Friday, June 24, 2011

Standing Asleep Falling Up

By Peco and Aubree

Today was the midpoint of teaching at Tuwohofo-Holly International School. We walked up to the school as all the students were dancing and singing during their weekly physical education. The morning started out rather busy as we were all pulled in many different directions. Because one of the level seven classroom teachers did not show up, and there is no such thing as a substitute teacher, Celeste had the opportunity to work with the students from the front of the classroom. She couldn't reject the call to teach because of the prompting and beconing of the students in the class. In addtion to teaching our lessons, we each had the honor of being measured for a traditional outfit that will be made. In July we will all be attending the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration for Tuwohofo school and each of us will recieve a tradtional African outfit designed with fabric specifically printed for this occasion. After teaching for a few days in an African school it is clear that children in Africa are no different than children in America. The phrase 'children will be children' proves true through pictures of silly faces, crazy poses, and ridiculous gestures.

After lunch the TLG group had the opportunity to visit Elmina Castle. The landmark is over five-hundred years old and has been at the hands of the Portuguese, Dutch, English, and lastly the Ghanaian people. Walking through and hearing the history of the castle from being a market of food and goods to a holding cell for millions of slaves set the group in a somber mood. It evoked strong emotions from new comers as well as seasoned veterans; hearing about the injustice inflicted upon fellow humans is never an easy thing to take in. The returners are in agreement that it never gets any easier to hear about the hardships. Walking through the empty corridors and passages makes it difficult to really understand what people went through in the same place hundreds of years ago.

To lighten the mood the group journeyed to Coconut Grove, an obrunyi resort on the beach. We had a little taste of what it would be like to live the high life at a five star resort in Ghana. While we waited for our food, several members of the group took walks along the beach. It's crazy to think our homes, families, loved ones, and everything familiar is on the opposite side of the ocean. Just as a side note, the waves are much, MUCH larger; a surfer's dream. The food was a good mix of local and western style cuisine. The best part of the meal, many would argue, was the chocolate and vanilla ice cream that acted as grand finale.

On the ride back to the Fairhill, we passed Elmina Castle for a second time. It was different than before. It was almost as if we had traveled back in time and could see the castle as it was centuries ago. A coldness and a darkness stood out which was subdued in the light. Four million people walked along the drawbridge into the castle; but only 1/3 survived the inhumane conditions there. It makes one ponder and appreciate the freedom and justice our country now stands for.

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