This one’s gonna be a long one, so you can read it in parts if you’d like 🙂 Last night after leaving, the pastor’s wife had shown up at the house to offer her support with the recent theft. Pastor Koomson had asked me if I was interested in going to his church to present what I could about sign language in 15 minutes to “wet their appetite.” Dinner last night was white rice and peanut butter. Phoebe (she’s 13, one of the pastor’s daughters – one of 4 just like me) said she didn’t know any doctor who would prescribe such a thing. I told her, that was just the sort of thing I was trying to avoid. See, in my home I am very picky about cooking the food (well, my husband is), making sure it stays refrigerated, reheat properly, toss out at after 3 days – stuff like that. I’m learning that here in Ghana – you cook something the day before and leave it on the stove. Holy all that is good – I’m supposing my tummy is better than I give it credit for, knock on wood, because it’s been behaving for the most part thus far.
So, I arrived at the church – the same “loud” church that I was at on Sunday after I went to my ward in Abura. It wasn’t as loud, but still louder than I’m used to. Phoebe asked me why I didn’t like the loud – I told her I couldn’t focus! 😉 Anyway, it was a lovely lesson, the congregation (about only 15 because football was on – Ghanaians and their football is like a US man and THEIR football: reruns of games everyday, on the news for hours at a time analyzing players and past/future games – ugh!) He mentioned me and my purpose and how we all need to be willing to give without expecting something in return. That’s a lesson I need to ingest – give freely.
Today I had oats again for breakfast. Peanuts for a snack. For the first day, I actually drank all of my beverage (all 32 oz of it.) I don’t go to the bathroom much here, I think I sweat it all out; gross, but true 😀 I taught math and felt more prepared. This lesson didn’t take as long as yesterday and I honestly feel that most of the kids actually understood it!!! Later in the day, there was a staff sign language class/staff meeting. They use come crazy versions of ASL here – I don’t even know if it would be GSL. Just to educate: there are many different sign languages around the world: British Sign Language, American Sign Language, French Sign Language – it is not a universal language.
I told the assistant “head mistress” that I had to laugh inside because she opened up the floor for discussion but no one had anything to say – I told her it was the same thing here. People moan, groan, gripe in private but don’t speak up when they have the chance. They introduced me at this meeting – they keep saying I’m a deaf teacher, but I try to correct them and tell then I’m just an interpreter – oh well.
Madam Grace showed me where they are keeping the computers. The students haven’t been able to use them yet as far as I know. Up on the hill (GORGEOUS VIEW!) Up on the hill they’ve built a new vocational center. It’s pretty nice! They have carpentry, hair dressing, fashion, masonry, etc. Along the way, I met a young man named Michael. He’s totally cool and we chatted about where the breakdown is happening. I got the best compliment from two of the students when they told me they enjoyed their math lesson so much more than when their everyday teacher was instructing. I don’t think it’s because of the knowledge regarding the subject that the teacher has – it is more the ability to produce the message in sign. I came to Ghana where those who don’t know think I’m deaf. That’s a huge compliment but also sad because I don’t pass as deaf in the US and there are so many people – oodles, that are better signers than I am – can you imagine what they’d say if THEY were here!?!? 😉 Anyway, Michael sees that as the breakdown too – we booth agree that the students have the ability but not the means. They’ve basically been self taught thus far, so if they’re at a 4th grade level as a result of their own ambition – how far would they be able to go with appropriate instruction????
They were so cute when they were looking at my photos – they saw the animals at the zoo and asked me if we killed them. The concept of having a zoo is so foreign, I had to reassure them the animals live there until their natural death..speaking of, Scott had to break some sad news to me, my bunny rabbit died during the night. Scott says it looks like he curled up in his little bed and just didn’t wake up. I wasn’t the best bunny mom, but I did love him 😦 RIP Snickers 😦
After the tour of the new facilities, I watched the dance troupe. Yup, a deaf dance troupe led by a man named Hooper. If any of you reading this have any pull, they’d be an awesome cultural asset to the US if we could get them out there. The students that I was watching were only in training – so they weren’t the pros. They dance, play drums – all deaf. All of them. I don’t wanna EVER hear deaf people can’t dance or enjoy music ever again. They can. They do. I saw it. It was inspiring.
So, now I’m at the office. I probably won’t be posting until Monday after “work” because tomorrow, Esi has a program that we will be going to. I have to confess – I took 2 Tootsie rolls and 2 from the stash of candy I brought the kiddos…I think I’ll break this into a part 2…