I have a dear friend back home that keeps telling me that this visit to Ghana is going to help me with being comfortable and OK with the reality of whatever situation I am in.
For example if I am in Ghana and I am part of a PTA meeting that starts at 10am and only 6 parents show up by 10am, I should be OK with that and be comfortable that by 10:42am about 40 parents have showed up and by 11:15am, 56 out of 62 children are being represented at the meeting by a parent, relative, caretaker or guardian.
Yes dear friend of mine in Atlanta, I heard your voice in my head today, I stepped back and calmed myself right down and said to myself, I know somehow this meeting is going to turn out just fine and indeed it did. Ghana time is not the same as the time in my head. Everything here happens at a different pace and a pace that works for Ghana, for the people, for the community and I am learning, learning, learning.
We got through the agenda, we reviewed meetings notes from the July 27th meeting and we covered all the main agenda items for the meeting today and even gathered names and approvals from all the parents on 5 parents who will organize a group to represent the collective interest of all the parents, caretakers, etc. We had a minute of silence and prayer for Renee Farwell's Father, Kwame shared the news of his untimely death in September. Two of the Mother's got up and thanked all the teachers for the wonderful work they are doing with all the children, and the teachers spoke about their concerns regarding all the children in general.
One of the parents is a pastor, he closed the meeting with all the parents singing a beautiful hymn and then he lead the closing prayer. All the teachers were in attendance and three of the board members, Kwame Agoe, Eric (I don't know how to spell his last name) and me.
Interesting details of the meeting
1_ It was in Ewe and English
2_ It was in the compound, under the main tented area, so our little friend Godsway joined us for a bit until his Mother called for him - (he is everywhere all the time)
3_ Of course we had laundry in the background and some children playing
4_ A MOM from the compound walked by the meeting to and from the area where she baths outside, shower slippers, curlers, towel, pail of water and all
5_ One Mom at the meeting was breastfeeding right in the front row
6_ Three of the parents that did not show were from children in my class, Elijah, Joyline and Victor.
7_ Matilda Doe's family did not come, she is living with her Grandfather and he cannot walk. And Natashia Donu was not represented by a parent, she is in Primary Class 4. Every child with the exception of the ones mentioned was represented.
8_ One parent, Ben and Forgive and Komlavi's Father, he was intoxicated at 10am. He was mostly happy intoxicated, he would get up every every so often and cheer on the meeting, he would be acknowledged and then he sat right back down.
Ben was at the meeting, representing the students, he was upset about what happened with his DAD. I spoke to Ben afterwards and told him he cannot be responsible for his Dad's behavior and he cannot carry the burden in his heart about his Dad's drinking. I told him that he needs to focus on the being a good example to his younger siblings and to all the younger students at school. I told him that he has a significant opportunity to not follow in his DAD's footsteps and that he should focus on all the goodness in his heart and in his life. I could see the disappointment in his eyes, I hugged him and told him that his Mother is watching and supporting him and all his brother's from Heaven. I am not sure I was able to comfort him - He was very upset.
After the meeting all the teachers came to the office, we all discussed the meeting, everyone was pleased with the turn out. The parents were told that in March we will meet again, we will have a video of the school and much more information to share. The main questions they asked today about the new school
1_ can the parents go see the school before Sept 2014 ?
2_ can they visit their children while they are in school ?
3_ how will Mawuvio's assure their safety ?
Kwame reminded them of how much work goes into what we are doing, that all the funding currently is coming from US and Austria and that we need their support in encouraging their children, ensuring they are in school, on time and doing their homework.
It was all good ! ! !
I worked with Lawrenda on her leadership assessment after the meeting. Then I came to my room and did multiplication tables review with Stefan. I then sat quietly under the fan on speed 2 and rested for about 90 minutes. Sometimes just being still, not moving and getting the constant flow of air from the fan is OH SO GOOD.
Dinner was @ 5:30pm. Stefan and I enjoyed two cold Alvaro's, a refreshing soda type drink, it is made from pear nectar - kind of like a GingerAle with pear taste. And the colder the better, we hijacked them to Ceci's freezer for a bit so they would be cold cold.
Tomorrow I am going to church with Teacher Austine - @ Living Springs International in Kissemah. The pastor from All Nations Church from Norcross, GA, is visiting and he will lead the 8:30am service.