Mar 21, 2014

Thursday Update

Today (Thursday) we have been LIGHTS OUT since about 7am this morning. Not sure what is going on, there is no 800 # to call or no website with an outages map that you can reference your particular area and get an update.

Something is going on with the power grid, the lights out condition has a pattern that is now consistent. We've had lights out for the past 4 days. The firs two it was a night, for about 20 minutes sometime after 7pm. Yesterday and today the electricity has been off during most of the day.

The school has a generator that Kwame can crank up. It powers a few key lights in the compound - to keep everyone safe. It also provides power to the office so the internet will work. I am not sure when I will post this update, I am writing in my room. It is now shy of 4pm on Thursday afternoon.

Teacher Austine and Micah have the music program students out in the courtyard, they are playing flutes, recorders, harmonicas, a trumpet and xylophone. The sounds are similar to when an orchestra is warming up - some are doing the music scale, some a few bars from a particular song.

In the background complementing the music program are small children running to and fro from the other families in the compound. One or two are crying, some of the older children are coming home from school, there is always sound outside.

Sound is actually part of the fabric of Ghana. Unless you go somewhere specific where you are controlling the environment, there is alway people talking, music, radios, chicken, goats, dogs, traffic, cars, horns; there is alway some type of sound traveling the airwaves nearby.

And because I have a brain that is sensitive to sound, for me it is extra stimulating. I hear everything. For example, the first 2 or 3 days I was here, an alarm clock went off every night in the unit next door and while the alarm sound was extremely faint between the cement walls, the beep beep sound traveled outside and I could hear via the window on the back side of the unit. This only happened for 2 or 3 days, either the clock ran out of juice or the person who lives there turned off the alarm.

Today I helped with students who were not feeling well. Shalome in Class 1 I think has an ear infection. She did not have a fever, so I am not sure if you can have an ear infection and no fever. Selina from Class 3 definitely had a fever. Elias from Class 2 burned the back of his leg on a motorcycle exhaust - we've been putting injection violet on the burn - it is doing quite well. Injection violet is literally a liquid that is violet in color, you put it over any wound with a Q-tip and it creates a dry condition - like a seal. It helps any scrape, scratch, heal. I will post a photo of the bottle. Shalome and Selina both got Bayer Children's aspirin and both told me they were feeling better when school was out at 2:30pm. I think I would have made a good school nurse, I have great training from Teacher Lawrenda all during last term.

Today we also wrote the sponsor letters. Tomorrow Kwame and myself and some of the teachers are going to AFram Publications to review the academic school books they publish for Ghana schools.

Saturday we have the PTA meeting and then Stefan and I are going to the mall for a few items the school needs.

Monday Kwame and I are supposed to meet with someone from NADMO, they are the national disaster relief organization that is government run. They are supposed to help us with receipt of shipments for the school, so we are not levied any taxes or import duty on any items that may be shipped via barrel or sea land container for Mawuvio's. Will see how that goes.

Tuesday I am scheduled to go to Stefan's school to observe his class for a few hours. He is in class 4 at Morning Glory, which is a private school in Kissemah. His Father who works and lives in Amsterdam, pays for his school fees. The last time I checked, it is 90 Ghana Cedi's per term, that is about $45 dollars. That includes lunch. However the students have to pay for any water they consume at school and they also have to buy their school books and their school uniforms. And anytime they go on an excursion, they are charged whatever the appropriate fee is. Last term Stefan's school took his class to the large Accra Sports Stadium where the big soccer matches are played, they had to pay 10 Ghana Cedi's to go on the excursion.

Not sure when this update will be posted. HOpe all is going well - thanks for all your emails and FB posts.