Dec 4, 2013

Tuesday Evening

We had an amazing downpour here at 5pm that lasted 30 or 40 minutes, the rain reminded me of Panama. They sky got dark very fast, the clouds so close I wanted to touch them. And then the thunder and skies parted. In a few minutes there was a reddish river rushing in front of the school office. Right now it is 7:40pm and the night is cool. And yes all the dust in the compound is washed away if only for a day. Ceci told me that her and Stefan where at the junction barber getting Stefan's haircut, they got soaked on the way home. Ceci was OK, she said, "I like the rain."

Today the primary 1 class called Lilian right before lunch and all the children greeted her via the phone. Lilian was very happy to hear from her classmates. The teachers told me she was surprised and happy to see them yesterday in the late afternoon when they visited. She expressed concern to them that she would have to repeat primary 1 because she will miss her exams. I actually spent about 30 minutes writing up Lilian's Term Report card providing a complete update on what happened and why she missed school. The report includes her mid term exam scores and also teacher remarks. Based on the review I did with her at the hospital on Sunday and one more review I will do with her when she comes back home, she will be passed on all her subjects. Her sister, Belinda, told me that the chest tube may be removed tomorrow, Kwame will go to the hospital to check on her. Friday is a national holiday, it would be great if we can bring her home on Friday. If she needs anything when can then get on Saturday. Lilian's family lives in a house like where Ben lives. It is a huge house in an nice area under construction, cement block, 2 story house that is currently a shell. The owners let the family live there so nobody else will be on the property during the construction. Lilian I am sure has been sleeping on the cement floor, we will confirm all of this and if necessary MOP will buy a bed to ensure she is able to completely recover and stay healthy.

We interviewed someone for the teaching position for Primary One Class. The teachers all met the applicant, Martins Ebenezer. He was given all the information regarding Mawuvios', who we are, what we do, why, etc. This was his second visit to the school. Kwame also talked to him, I don't know all the particulars, at the same time he is scheduled to begin teaching January 7th. I am going to ask Kwame if I can meet with him next week to review where we are in the course books.

I am headed home next Friday @ 10pm. My list of things to get accomplished
1_ Bring Lilian home and ensure her family has all they need to care for her full recovery
2_ Primary Class One Exams
3_ Primary Class One Report Cards
4_ Get the sponsor holiday letters written so I can hand carry and mail from Atlanta
5_ Children will make bracelets before school is out - some will go to Austria to be sold by Flo and Hannah, some will come with me so Kaia Duke can sell in Arkansas
6_ Complete the estimates for the pending work we need to get done at the school in Ayikumah
7_Get Lilians B'Day present wrapped and ready to give to her before I leave
8_ Write Thank You cards for all the teachers and Ceci.
9_ Help Kwame with a few letters that we need to write re the visit we had with the government official
10_ Visit Afram Publishers if we have time - they are a Ghana company that publishes text books for the Ghana schools. They have an office close by in Achimota, Kwame,myself and two of the teachers had plans to go last Friday, that is when Lilian got admitted so we didn't make it.

Time will go by fast, fast, fast.

I am grateful today and everyday for all the love and support and encouragement I've had from family and friends while I've been in Ghana since mid October. I am grateful to all who signed up to sponsor a student, everyday you are making a significant difference in the life of a child. I am grateful for all the prayers and well wishes for Lilian. If all goes well I will tape tiny video update with her.

I am forever changed, my heart filled with great joy because of the 62 children I've come to know and love. I know I am going to miss them very much when I leave. The Primary One Class students have taught me so much, they've reminded me over and over of the basic need we all have in our lives to be recognized, validated, encouraged, thanked and appreciated.

They are soldiers of circumstance, most of them born into difficult life situations, all of them making the best of their lives. When they come to school in the morning they are happy, excited, ready to learn. Even though they are full of energy, they listen, they learn, they know education makes a difference for them today and in the future. Joyline asked me today during Math, Madam are you going to fly in my plane when I am a pilot ? She is great a math, we've discussed many times why a pilot needs to know numbers.

Today I heard Madam, Madam, Madam - over and over, we were reviewing Math problems that require borrowing or carrying over a number, they were all excited to know they were doing well, they all wanted more problems to work on, they were all encouraged by the smiley faces I put on their classwork papers. It was a great afternoon in the class today. I wish I could have had a camera when we were doing TO DO VERBS. Ana thank you over and over for all the tips on facilitating group participation learning. We were almost singing a mini rap song ... I do, We do, They do, My Mother Does, My Father Does, He Does, She Does - we were doing dance moves and all - about 5 of them came up to the front of the class and sang to the other 5, it was awesome. At the end of 15 or 20 minutes, they were all straight on their To Do Verbs. And Prince got all his Math problems correct, I was so happy.

The only thing that makes me crazy are the pencils. We have to sharpen pencils all the time - and either the pencils are duds or the sharpeners are duds, not sure where the challenge is. Some of the kids have switched to using pens. I got the students all new pencils in the afternoon, tomorrow we should have a better start because of the new pencils. Will see.

Sorry for any typos or crazy sentences.