And the Heavens Opened Up and God Pissed on Our Heads!

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I managed to get Ines to read for pleasure today. We sat in the library (under Nicolas’s watchful eye) and read about ducklings trying to find a place to swim. She wanted to keep reading so we began a story about an old woman who went to a tea party. Half way through we had to stop, however, because Amanda was misbehaving since I wouldn’t pay attention to her. She insisted that we stop reading the book to reread the one about ducklings and I decided to ignore her. Tomorrow our plan is to finish the story about Mrs. MacDonald. She was a very quick learner, and by the end of the first story could recognize a handful of new words on her own.

This brings me to the continuing issue of quality of education here. The Special Education class spent from 8:30 (class never begins on time) to 9:15 doing actual work. They read a story that involved three-letter words with –en endings. Afterwards, they went free to roam the school. Auntie Lizzie decided that her thesis (which she usually has from 11AM till 3:30PM to work on) took precedence over the children. They also are kicked out of their other classes for disrupting, so frequently return to the SPED classroom throughout the day. Instead of teaching, Auntie Lizzie kicks them out after a period of time to go somewhere else. If they go to the library they aren’t allowed to check out books (because they will lose them apparently), and they get ignored by teachers all over campus, which consequently teaches the other kids to ignore them as well. I saw a group of three girls actively shunning Ines after lunch, which broke my heart a little. She is a very sweet girl.

Needless to say, by the time I returned home I was quite exhausted. Before I knew it, however, it began to rain! The rain instantly cooled the air and I went outside to enjoy this slice of Heaven. The rain was surprisingly cold, and the drops were large and fast. I washed my feet the downpour, and took pictures of the cloudy sky. It came in two waves with gusts of roaring wind that hit the tin roof, making it sound like the world was coming to an end.

I am tired, even after napping, but I know that I only have a few more days of screaming children. Needless to say, I am extremely happy that I left the field of Education during my first year of school. I would have made a terrible teacher.

On a side note, every day it seems as though children come to school sick. They usually have the same symptoms, double vision and/or a bad stomach ache. I am not sure what the problem is, but I hope I don’t want to have it. One boy came up to me yesterday and asked (with a straight face) “Which one is you?” I didn’t understand until he explained that he was seeing three of me. I am assuming that this is an issue of nutrition. Most days we eat the same thing. Meals consist of cassava, fish, and palm oil with added ingredients to give it a different name. Fifi and Kekeli don’t even like this much. They don’t like pork if it has hair on it (which all of the pork does; *gross*), they don’t eat fufu or banku (because they were born in America so they feel they can’t eat it properly), they don’t like fruits, so they end up eating either rice with half a chicken leg or ramen noodles most nights. In the morning the staple breakfast is hot chocolate (all chocolate drinks are called Milo here; pronounced ‘meelo’) and crackers. I would have assumed that in the suburbs of Accra diet would be much more balanced. I must admit, however, that in Fifi and Kekeli’s case, it is pickiness that makes their diet so off-balanced.

Practical Ghanaian Travel Tip #31: GMT- No, not Greenwich Mean Time, but Ghana Man Time. It means being at least 30 minutes late.

Random Ghanaian Fact #32: Much of the world’s cocoa comes from Ghana.

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One Response to “And the Heavens Opened Up and God Pissed on Our Heads!”

  1. Mom Says:

    hey,
    I loved the GMT snark! Glad you did get to nap, and I really hope the reading thing sparked something in at least one of the kids. The stomach aches could be mental stress and anxiety, combined with the lack of nourishment. It really does seem like they could use a good refurbishing in the outlook and approach of the people as a people. It doesnt seem like anyone at the top gives a damn, so I dont think anyone will be able and change the standards for the youth. I do however see how getting the mothers’ attention could make a difference. If the family can afford to eat better, the mothers would most likely want to feed her children better, which would affect a whole generation and could be passed on. We all know, even though not everyone will admit it, that the matriarch is who sets the standards.

    Even if you dont get a chance to affect a change at the school, remember, where you go next will be more productive. Watch out women!

    Love you,
    Mom

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