Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Good times, good company

Day 4

Oh, heyo, day four! Aside from the incessant itching on my legs and feet that now plagues me constantly, I had a royally good day! The morning started off with meeting the class I am going to be helping. I don’t think I have ever seen a more precious group of 50 some first graders in one room in my entire life. I melted. Somehow out of the course of these six weeks I am going to get a giant first grader dog pile hug, this is a promise. After meeting with their teacher, Ruby, she introduced me to the class, explaining that I would help them with their work and teach them a couple songs and games. I know for positive that I am going to teach them Heads Up Seven Up (what, what! who remembers?), but if anyone has any other suggestions for songs and games, I would love to hear them! Gawd. You will get plenty of gushing out of me about these kids the next few weeks, guaranteed.

I went back to the hostel to have lunch and read some more Memoirs of a Geisha (Fun fact: the main character’s virginity was sold for 11,000 yen, what the hey! I don’t know what that means as far as modern U.S. currency, but it sure sounds like a lot. Also, great book, go read.) Unfortunately, my last class was canceled because our professor is still flying in from the States; the professor, to my surprise, is Dr. Alice Boateng from UNR, who is an extremely influential presence in the social work program! I can’t even explain how enthralled I am. What a magical woman. With any luck, she will be arriving on time for class tomorrow! In the meantime, we went to go visit the last service organization, Self-Help Initiative Support Services (SISS), which just recently partnered with the Ghana branch of Amnesty International. Needless to say, I was excited to learn about any organization related, even indirectly, to the work of A.I. What SISS works to accomplish is to raise up people living in the slums. Because Ghana is still a developing country (which is an issue that I am having much exposure to here and I hope to devote an entire post to my thoughts on it), there is understandably much unemployment and it is difficult for people to have access to resources and education to make a better living. So, this organization holds workshops to teach those who are less-privileged trades and skills like craftmaking and catering as well as opening up some of those doors to other educational/occupational resources. To be honest, volunteering here would be right up my alley, but by then I had already devoted my time to the kids. I would still love to be involved, however, so I will try to find opportunities to go back, if I can!

After visiting the organization, many of the others were getting ready for the African dance class, which could not have sounded more fun. While I sat lamenting my poor decision not to sign up for the class, a couple of the girls suggested I audit the class with them. Best decision I have made here. The class was led by two male instructors, Ben and Christopher, complimented by a hand-drumming trio. By the end, we were all dripping with sweat and endorphins. Not only did we dance but we also chanted and played physical concentration games. Who has two thumbs and will never miss this class? This lady. Not one of us left without grinning like a madman. You better believe that after-shower was memorable.

Finally, to close up the night, a group of us took a couple taxis into town to check out one of the malls. If there was anything Western here, it could not have outdone this mall. Ritzy restaurants, cafes, nice stores, and even an adorable yogurt shop stood before us and it felt just like home. While to us this was completely normal (if not the usual for some), surely for a good number of Ghanians this would be considered very extravagant living. All the same, our group wanted to limit our Western exposure here, and decided we would only have a once-a-week fancy dinner night. Tonight made for the perfect first night. I had my very first plate of fish and chips, which was delicious!

I think I will close up here... I will be out of the hostel by 9 to go play with some fantastic li’l munchkins!

Goodnight! Nante yie!

Mosquito bites: 17. One of those jerks bit the inside of my hand!!! I don’t know how I’ll do it. But I will have my revenge.


  1. next trip to store try to find meat tenderizer or MSG; a paste of it on the mosquito bites will neutralizer the irritant culprit proteins and give some relief. Nante yie! :-) Dad

  2. If you can't find MSG, then you might try some cortisone cream for itching, or witch hazel....good luck! Love you!