Friday July 16th

Today was a busy day.  I didn’t realize how busy until I was telling Dora about it!  I arrived and we had the worship service – the kids made sure I had the nice squishy chair again 😀  After that, a man showed up to give the students a survey about their experiences at the school.  He wrote down the answers on the board and they copied them – it’s not that I didn’t agree with the answers, but allowing them to answer themselves would A: allow them to express themselves in their own words and B: show where their weaknesses are in English.  Though, I could see the side of jotting the answers on the board as well.

In the middle of all of this I had the opportunity to talk to a man who wants to come to the US to complete an interpreter training program.  I took the opportunity to express the importance of teaching the students correct signs – a different gentleman expressed concern: if they use proper ASL (as best as anyone can do) how will the students learn English.  I wanted to scream, in a nice way – that there are the US and the UK who do it everyday.  It’s really all about education and awareness; the thinking here is “Deaf and dumb” – until that changes, we’re stuck for the moment.

I also had the opportunity to speak with Emmanuel – he’s, shall we say – the backbone of the school.  We talked about the Cadecuda (CApe DEaf CUltural DAnce group).  It’s an amazing program that they have here, amazing.  The blind play the drums while the deaf dance.  Amazing.  Anyway, I told Emmanuel about GNDCS, hopefully he can start working with them as well (along with Friends of Cape Deaf.)

At the end of the day, we took a class photo – I promise there will be pictures as soon as I make it back to the states.  I’ll go back and insert the appropriate photo in the appropriate places 😀  We were successful after some bickering among the students – I told them “You work with me, it won’t take that long – you work against me, it will take longer.  Short – together, against – long.”  They organized themselves from tallest to shortest, so I just had to line them up 🙂

Somewhere along the way, Emmanuel came to fetch me again.  He showed me his flat and the new building that was under construction just behind his.  A bird’s eye view – gorgeous.

As we were sitting around for 2:00pm to roll around, some of the boys came to fetch me so that they could show me the bike workshop.  When we got there, they were cleaning it up for their visitors from Holland (I think that’s where they were from!)  They allowed me to bring in “my class” and wait for a demonstration.  Unfortunately, we got the boot because they needed to sweep the room in order to be in tip-top condition.  On the way back down the hill, we started scouring the place for neat rocks.  The boys would get one, bring it to me for approval – we’d poll each other to see if it was a worthy rock to represent Ghana.  If it was, it went into the stash.

After we were finished collecting the rocks, the boys went to wash them for me.  Meanwhile, we noticed some vehicles pulling up – the visitors; here we were, on a rock hunt!  One of the men got out and said “Barbara?”  Uhh..nope, but thanks for thinking I was head mistress material 😀  I told him (we were about halfway down the hill) the offices are down at the bottom of the hill and the bike shop is at the top.  Some poor guy, I learned later he’s a new student and no one knew his name, well – I drafted him and had him show where the office was.  Too funny.  We continued our rock adventure.

After school, my dinner date with Drive Kwame, Seth, and Philip.  I was hoping for a nice day, but it was misting all day.  Misting to Ghanaians is like a downpour – it was funny because the boys who took me to the bike shop – they covered their heads with their handkerchiefs.  It was fine, really 🙂  We drove to the Oasis Beach Resort; the plan was to share a pizza.  As we were looking at the menu, everyone started to shiver; I welcomed the cool breeze though.  

I did feel bad, however, because Philip had his back to the sea and he was getting misted more than anyone.  The server was wearing a sweatshirt; I joked that I wouldn’t have thought I would need a sweatshirt in Ghana, it was rather chilly! We ended up moving the table…twice!  Well, the boys wanted fried rice and a piece of chicken, Kwame wanted Jaloff and Chicken (he shared with Kueku, his 3 year old son), I ordered PIZZA!  We each ordered a “mineral” as well – well, the 3 males had a Malt, I had coke.  When my pizza came, it looked like a pizza – I should have taken a photo of Ghana’s take on pizza – well, imagine pita bread – if you separate the pita, the crust was that thin.  A new spin on thin crust 🙂  And, the cheese..well, at least there was cheese!!!  It was sooooo yummy to my tummy!

Of course, we took some photos – they’re horrible because of the wind 😀  I’d ordered 2 plates of potato chips (french fries) for us to share; Philip had never had them before.  When his food came, he was so full from eating all of the chips that he needed a box for his food.  It was adorable – he LOVED them!

After we finished dinner, I wanted to look for more postcards.  We went to the castle area and found a shop that had them.  Seth protected me and went along with me to make sure no funny business happened.  We ended up getting out postcards but no masks.  The haggling wasn’t the problem, the problem was the guy wouldn’t settle on a price without calling his boss.  We’d left poor Philip and Kwame, and Kueku! waiting long enough – after that, we took the boys home.

Now, I live in a middle-class-ish neighborhood.  This gave me some insight into what a “village” is.  Philip lives on top of a hill and Seth lives in a mud-block type of house.  Everyone was happy, regardless of their living arrangements.  When we were dropping Philip off, we saw the Philip from my class (different boy.) As we hugged good-bye, the “awws” and other welcoming noises came from the onlookers.  I felt accepted, I’m one of them 🙂

Then home – my adventurous day came to an end.  Rain, pizza, rocks, photos…who could ask for more!?

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This entry was posted in Ghana.

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