I am back at the hotel, it is about 8:30pm. We spent the day at the school from about 9:30am to 3:30pm. Today was the Saturday routine, the children up early to do their laundry. They hand wash their clothes outside in buckets and then hang the clothes on laundry lines. If the day is hot and sunny like it is most days in Ghana, the laundry is dry in 2 or 3 hours. The laundry lines border the cement school building like colorful banners, all types of garments, all shapes and sizes blowing in the wind. Most of them do their laundry at home or help their mothers with this chore, so they are OK with this weekly activity.
The children had morning prep time and also play time out on the school grounds. We had visitors at the school, a Ghanian couple, a friend of someone back in the US from Ghana. The husband works for the UN in Ghana and the wife is a medical doctor. They took a tour of the school and then spent about an hour talking to a group of the children about their professions, their academic path in Ghana primary, secondary and university schools. The meeting also included a Q&A were the children asked questions of them. The children love visitors, they like to know how people have been impacted by their educations and this couple was awesome in how they shared the information and answered the questions, it was very nice. Refreshing.
After lunch the children participated in a learning activity that Kimberly facilitated. We did play activities with LEGOS, the children worked in self selected teams. The overall lesson was about communication and team work and the 2 hours went very well. We had some groups that collaborated like champions, it was wonderful ! We had the help of some of the teachers, Austin, Francis, Bernice and Jasmin.
This is the second academic school year at the new school in Ayikumah and the children have adjusted well. This was their first week at the school after 6 weeks of their long vacation and they have all settled into the school routine extremely well.
On Monday we will welcome 20 or so new students, DAY students from the village of Aiykumah, which is across the main highway from where the school is located. So all of the DAY students walk to school in the morning, the participate in all the activities, they have lunch at school and then when the school day ends they go back to their homes.
The village where they live is much more rural than Kissemah, some live in homes made of a mud and straw combination for the walls and then the roofs are usually tin. Their are three native languages in Ghana and the Aiykumah children speak Dangbe which is different that Ewe, which is what the Kissemah children speak. All of the school curriculum in in English, the national language of Ghana. So for a bit I am sure depending on how young the children are there will be a language barrier. The younger they are, the less exposed they are to English. I've seen kids at the Kisssemah school in one term go from no English to the basics of 1, 2, 3, and the ABC in no time.
The uniforms I brought from THE UNIFORM PROJECT In Atlanta will be distributed to all the new students. Mawuvio's supplies the uniforms, the text books and all the school supplies. Beth Kempe, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for all the great work you do in supplying informs to children all over the world.
What I am very excited about, Monday we should have internet at the school. I met with the company that is going to do the installation, the technician answered all my questions and assured that the WIFI signal is going to work throughout the school. He said the installation would take about 2 or 3 hours, Having the internet as you can imagine give us the advantage for better communication between all interested parties in the overall support and management of MOP. The power rationing should not be a significant issue as we have a MACDADDY generator and the internet company powers their radio tower with solar panels. So all things considered, the service should work consistently. Will keep you posted.
Tomorrow we are attending the worship service at the school, the children get dressed in their Sunday best, I will be sure to photograph them. Then we are hanging out with them for a bit and completing another session of the LEGO learning activity. Monday the plan is to observe all the classes and teachers. Tuesday we are doing school photos and sponsor letters. Wednesday if all goes well with the internet, we have a few short TED TALKS that feature children, to show after school is over during their prep time.
I aways know I am in Ghana because no matter where you are or what time of day it is there is music in the distance somewhere. The hotel has an outside bar pool area and they have music playing all day long. Just a few minutes ago Michael Jackson was filling the air. Just for curiosity I turned on the TV in the room and 3 channels were showing soccer matches, one channel had a soap opera type show in one of the Ghanian languages and the last channel was showing a Tom Crusie movie, the one he
plays a samurai warrior. I don't remember the name. No CNN International or BBC. Just soccer and movies. This hotel is primarily used to host conferences or meetings facilitated by the government of Ghana, ministry offices, large companies, etc. The location is 45 minutes or so from Accra and the area is a bit rural, so when you come out here from the city, you are getting away from it all. From the guests who are here today by the pool, it looks like families may also be coming for the weekend. The UN has a malaria research post in this area, and there is also a new recently opened district hospital that was funded in partnership with the UK. I heard a few British accents in the lobby today.
Until the next post ......
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