My Knapsack on My Back

School was easier to handle today.  The special needs kids were familiar with me, and so not nearly as excited.  I worked for most of the morning with a girl named Ines.  She came from Cameroon not being able to speak Twi or English, so although she is developmentally on par with her age group, she is lagging in her classes.  We worked on the sounds of the alphabet and how to pronounce three letter words.    The other children all tried to monopolize my attention throughout the day (I was the pied piper at lunch with a trail of children behind me), but I pretended not to notice.  After class was dismissed, I spent the rest of my time at SOS roaming.  I took pictures of the field, talked to some of the staff, and began Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. As I was reading the music class next door began playing “Valderie”, and everyone, inclusing the people in my classroom, sang along.  I guess kids are the same everywhere J.

I also had lunch with three of the University of Delaware students.  Today was their last day and they celebrated by sharing how much they dislike being at SOS.  The three I ate with were assigned to the Special Education class before I arrived and found it difficult to deal with the children.  I think they also dislike the way the school is run and share my sentiments about over-disciplining the children.  Their adventure ends on February 4th and they suggested that the rest of their time in Ghana would just be a vacation.

I believe the Village Director is trying to dupe me.  He implied that there was no room for me to stay in the village this week because of the other students, but I found out today that they are staying at the University of Ghana.  This is quite upsetting to me- if my presence is not wanted they should just say so.  I do feel like a waste of space in the classroom.  With the exception of interacting with ‘outsiders’, I am not sure how much of a purpose I serve.  Auntie Lizzie shared with me today that all of the orphans have international donors that pay for their housing and school fees.  She made it seem as though the Village isn’t as much of a non-profit as we’d like to believe, at least not in Ghana.  From what I have seen I believe it.

With that said I am exploring my options for reassignment after a month or so at the Tema SOS.  I will discuss it with Senam in a week or so to see what his opinion is, and then make a decision.  While I am learning a lot each day about Ghanaian culture, I could do so in any environment, so I may as well change things up a bit.  Feedback?

I plan on relaxing for the rest of the evening and going to bed early tonight.  Each morning it gets more and more difficult for me to wake up at 6AM, especially since everyone starts making noise around four, interrupting my REM cycles.  One great thing about waking up that early is that I get to see the sunrise everyday.  Here it is always a blood orange sky surrounded by pink sky.  The light it casts on the earth makes the red dirt glow.  If I remember tomorrow I will take a picture and post it.

Practical Ghanaian Travel Tip #17: As a woman, you do not have to give your phone number to everyone who asks.  Ghanaian men aren’t offended by a foreign woman’s rejection.

Practical Ghanaian Travel Tip #18: Keep hydrated, especially during the hottest times of the day (12-4PM).  If your pee is dark, drink more water!  Also, do not consider juices and sodas a good replacement for water; they’re not.

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One Response to “My Knapsack on My Back”

  1. Dad Says:

    Hi Christina

    You went from almost bride to pimp really quick, I am sure Albert will have a few takers once he is on the web and you get him viral.

    The kids seem to really like you, you are creating memories for them that they will have for the rest of their lives and teachings that they will never forget.
    At the end of the day you have to do what you feel comfortable with and you have some passion for so I would explore other options if you feel uncomfortable. Now that you are more acclimated with the environment then you can do more research before a decision.
    Don’t be too shocked by non-for-profit shadiness, that’s not surprising.

    You writing is beautiful, keep posting, I look forward to it everyday.

    Love you
    Dad

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