I am typing this update in hopes to post at the Marina Hotel in Dodowa later today. We are now in LIGHTS OFF condition since Wednesday of last week. The power came on for a few hours on Saturday. Interesting that the timing of this coincided with the Ghana Black Stars Soccer match against Algeria, I remember the TV being on in the office and a few of the teachers watching. Ghana won the match, 1-0.
Everyone says the power was very consistent during all of term 1. The hope is that the Ministry of Energy in Ghana is making improvements to the power grid and soon Dodowa and Aiykumah area will experience power on a consistent basis.
Sunday, Kwame and I attended the 9:30 service at the Word of Faith Church in Dodowa, lead by senior Pastor, John Soudi and his wife, Tina. After church we had an extensive tour of their school facilities, classrooms, computer lab, dorms, washrooms, kitchen and playground. Two of the teachers that provided the information on the tour, were Carol and Denae from North Carolina. Both have been teaching at the school in Dodowa since 2005.
The Word of Faith school has 100 day students from the area and 100 boarding students. Some come as far as UK, Togo, Nigeria, and Kenya. All of the students pay a fee to attend. The fee for a day student in junior high is currently $280 US dollars per term, or $840 US dollars for the year. The fee does not include uniforms and books. The school is now in its 10th year and has a very good reputation both for their academic and home-stay programs.
After the tour we were invited to have lunch with the pastor and his wife and the school and church staff. It was a lovely time, they welcomed us and made us feel like family.
Pastor John is exploring another internet delivery option for our school, provided by a different company that he knows in the area. He offered to get all the details for Kwame - so we can go to the office of that provider and have a discussion about the service, pricing, etc.
The Mawuvio's children had Sunday Service at the school, led by Teacher Austine. The balance of the day, they had outdoor time, some play soccer, some sit and talk, some run around chasing each other, like small children will do. Somewhere in between the boys all got their uniforms and gym clothes. Madam Beth Kempe in Atlanta: know that all the children are happy and appreciative. They especially like the soccer themed t- shirts. After dinner everyone watched the Princess Kiara movie. I watched the first 20 minutes, it was not my favorite. The animation was a bit different.
I was up bright and early today, the slipper shuffle sounds in the hallway from the boys dorm is my morning song. They are up right at 5am - I actually got up at 6:10am and did my laundry bucket style. Lilian let me borrow some of her powder soap, everything in now drying on the laundry lines on the side of the school. Matilda Doe and Adzo helped me hang it all up, I asked them to remind me to bring the laundry in today. The summer sun is very hot, they will be dry in no time.
It is now 8:35am, I can hear echoes coming from the main school hallway, the Class 1 students doing A, B, C work, and Class 2 is doing reading comprehension. I am going to observe the classes again today.
I am now starting day 11 of my visit to Ghana. I am at the 1/2 way point, time does indeed go by fast. One of the things I most enjoy while I am here is having small intimate conversations with the children. They are usually all impromptu. Some ask me questions about Maddie and Morgan, some ask questions about their sponsors. Some want to know when I will come back. Some of the older girls especially want to know if they can help me in anyway.
Some will come and say "Thank you Madam for what you are doing for us" - all of those tiny moments, each and everyone is a gift that I keep close in my heart.
Later today, Kwame and I will also order minerals for the January Happy Birthday celebration. We will have minerals, (sodas) and biscuits (crackers) after school in the summer hut area and recognize all the students and teachers who have birthdays this month. Thanks to Helen from Elite Cuts in Dunwoody, GA for helping with this celebration and sponsoring the minerals and biscuits ! ! !