Feb 8, 2015

FRIDAY

I am typing this update on Friday around 8:30pm. This is my last night in Ghana. Tomorrow I will sleep on the way home on the Delta flight that leaves Ghana at 10pm. I am in Ayikumah. Today is Friday.

Kwame and I left Kissemah on Thursday morning at 5:05am and we arrived in Ayikumah at 5:50am. The drive was in the dark, the traffic was light, so it was not as bad as I expected. Once we were outside of Accra there were no street lights, so you have to know the road or you can be in a bit of trouble. We made it safe and I was glad.

The rig with the container was parked right by the summer hut, the driver did a great job in driving into the school yard and turning the rig around. At about 6:20am 15 men from the area started unloading the container and in record time, 40 minutes, a 40 foot sea-land container was empty. The summer hut was a perfect staging area for all the boxes, bags, crates, furniture, etc. We put all the desk and chairs on the school ground and it worked.

After the container was emptied, 4 of the men stayed for about 4 hours and we moved all the desks into place so we could make the switch class by class. We also had to manage the activity around a visit from GES - Ghana Education Services. They were doing the annual inspection on Thursday and they would not reschedule. They were nice enough to call about 30 minutes in advance, so we moved desks in three classrooms before they arrived and did the rest after school. In addition to the furniture, we pout away 95% of all the school supplies. Also each child got a pair of shoes, a towel, a bed sheet and lot and lots of socks. The girls also got a supply of underpants and bras which they all needed. Oh we also put away all the kitchen equipment and supplies that was sent. We have furniture for the library, a nice couch, a large sitting bench, and wonderful chairs. I will post photo. We also got some additional bookshelves that fit nicely with the shelves that were built. And the toys, the children are already enjoying frisbees, jump ropes, hula hoops. We got several awesome bicycles and tennis racks and even a table tennis set up.

Kwame and the teachers will sort out and distribute the clothes. There was lots of clothes sent, there is no way we could have accomplished all the sorting and folding and prep to be able to handout efficiently.

It was a long day yesterday and a long day today, but most everything has been put where it belongs, and is being used. The rest of the items are in one of the volunteer quarters that is currently not being used.

The Black Stars won their game last night against Equatorial Guinea. I was told the game had to be stopped at minute 82, the local fans were upset that their home team was losing 3-0 and they started throwing objects onto the field and fights broke out in the stands. The game had to be stopped to resume order. It was reinstated some 20 or 30 minutes later and Ghana won the match 3-0. Everyone was upset and the victory was not a happy one for Ghana. The Black Stars are in the finals of the African Cup on Sunday against Ivory Coast. Everyone is hoping for a better game and also for Ghana to win the cup.

I am excited to be going home, at the same time I will miss the children. A handful of them came into the library today where I've set up temporarily and sat with me. Some told me stories, some asked me questions, some wanted a band aid or an aspirin. I was happy to see all of them. I also played Frisbee for sometime with them late today.

We have lights out in Ayikumah. Ceci told me that in Kissemah it has been lights out since we left on Thursday. The power rationing continues. The generator is keeping us safe and cool.

I am not sure I will get to post these tomorrow. If I can, I will. If not perhaps during my layover in New York. Or when I get home. It has indeed been an adventure this time, some days were a challenge. Nothing that could not be overcome. I love the children and to be with them, to know them, to inspire them, requires me to be here and I would not trade the experience for anything. I've learned so much from them; each visit here is a life lesson in so many ways.

I am going to import my photos to the Ipad in hopes of getting some posted.