AfricaGhanaAccra

A good day at school

Accra Travel Blog

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Me and the little nursery kids. Benny (on the left) is the little one who is attached to me. He's so adorable!

October 17th, 2007

 Today was an extremely successful day at school!  Rachel and I have decided to work as a teacher and teacher assistant until she leaves (I think I said that in an earlier blog).  Well today we did it.  We had primary 1 first (grade 1) and it was library time for the first portion and phonetics for the second portion.  We're really finding that the children don't retain information or if they do they especially cannot apply it!  They can write fairly well but reading is a difficulty.  I worked with a sweet boy named Samuel.  He's very shy and quiet but brilliant!  He seems to fall behind because he is made fun of by the class often.  He sits in the back and rarely answers a question and if he does you can't hardly hear him!  We worked on his alphabet and sounds and got much farther than I had expected.

The nursery class
  I rewarded him with a sticker and he seemed really pleased.

Next we had primary 2 and 3 (grade 2 and 3).  They are taught in the same class which is extremely unuseful.  They are at two completely different levels so you don't get much accomplished in 45 minutes.  So yesterday and today I taught primary 3 while rachel taught primary 2.  We did dictation and they had to write what they heard.  Rachel did colors and I did sentences about myself which worked out well because it held the children's attention.  We have tried a reward system the last two days where we use the toys I brought with me as a reward while waiting for the others to finish.  They absolutely love it and it makes them focus a little more on their work.

Class photo
  A boy from primary two named Steven snuck behind Rachel and took a yo yo.  Rachel caught him and told him when he was done with his work he wouldn't get a yo yo because he stole it.  He went outside to cry.  David (another volunteer) saw him and asked what was wrong.  When him and Rachel explained that's not right he sat quietly doing his work, behaved excellently and even ran around the yard collecting the yo yos from the children who escaped the class with them to prove he was a good boy.  It was an excellent lesson learned!  Also primary 3 seemed especially interested and when class was over and it was break time, 4 of my 7 students stayed to finish correcting their sentences.  One even hunted me down at the restroom to show me and get approval before she went to break.
The street view by my house from a bar we get drinks from.
  This never happens!  Mr. Aboagye was shocked at the two stories and completely impressed.  Simple things you just don't realize mean so much here!
     We met with the boys after school to find some fu fu, some ghanaian dish that's odd.  I'm tending to fancy noodles with some sort of sauce here much like spaghetti.  We went all over looking for this restaurant and got directed some hole in the wall with only black lights on.  They only had Ghanaian dishes so we sought out the place we were originally looking for.  We met a man named Kwame who walked us 10 minutes to a junction and ended up joining us for dinner.  The strange thing is that here when you ask for help, people don't tell you where things are, they often times take you there.
Me, Benny and two other little ones
  Like yesterday, Rachel went into town and got lost.  One woman walked for 10 minutes and then handed her off to another woman who walked her another 15 minutes.  She flagged her a tro tro home and when Rachel turned around to make sure she got on the woman had disappeared.  She was under the impression the woman was going where she was but it turns out she was just really kind.  People just do that  here.  Kwame was almost home and walked us all the way to the restaurant.  And they don't expect anything!  It's amazing.
     I did buy some water today in a bag that happened to be unfiltered and it tasted quite nasty which is how we knew.  Plus the bag didn't say filtered.  Never again.
This is what happens when you try to take a photo.
yuck!  We didn't drink but one or two sips each before just tossing them out.
     Rachel almost fell in the open sewer today haha.  If you saw the sewers you'd understand how funny it would be because they're quite hard to miss.
     The running joke here is that when tros tros drive by the maid as they call it, calls out the destination.  But they don't call the names in their normal voices!  The best one is for La Paz, the town where we're near.  They deepen their voice and make it sound like a scratchy sort of cartoon character haha.  We imitate them often.  When they call Accra they yell "Accra-cra-cra-cra" and it sounds like a crow.  Maybe one day I'll try to capture a video.
You start with one or two kids and suddenly there's this many with more running to get in the photo.

     I also got my first mosquito bite today.  yuck.  Oh well.  Oh yeah and a man on tro tro next to me said hello and then asked if I was Chinese.  Chinese?!  Really?!  Haha.  I told you they don't see many foreigners here.  He said I looked half white and half chinese.  Then he started talking about marrying me (you get this often I guess but this was my first).  I told him I was taken and then suddenly he changed his talk to preaching to me about how life is a long journey.  You marry, have children, they grow up, and the cycle continues until God comes to reach you.  I couldn't understand much of what he was saying because he had a thick accent.  But he said if he could marry me he would and if I wasn't taken he'd ask for my number.
I'm not sure of her name but this girl is SO adorable! She's in the nursery
  He was very suddle about it.  I guess they are more direct usually.  The people here are all much more direct.
     Last week Matilda (a teacher for Primary 1 that sleeps the whole class while Rachel is sleeping), told Rachel that she had a very large bottom.  Rachel was appalled and Matilda was like no, you need to wear tight things to show it off.  And she keeps making comments especially when she wears loose clothing and is kind of taking it too far.  The kids even say blunt things like you have very large hips and what not. 
     The wonderful things...everybody says hello here!  You are almost always greeted with good morning or good afternoon or good evening.
The kids playing soccer
  If you don't respond it is considered VERY rude.  I think I return a greet at least 30 times a day!  But it's very pleasant to see everyone saying hello and helping each other.  The people even forewarn us of things that they have no need to and they say "This is not for your own good, it's for the good of my country.  I would not want you to return to your country saying bad things because you chanced one of very few bad people."  These people really do everything for their families but most importantly their community and country!  If only that was the spirit back home.

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Me and the little nursery kids.  B…
Me and the little nursery kids. …
The nursery class
The nursery class
Class photo
Class photo
The street view by my house from a…
The street view by my house from …
Me, Benny and two other little ones
Me, Benny and two other little ones
This is what happens when you try …
This is what happens when you try…
You start with one or two kids and…
You start with one or two kids an…
Im not sure of her name but this …
I'm not sure of her name but this…
The kids playing soccer
The kids playing soccer
Class photo
Class photo
Class photo
Class photo
Class photo
Class photo
Class photo
Class photo
Accra
photo by: qophys