Sunday at 3:45pm we crossed the junction road between Kissemah and Anumle in the car, Kwame, myself, Komlavi, Alex and Michael. We were on our way to the "bush" to visit Selina, who is a former student of Mawuvio's. She was in Class 4 last year, she always helped with serving the lunch and then with washing the dishes after everyone finished. She is the sister of Gifty from Class 3 and sister to Victor, who was in Class 1 last term and is not currently in school. She is the stepsister to Nice, who is in Class 2.
Selina is 14 years old. I am not sure when her birthday is, she is having a baby any day now. She told me her due date is March 28th and that she is having a girl. She looked uncomfortable, like most expecting Mother's during the last weeks before the delivery.
Let me back up, I am getting way ahead of myself. We drove the car into the area of Anumle, maybe a 5 minute drive. We parked the car at someone's house that Kwame knew and then we set out on foot via a path in a wide open space, Ceci says they call it Green Hills. Locally this area is referred to as the bush, I think of it more like a savannah. Tall green grass, a mango tree here or there and large tall red earth ant hills dotting the landscape. I think saw about 10 of them in the 15 minutes we were walking. `
As we set out on the path, Michael and Alex lead the way. I followed them and Kawme and Komlavi were behind me. Michael warned me, "Madam it is a bit far".
I told the boys to go slow so I could keep up with them. They were walking the path in their house slippers , we wound around, came to a few forks in the path and Michael knew where to go as his Father has a tiny bit of a farm out on the open land.
It took us 15 minutes to walk to Selina's place, the family lives in three tent like homes, the structures made of large tree branches, the cover is cloth and plastic tarps, layers and layers to create the protection from the rain and sun. The three structures are strategically under two or three large trees. And no water and no electricity. The area is extremely quiet and peaceful, the path to and fro is used frequently - so if you know where you are going, it is not a hard place to get to, the land is level, there is no part of the path where you are going up or down.
Certainly to fetch water it is FAR FAR FAR. A 15 minute walk to the nearest poly tank. The family does have one adult size bicycle - that they use to get to the market, the junction area, etc. They had chickens around, I did not see any goats. I saw one small dog and one large cat. There were 4 adults at the house, Selina's DAD and the stepmother. The eldest son and his wife and then several children. When we arrived all the adults were sitting outside under the trees playing a local board game called LUDO
Kwame says if all goes as planned, Selina will have the baby at La Paz Clinic or Achimota Hospital, both very close to the junction road area. From what I heard last time I was here, the baby's Father was in a serious car accident in December of last year and seriously injured. He was taken to his hometown to be cared for by his family.
Selina's Father asked if she could come back to school after the baby is born. Kwame and him were speaking in EWE. Kwame told him to come to the school office once they baby was born and they figured out who and how the baby would be cared for.
There was lots of discussion about Victor, why he is not in school, and it is a long long long sad story. Victor seems to have lost his mind or maybe he has a split personality; the child and the behavior they described today is not anything like the 11 year old boy I observed and interacted with when I was teaching Primary 1 last year for 8 weeks. Maybe during those eight weeks he was putting on the performance of his life.
It is one of those situations where I don't know all the details, I don't know all the facts and certainly I don't know the true story of why Victor is behaving the way his family described today. All I can hope for is that an angel from the heavens above has been assigned to this young boy.
Because we went late and it has been an overcast day the walk was not hot. There was a nice breeze accompanying us the entire way. We got back to the Kissemah compound right after 5pm. Ceci and Stefan were in the back kitchen area. Stefan's DAD has just called from Amsterdam. He wanted to greet me, so when I arrived Ceci called him and I was able to speak to him for a few minutes.
This update is being typed at 7:15pm on Sunday night. I will post in the morning before Kwame and I head out on the two appointments we have tomorrow in the AM.