This morning started with an unexpected delay: RAIN! Not just rain, a lot of rain. Some called it a mini monsoon. It made everything in sight muddy, wet, and slippery. Which was most definitely the cause of Peco's injury. Walking down the stairs he slipped and fell on his arm, leaving a slight bruise. For traveling safety, we had to wait out the rain. Dirt roads are not an issue until it rains and they become mud rivers. Everyone prepared for battle with our weapons of rain jackets, umbrellas, and ponchos. Everything we had to bring for our lessons was stuffed into plastic bags for safe keeping. Thirty minutes late we started our journey to the village.
Our group arrived at Towohofo-Holly as many of the students were getting there. The rain seemed to delay the people of Ghana as well. Each group, minus Marcy and Chastity, taught their second lesson in their respective level. Marcy and Chastity stayed at Fairhill to regain strength from feeling ill the night before. Once at the school it was wonderful to see and partake in different activities with the children. Their excitement was contagious. Walking by classrooms and hearing your name yelled out as if you are a rock star is quite an experience. Today each team found more confidence than the day before as they became more familiar with their teachers and all their students. The classroom teachers make for a safety net as the language barrier can be quite an issue while teaching. We are most thankful for their support! After a few team members taught one of the level six classrooms to do the "Dougie" and "The Wobble" we loaded up to head back to the Fairhill. As we were leaving, Dominic, the driver of the red tro tro, noticed the gray tro tro was not moving. Eric, the driver of the gray tro tro had several men from the village help him by giving the vehicle a push start. It was quite a site to see: a bunch of Ghanaian men pushing a bunch of obrunyis down the road in a van.
Once back at the Fairhill we had a meal perfect for the rainy day weather: grilled cheese and soup!
After lunch a portion of our group headed to the market for a shopping adventure. The first time goers had an experience yet to be matched by the different perspective an open market gives to the every day shopper. Raw fish, crabs. soap, shea butter, fabric, kitchen wear, and all sorts of jewelery could be found in the labyrinth of stands and people that make up the market.
In the late afternoon the TLG team reviewed and learned Fante with Thomas Baidoo. We learned all the male and female names based on the day of the week. In Ghana, each child receives a day name that is based on the day of the week on which they are born. We also learned the numbers in Fante from 1-100. Our time was cut short so we only learned a few colors, but the sacrifice was worth it to spend a little more time with Nancy Lundgren, Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Cape Coast and Queen Mother of Abaasa Village (which we will visit next week).
Dinner was by no means dull. Her stories of life in Abaasa village kept the group well entertained. It was an eye opening experience that brought new meaning to preconceived notions of life in Ghana. She gave valuable suggestions for acquiring information from our teacher interviews at Tuwohofo-Holly. Trying to overcome cultural differences has proved more difficult than previously assumed.
"Light stretching" also know as yoga has become a daily routine to help relax many of the team members each night. Celeste, unbeknownst to the team prior to departure, is a certified yoga teacher. We are giving her lots of practice and trying our hardest to convince her to start a class upon returning to the States.
We are a week into our Teaching and Learning in Ghana 2011 program and all sixteen team members have learned so much from this country and its people since stepping off the plane seven days ago. We wait with anticipation for the next days and weeks that come our way.