Tuesday July 13th

Two things: Happy Birthday to my big sister, Gwen 😀  AND, thanks readers – I’m two away from 500 hits!  Granted, about 20 of them are me (I like to go to my blog and see it as you would see it sometimes 😀 )  It’s not Julie and Julia popular, but it’s enough popular for me 🙂

Today was a profoundly insightful and hilarious day.  First, I’ve been pondering over the past week about the educational system here in Ghana.  Is it the system? The teachers? What is the problem!?!?  I was speaking with Flores today – when she was pregnant with her second born, she fell and he was delivered prematurely.  He has some motor and cognitive problems.  At the young age of 19, he goes to a special school in Takoradi.  He’s not terribly coordinated and she’s tried to teach him how to use a handkerchief as opposed to making him wear a bib as an adult.  You can sense the anguish that she feels as a mother who has limited or no support.  I had to fight back the tears – I wasn’t gonna cry 2 days in a row!  Her son is why she wanted to become an educator for the deaf.  Her son is not verbal so she tried to bring him to the school she works at (where I am) but they said his functioning was too low, that’s why he is where he is.

How could I have ever judged her?  How could I have ever felt, even the small ounce of me that felt it, that she – the teachers – where the demise of Ghanaian education!?  I’m not saying they’re not partly involved – but when you don’t have the resources, the know how – how can you be expected to advocate and improve what you have.  I guess it’s like that example of – some sort of animal – when put in a cage, they’ll fight until they have no more fight.  We need to rejuvenate the fight in the people here in Ghana through education – they need to know how many resources are out there to help them with their youth, as an adult – as a parent.

This being said, I’ve introduced GNDCS to Friends of Cape Deaf – they have similar visions, and I hope the two organizations will be able to function as one and improve the standards, improve the lives of the people who have disabilities here in Ghana so that they can live fulfilling lives!

Moving forward – with all the research I did, I had no idea that Ghanaians don’t tend to play cards because of the association with gambling.  Fortunately for me, my host family is very open to everything!  The other thing I didn’t know was that Ghana doesn’t have dental floss like we do.  Dora had suggested, for the science lessons, that I focus on bodily functions – hygiene, reproduction, etc.  I’m not so sure about the reproduction part – but as I flipped through Nana’s science book, I came across a lesson on teeth.  Awesome, I thought!

It was suggested I bring dental floss because it can come in handy, so I had about 5 things of it.  Well, I’m teaching about teeth, and I bust out the floss.  Oh my goodness, innocently HILARIOUS!  The kids thought I was absolutely nuts – they’d never seen dental floss before.  I showed them how to use it – I drew a mouth on the board and showed them where food gets stuck.  Most of them followed my lead as I showed them how to use the floss, but I’m pretty sure they all think I’m crazy for putting the string in my mouth.

One young man collected a few of them – he wants to use them.  Who knows if he will end up using it to engineer something, or if he will use it for his teeth – but he was fascinated by the floss.  One of the kids was asking if the string would cut him – that got me on a roll about bacteria and germs – all of my dentists should be proud!  If you’re a dentist and want to do some global good – here’s your chance. Team up with Crest, Colgate, or Aquafresh and deliver oral hygiene products to countries where they may not be using them – where they may not know of them.  Let’s improve world dental health 😀  Make sure to take pictures, I didn’t want to embarrass the students so I left my camera in my bag – but, man – I should have – it was great!

Later, I was recounting the lesson to Dora – she said there’s a local bush/twig thing that is used-  did notice a significant usage of toothpicks – so in the list we made of “How to care for out teeth” I made sure to put “floss/use a toothpick.”  Who’d a thunk it, I certainly didn’t!