Sunday, February 6, 2011

Returning to Elmina

  I was glad to return to Ghana on Jan 20.  While I did not miss all of the snow, I missed this last round of storms. It is balmy 33c (91f) here today. I was chilled the other night as the temperature plummeted to 80f.

SABRE's in-country director had been living with his family in half of the SABRE office but has moved his wife and 4 young children to a separate house very near the office.  Great news for me as I now have a great room right at the SABRE office  (Tomorrow's Stars partner in Ghana), where it is very easy to get anywhere in Elmina. and very near a wonderful restaurant where the meals are full of vegetables and the best food I have had for only around $3!!

I have been very busy this first couple of weeks greeting all of my friends and checking out projects.  I do not think I have even seen everyone yet.  I am sure I will not get to all I had hoped on this trip which will end in the middle of March but I should be able to get a good idea of what I want to do in June when I return for my next long stay.

The sod cutting ceremony at Ayensudo Kindergarten Building.

Kindergarten Children at Ayensudo
Joe and Lawerence at Ayensudo site

Library Project at Bantuma School

Scholarship Students at Edinaman High School

Meeting the new headmaster in his office.  Meeting Mr Adams, the Bursar, and discuss the student account payments.  Students patiently waiting to meet with me to discuss grades.

Sports day at Edinaman High School

Important people spot, the student cheering section The new sports field right at the High School and the winning team.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Thursday was the last day of school. As usual, I can not find words to totally paint the picture so you can know what it was like here but have chosen pictures that may give you a hint of what it was like having 400 (luckily, half of the students did not come to school)being able to do what ever they wanted while the teachers finished their year end duties. As is common here there was a glitch, not enough report cards sent to the school. YIKES!!!
I ended the day with a headache from the noise and confusion. However, as I look the pictures I took, I notice the joy and pride all of these children have even though they really do not have any material things. If we can give them an education (and health care) maybe they can give us the understanding of what is really important as we live our lives..

Some random pictures of children that make me smile:

These young ladies dressed up in Sunday clothes to celebrate.

The teacher and older student football (soccer) match on the beach behind the school.

Snack vendors going to the game to sell their fast food snacks--oranges, bananas, peanuts.

For some of us the library was the safest and most quiet space in the school. It has quickly become an enjoyable space.

Children sound asleep, head down on a desk and enough noise to break ear drums or at least give you a pretty bad headache. The next room show what happens when children do not have a proper playground, they stack desks and climb all over them, Teenage girls being cool (earphones not plugged in to anything!)

I wonder if this young man will grow up to be a famous movie maker (hopefully using a camera instead of the juice box) or did the volunteers just always have the camera going??

Another school year ended. Not every one feels the same. I wonder what the goat is feeling?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ONLY 17 DAYS LEFT!!!!!!!

These last two weeks have flown by. LOTS of things going on, not all with pictures. I am getting very involved with SABRE Trust and the district education office to actually implement the Kindergarten program that was introduced in 2007 but still not implemented as the resources, and training are not available to the majority of the school districts outside of the large cities.

Last weekend I went to Accra to pick up Sue, a volunteer from San Francisco who is a Elementary Special Ed teacher and Erin a teacher from Chicago that has been working with Sabre Trust since 2006. They have been a great help along with Linda a teacher from Ireland in trying to get a good workable "Road Map" for the way forward.

While some of us have been in a lot of meetings, many of the volunteers have been doing some great things at the school. On Friday we had the first KG sports day. It was great. A teacher said to me "you have brought so much fun to our school" I hope the kids think so too!

I have pictures below. I can not figure how to do a better job getting them in order so they are a little backwards on the time line.

The whole school and parents came to watch the Kindergarten children in a sack race, carry the lime on a spoon race, carry a bucket of water on your head rely race, and for a grand finale, the teachers played musical chairs.

One day after school, a few snaps of random goings on, from trying to keep warm in the low 80's cold front, playing a game like tic-tac-toe that we would need a board for but here they scratch the "board" on the sidewalk and get to playing with a small stones and small pieces of wood, and children doing anything to get me to take a picture of them.

These little girls from Nursery class sang a song after I took this picture, and I did a movie of them singing the cutest thing ever or so I thought until I played it back for them on the little camera and they got to see themselves singing. Sorry I am the only one that will have that memory. We also touched up the computer picture that was painted on the wall by some great volunteers. and we have finished the "lab"

Bantama School needs 3 more classrooms for grades 7-8-9 so they do not have to do shifts. The children are carrying sand so blocks can be made to start the building. Of course the government will take forever to get money for a building so Tomorrow's Stars may help to get them started.
I have a great little video of the kids that I will upload when I get home.

The painting angels came again this week. They are the great people that are taking a month long tour of western Africa and stop to do some projects along the way. This time they painted class 1, 2, 3 of the old block of classes.

I am having the time of my life. I am so thankful that I decided to stay for this long time. I know I will not be ready to return home in 17 days but I am already thinking about coming again, maybe for the winter! I do Hate the snow!