Tuesday July 6th

This morning I headed to the school after a nice breakfast of oats 😀  Yesterday I forgot my water 😦 Today I remembered it but I forgot the 2 hotdogs I’d saved for my midday snack/lunch 😦  I was able to go into a different class room today – the teacher showed me their math books and science books and was ready for me to teach today.  I said, maybe I should observe because I wasn’t sure how she taught.  She did the math lesson, and the kids were set free.  I had them introduce themselves and played the name game with them – where I recited all of their names after every new one that I learned – you know it, I’m sure!  When I was done with the last name they “applauded” for me and laughed.  Good times 😀

I was so torn because there was a little bit of explanation about what “data” means but no instruction of how to do it.  The kids were given a graph of rainfall – the 12 months down the left side, 1999-2002 across the top, and the spaces had the centimeters of rain for each month of every given year.  They were supposed to find how much rainfall per year, which month had the least overall rain and which had the most.  The students just sat there – later to find, because they didn’t know what to do.  I worked with a few who seemed to understand it right away – there are a few who don’t understand it much at all.

Yet, others haven’t seemed to have learned how to add two numbers together if the sum is greater than 10.  Forget about carrying the one over to the next column.  One young lady was so cute – she knew that there was something to my madness so she kept carrying over the 1 – even of the sum was only 5 or so.

After math, they had grammar.  They were given a list of words – and when I say “given” this stuff is written on the chalkboard for them to copy in their notebooks and answer from there.  They have one math book per two students, one grammar book for the class, and a few science books.  SO, the teacher wrote a list of words – lazy, beautiful, noisy, many, bad, etc.  The students were supposed to fill in the comparative and superlative.  Umm…I didn’t even know what that meant until I asked one of my “bright stars” from math to show me his work. OH, k, I got it then – however, explaining it..uh….I would say about 20% of the students understood and wrote something down – there were struggles with many – more most…and clever – heck, I even debated that one – if “cleverer” was a word or it was “more clever”…at this point I’m questioning whether it is the system or the teachers.

Next was science – I was up! The students had a teacher who used the book, so that was pretty much exhausted…so I mulled over in my brain what I was going to go – the teacher said I could do whatever I wanted…ok…BAM! Weather – Thank YOU Mrs. LaFollette! 😀 (She’s the teacher I worked with this past year.)  Weather it is.  We discussed different things: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods….then, Dora’s voiced boomed in my head (she doesn’t have a booming voice, for the record 😉 ) Make the lesson something they can relate to.

Ok, they have 2 seasons. Rainy. Dry. We discussed rainy first – what happens when it floods, etc.  Then, when we got to dry – looking back I crack up – somewhere along the way it was taken that I was asking what you CAN dry – we had a whole discussion about fruit, veggies – I learned a lot of local signs such as cassava, pawpaw (papaya), coconut…that’s all I remember 😀  Then, it was time for me to leave for the day – noon. (Just for today due to plans that I had…keep reading.)

After “work” I headed to meet Kwasi who took me to Baka Tue – oh, by the way, I checked the spelling of Cota Crabbe with him – it’s Koto Kurabe – Fanti is just not my thing, LOL.  Anyway, this festival is a festival for the fishing community.  They have a parade where the local chiefs are carries and/or walk down the street.  Kwasi said there weren’t as many people as he was hoping.  Anyway, the purpose is for the fisherman to give thanks for a  successful year and for what God has provided.

For dinner we stopped at a restaurant where I tasted..well, I ate chicken with coconut and mushroom sauce and potato chips.  I expected the sauce to be coconutty but it was yellow and spicy, the hunch is that there was curry in it.  Then, the potato chips? Ghanaian speak for french fries!

Kwasi took me around – before dinner we went to the Elmina castle.  The people there say Elmina is bigger than Cape Coast’s but Dora and Kwasi think Cape Coast’s is bigger – it sure seemed like a longer tour.  I think Cape Coast is a long castle, so maybe it seemed bigger.  When we were done with the tour, the guide said everyone could go “Except these two” meaning Kwasi and me; I thought he was just throwing in a joke.  Turns out, he really did keep us.  Kwasi cracked me up  because I could tell he was nervous when he asked “So…why didn’t  you keep the other people?” LOL – they’d already seen the dungeons.  THIS castle even had a draw bridge and back in the day, it had a moat.  I commented that, this is the kind of castle that is in fairytales – only, it wasn’t fairytale like things that happened there.  Maybe people made up fairytales to overshadow the bad things.  The other thought that  came to mind was a recollection of the movie Amistad.  (Just a small note – my days back in grammar school are long forgotten, so – if I italicize something instead of underlining it or don’t mark it properly, please forgive me!)

Anyhoo – we watched the parade with all of the different chiefs then headed home.  It was only 3 Cedis – maybe 2 – earlier in the day I had to take the taxi and he wanted 8 Cedis but I only gave him 7.  I got the explanation later – because I hire Kwame as my “private” driver, he’s more expensive than hailing a cab, so to speak.

When I arrived home, it was sad news for my family – well, more discomforting.  Someone had picked the padlocks that are used to lock the doors and used a pick axe to break their backdoor.  This person stole both laptops, and little Nana’s cell phone and PSP. SO – that being said, my posts will be limited from here on out.  AND, if you could remember Dora in your prayers as she sorts things out, she could use them.

This entry was posted in Ghana.

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