Jan 27, 2015

LIGHTS OUT - GENERATOR OUT !

Today is Tuesday, 1/27 - Teacher Austine's birthday.
We are celebrating all the January born birthdays today with minerals and biscuits after school. (Sodas and cookies)

I learn many things when I visit Ghana, some small things, some life lessons. This past week I've learned that I definitely wouldn't make it as a camp counselour. I try my best when I am here, as a long term assignment I would not succeed. I love love children, a full-time assignment would be a challenge for me.

Yesterday we had the continuance of lights out since last Wednesday, so "plenty" days as they say in Ghana. Everyday we managed with the generator, it requires coordination and the balance of what gets powered vs not - and somehow it works.

Yesterday the generator wouldn't crank and when it got dark, it was black dark and peacefully quiet. We had dinner at the usual place, the summer hut, open air - and after a while I was able to see in the dark. The children are 100% comfortable in both lights on and lights out condition, they are not phased either way.

When I came time for their study hours from 7pm to 9pm - Steve Jobs was here in spirit. I did show and tell with the iPad, (the battery life is awesome). I shared photos and videos, my visits to Los Angeles, Brooklyn and also my trip to visit Toby in November.

I shared and explained as much as possible. I showed them pictures of the whale watching boat and the whales, of a man fishing in Dana Point Harbor in a kayak, they were amazed at the stand up paddle photo and wanted to know how the man balanced on the board. They also were very intrigued by the photos of the subway trains in New York City. The underground part of the subway they did not quite understand. They loved some video clips I have of a flamenco show I attended in Miami last year and they also liked the Disney Concert Hall photos in Los Angeles. I had to explain an orchestra to the best of my ability. I talked to them from 7pm to 8:45pm, me and the iPad.

And that is why we desperately are researching a proper internet connection. There is so much information that the teachers can share and teach via access to the web. We are calling Pastor John today.

Last night was the first time I slept in Aiykumah without the sound of the generator and the evening song was indeed a symphony. I am not sure all the animals I heard, there were many. Frogs, crickets, birds and dogs for sure. And at 4am the chorus or should I say competition of roosters, all of them excitedly warning the sunrise was on its way. There must be a head rooster - his song is loud, strong, and close. Others respond, I counted up to 7 and then the one with the loud voice closes out the morning calls. They had a few rounds at 4am, then 4:30am and then at 5am. We have a puppy around the school yard, and she thinks she is a rooster. The puppy howls and sounds just like a small rooster. Nature, nurture, it all works ! ! And the children decided that the dogs name is Puppy.

At 3:30am today some of the children in the girls dormitory woke up and started taking their baths. It was very very quiet, couple that with my sonic hearing capabilities, I knew something was going on. I was curious, I got up, went to the back. I am not sure why, one of the older girls, got confused on the time, she thought it was time to take baths, and she did and a few of the younger girls followed. They were ready to start sweeping and go on with their day. I had to convince them that is was indeed 3:30am and not 5am, we all worked through it. They quietly finished their baths and went back to sleep. I am sure with children this happens. So between the frog symphony, the rooster competition and the girls taking their baths - it was an interesting night. I did enjoy the quiet. It's hard to explain, it's the type of quiet when no one is around. Or maybe it's the comparison between here and Kissemah. In Kissemah there is always sound, cars, dogs, and especially radios.

Ah...... and I can report that this morning around 6:20am the lights are back on. As soon as the lights were on, one of our neighbors had a some wonderful gospel music playing and it filled the morning air with thanks.

I am typing this update under the fan in the school library, it is wonderful and refreshing. And everyone is quickly charging their phones, and by everyone, I mean the teachers. Horray for power. We put all the minerals in the refrigerator, they should be nice and cold for the 2:30pm celebration today.

I am not sure when I will post this. Hopefully I can sneak out to the Marina Hotel late this afternoon.