport to the school. At traffic lights we were approached by street vendors and quickly the conversation in the native language would get very fast and loud, the vendors upon seeing four white people in the car with Lawrence, the person who was driving, would welcome us to Ghana and then really turn up the sales pitch. Renee said that wherever we go, the four of us, Lizzie, Traci, Renee and myself, that we will cause giggles and laughter and curious attention. Should be interting.
Today I woke up around 7am. The school is in a family compound of sorts, owned by Kwame's late father. The property is about the size of two lots in my neighborhood in Atlanta. There are two large cement buildings with small units,some have porches, some don't. There is a big common area in the middle where children are playing right now, and that is where the school sessions are held. And that is why Renee and Kwame are building a school, so the children don't have to go to school in the courtyard of these homes. They also use the porch of Kwame's families home. There are pictures on the Mawuvious Program link on the blog on the right hand column.
Cece, Kwame's Mom, has a big room in the back side that serves as the kithcen, she makes the food for the children everyday; they eat lunch at school everyday. Cece made the Jolof and chicken for us last night and you eat outdoors right by the kitchen.
There is one large outdoor shower, the shower head or plumbing is busted, hence you have to take in a bucket and have a bucket shower, right under the glorious sky. Renee said not to be alarmed I'd we see young naked children going to and from the shower. I will let you know how it all goes.
Last, there is one bathroom shared by all the families. So we are set. Oh I forgot, all the houses do have electricity and most rooms have one light and one or two fans. It was very hot last night and Renee has two fans in her room so I was very comfortable. You definitely need a head lamp, so I am glad I bought mine.
Most of the children that go to school at Mawuvious live in one room wooden houses, one room for all and everything, probably smaller than most master baths in a larger home in Atlanta. Renee said that the families are very welcoming and will allow me to take pictures and visit with them, so expect a full report. There are several of them right outside the compound. right up the street is also a brand new hostel, I will go over and check out.
Today we are going to Aikumah, the site where the school is being built. They started the construction of the school office with the funds donated so far so Kwame can live there and supervise the work and ensure that no squatters take over what is built so far. I am looking forward to stepping ground on the property, I will provide details later.
I am off to explore, and check out the compound goats.

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