Oct 17, 2013

Thirty Seven Minus Twenty Nine

Thirty Seven Minus Twenty Nine

Earlier this morning I wrote a few short emails and in most of them I commented that I have settled in quickly and feel at home, like I've known Ceci and Kwame and all the teachers and the students forever. There is no getting used to being in Kissemah, the are have not been any uncomfortable moments.

In Ghana, at least in my limited experience, most people are easy going, almost everyone I have met, encountered, asked helped from, etc. are polite, willing to help, show you, smile back at you. Yesterday I walked around the village with Stefan and a few people recognized me and said hello, you are WELCOMED to Ghana !!!!! When I tell them this is my 5th visit, some have jokingly said, I am a Ghanian in Training.

I am not sure how to describe the feeling, I will think about this and try to write about the comfort and familiarity I feel here. Maybe it is the children, maybe it is the simple way of life, perhaps because I don't have access to a TV or radio, I could get one if I wanted, we have a TV for the children to watch movies, what I don't have is access to the instant and constant information that floods 24 news channels, etc. I could go to CNN on my iPad, but I have done so and not sure I will. If something significant happens in the world, I am sure word will travel to the village, or I will get emails about the news.

Today I was brave and taught Primary Class One from 10:30am until lunch. I did the tail end of a writing assignment and then ventured in to Mathematics. The topic today was subtraction - and not the easy ones like 5 - 3, the lesson was on the the more complicated equations where they have to borrow, like 37 -29. I watched Austin teach this same topic yesterday and I borrowed from his analogies and explanations. I was happy that I was able to manage the class and I learned all their names. Victor, Elijah, Joylen, Abil, Shalom, Akos, Godsway, Kingwey, Matty, Lillian, Florence, Prince. I think I am missing a child from the first row. I will go back to the classroom and check. My brain is getting a work out for sure, good for all the neurons and connections that make memory possible.

After the math assignment was over, we had a few minutes before lunch, I engaged the children in questions and answers about how they can apply MATH to their lives and what the plan to be or do when they grow up. The children said, doctor, pilot, teacher and police. And Lillian did ask, can a woman be a pilot and I said a woman can do anything they want with an education. I asked them if they know why I come to Ghana and some remembered = to remind them that school is very important. I say this to them all the time. Some of the children are like sponges, super smart, the absorb and get the lessons quickly. You can see the gleam in their eyes when the lesson they are learning makes sense or when they have the answer.

At lunch I had the sweetest pineapple ever or I am really really hungry. I took a picture and I will post. The lunch program for the children provides them rice and some type of sauce with fish or chicken. There is also a lady that comes at lunch and sells SOYA on a stick. It is 4 little TOFU squares that have been grilled or fried, covered with some sauce and the children love them. They tell me it provides them with energy and protein. I will get the full details from the lady and provide update.

And yes as custom goes, every time the children are served their food, after we pray a blessing over the meal, there is a chorus of Madam You're Invited - they want to be sure that I know that they want to share their food with me. I always acknowledge their invitations and tell them to go ahead and eat. I love these kids.

Today after school, there is a music program. Kaya the volunteer from ISEP is working with the children that Kaitlyn worked with last year. Kaya is a English Major and Music Minor - after the music program we will have a meeting to discuss the activities for next week when we have visitors.

Renee, the children speak of you and think of you all the time. They miss Auntie Renee !!!

------ Short and sweet from my iPad ---------