Due to the lack of internet, I’ve been trying to jot down my thoughts in a notebook to compose at a later time. However, now they are becoming a little scattered to compile into a blog. We had our first day off on Friday and travelled to Busua for the day. It made for a perfect break. Someone in our group had been staying there the week before and knew a few of the locals. We met with Ebaneser (who owns an NGO there and will be getting on a plane for his first time to San Fransisco this winter), Teddy (who owns an internet café and drums), and Kofi (who teaches surf lessons). I loved the village, there were volunteer opportunities, but also a great chance to spend time with and get to know people who live there locally to really immerse in the culture. We did some shopping and enjoyed the beach.
The second camp, Anwia, was quite a bit different from the first. The kids seemed a lot more calm, but they understood less English because it was a public school. They also didn’t hit as much, but the teachers seemed to hit more. I felt extremely connected with a few of my students. One girl, Vida, was so amazing. Full of energy and fun. She was constantly teaching me dances, it was so hard to say good-bye to her. Before I left, I wrote them all cards with advice on them hoping that they would see themselves as special.
Another difference with this group was boys and girls did NOT want to work together. Though I made them anyways, it was not an easy feat to overcome. During one of the games where they were working together I asked them to list as many countries as they could in 2 minutes. The age group I had was 12-15 and they only wrote down villages. It was frustrating at first, as we pulled out the map and found that they didn’t know as much as the other school for their age. Finally, I put the map away, drew a compass on the board, and taught continents. By the end of the hour they were naming countries that were in each continent and when I asked them to list them again they came up with over a dozen. It felt great to see something click, because once it does they are so happy and remember very well.
All of the kids try to teach the new dance Azoto, which began in Ghana but with the Olympics going on is spreading around the world. It is NOT easy. I want to have it down by the end of the trip. They also taught me La Pass which was a blast to play. This group was more apt to teach me games, songs, and dances from their culture than the last and I loved learning from them. I also liked working with the older age group because in any culture that age can be tough and awkward. I think in the future I would like to spend more time in that area working on empowerment.
I was also sick yesterday and had to stay home. I think it was a mixture of the heat and something I ate. I wasn’t drinking very much water because we try to use the bathrooms as little as possible since they are only holes in the ground and filled with mosquitos. But I guess it’s better to deal with that than get sick.
Tomorrow we have a day off, then only 2 more days of camp at Nkroful left and we are finished. Since the internet doesn’t work well I have been keeping a written journal of different ideas that are more in depth thinking than how my blog has been just day to day life. I’m using the blog to update friends and family when I can, but when I get home I’m hoping to use my journal to then blog about the deeper issues and thoughts that are spinning in my head throughout this journey. In other words stay tuned!