Feb 8, 2015

A Pattern Emerges

I finally figured out the pattern. When we have power in Kissemah, we don't have internet and when we have internet we don't have power. Wherever the network is being sourced from, the land line that provides the internet in the school office, they are LIGHTS OUT when we are not and vice versa. So I enjoyed lots of time under the fan today, but no internet.

I am typing this post at 5:30pm, Wednesday, in the back area of the compound, where Ceci has the outdoor kitchen and the shower area for her family and the MOP volunteers. It's nice and breezy back here, always. One of my favorite spots in Ghana for sure. Not sure if and when this update will get posted, I will ck the WIFI connection later this evening.

Kwame and Innocent are the the port of Tema on day 4 of getting the container from Austria cleared. The process has been a myriad of issues, challenges, confusion, frustration, - this is the how it is at the port in Tema. My understanding from a few articles I've read, they have too many containers coming into the country and the system in place or lack thereof that cannot manage the demand of getting them all cleared in a timely manner. And many of them are not for Ghana, many are going to other bordering countries in Africa.

Today I taught Class 1 again, always a learning experience. for me, mainly in patience and how to handle the students who have trouble staying engaged and focused. We did objects and shapes today in Math, we learned about the positions of the sun in Environmental Science; sunrise, midday, and sunset. They also learned how shadows grow as the sun moves in the afternoon. We collaborated and wrote a story about a fish named Bob and a fish named Al. Once the story was developed on the whiteboard with input from Dora, Emmanuela, Mark and Tawfika, they all painted their version of the story during creative arts with crayons. They love to color. Teacher Lawrenda did the first two hours with Class 1, they covered Math and RME.

We finished the day promptly at 2:30pm. We swept the porch, put the desks and whiteboards up, took the supplies to the office and everyone went home quietly. Tomorrow the kids have a date to see Teacher Abigail and the baby after school is over in the afternoon. Customs in Ghana do not allow the baby to leave the house until the naming ceremony and that is scheduled tomorrow at 5am. It's early because most of the people that attend have to work. The ceremony is officiated by a pastor and attended by immediately family only.

Ceci told me yesterday that the patio bar next door is called MANGO TREE DOWN. It's right next to Ceci's outdoor kitchen area. Many times I feel like I am right there in the midst of the Ghana Maybe Time Happy Hour. Today some of the regular customers were drinking at 7am. The patio bar is ran by two sisters, they are actually Teacher Abigail's sisters-in-law. Abigail is married to Noah, and they all live in the same house. Three adult siblings, Abigail, the MOM of the siblings, and now the baby. It's called Mango Tree Down because there is a huge mango tree outside, and the tree is low to the ground. The word down is used in Ghana many times to describe anything that is low - often you will hear people say "down small" - that means very very low.

If you go under the mango tree you actually have to duck. It's a very shady spot, and the bar set up is on the patio of the house. When I was there last Saturday to see Abigail and the baby, I observed that they have everything you can imagine, hard liquor type stuff. They also serve APETESH which is the local drink, a white and very strong alcohol. They drink shots of Apetesh and my understanding is that it is quite strong. I've never tried it. I am sure they also sell beer -

As of late we've had a visitor in the kitchen area, a mama cat and two tiny baby kittens. They are sheltered under a big oven that Ceci has in the corner covered with a big tarp. I've only seen one of the babies, Ceci says the MOM comes and goes late at night and that they babies are fine.

Tomorrow is Thursday - this week has gone by fast. I have a few pictures to post. If they network comes back up, I will share them for sure.