I've only had two days in Ghana were my patience, tolerance, understanding, flexibility, good nature and overall outlook has been tested to the breaking point.
Today was one of those days, by 3pm I was completely worn down, wore out, tired, hot; my safety mode during times like these is to be very quiet and to retreat. I actually joined Teacher Kaia's after school music program on the porch and learned about reading music, full notes and half notes.
This is is how I got here..... the combination of the heat and the constant noise from the building construction across the street and my Primary One Class energy - those three things today were the perfect mix to push me over the edge.
And let me explain the noise across the street. It starts @ 6am, they are working on all the cement walls in the building, casting a smooth slick finish on the walls, they sand them with a huge machine that makes a horrific noise, like a drilling noise, it is loud and loud and loud and the sound carries right into the compound. I was in the office at 6:30am reviewing the exams I typed yesterday and the sound was literally pounding on my head and chest through the window. I promise I am not exaggerating. If you know me, you know I am noise and sound sensitive, it gets to me. The work has been going on for about a week, not sure when they will get this specific work completed.
Today was also extra hot and humid. We had huge dark clouds pass over the school during lunch, we had a few raindrops, but no rain. The wind was blowing and the air was wet humid. The "feels like" temperature was probably in the mid 90*s. I knew it was hot today when Elijah at lunch asked "Madam Afua, can you take the board down so we can get some air"? He was referring to the large white board that is in front of our class. It sits right on the border of the porch and it actually blocks the breeze coming into the compound.
Lastly the Primary 1 Class today, (minus Lilian and Godsway) were restless, mind traveling out of the porch area to somewhere far away and simply not listening. I removed them all from the porch and had them stand in the shade in the assembly area so they could think about why the are in school. I had a few with tears, some with sad faces, some looking down the entire time. I let them think by themselves for about 5 minutes and then I talked to them and asked them to cooperate and help me with teaching the class so they could all learn and they could all do well on their exams, and they could all pass Primary 1 and get to go to Ayikumah next September. I am sure they were also hot and tired, the space that we teach in on the porch is small, 95% of the time it works well. Today was one of the 5% days.
At 4pm everything changed. Ghana was playing Egypt in a second World Cup qualifying soccer match; amazing the noise across the street stopped shy of 3:45pm. Everyone was headed for a television set in the village. We had about 12 people on the office patio out front, the TV repairman up the street had about 20 people, the bar around the corner, they were crowd loud. The game went on till about 6pm. Ghana lost 2-1, however based on all the games played and based on how the qualifying works, Ghana made it, they will be in the World Cup next year in Brazil. Everyone in Ghana is extremely happy. They love love love their team, the Black Stars.
Tomorrow is WED. Saturday we have a PTA meeting from 10am to 12pm. Saturday afternoon I am doing a few errands with Kwame. Sunday I am going to church at Living Springs with Austine, then we are into the last week of November. I will be doing mostly review with Primary 1 for all the subjects we cover in their curriculum. They will also write "Holiday Greeting" sponsor letters that I will hand carry home and mail when I get to Atlanta.
Thursday is Kaia's last day with us. She has been a wonderful volunteer, she has helped out tremendously with Primary 1 and also with the music program. We are going to miss her very much. We are extremely appreciative for all the time she committed to Mawuvio's during her ISEP student exchange program with the University of Ghana.
She is doing her finals next week and also doing some site seeing before she heads back on Dec 10th. She is actually going to London and Paris on her way home and will be back with her family in Arkansas late December. Kaia we are all going to miss you !!!! Thanks Thanks Thanks for all you did to support Mawuvio's and especially the Primary 1 Class.
------ Short and sweet from my iPad ---------