Hey Everyone! Writing from Busua, Africa-Teach on the Beach.
It is Monday, June 18, 2012.
There have been so many things going on here! It has been a very hectic and crazy house with so many people living here and so many things to do. We have been working in the schools and at the after school program at our house. We went on a three-day journey to the other side of the country, and we have been working all the time on projects for the house.
My experience in the Busua School has been a mix of terrible and rewarding. On my first day I was sitting in on 4th grade and got the opportunity to teach measuring length and height to the class during their math time. They have so little in the classroom to help them learn. Two of the kindergarten classes do not even have teachers at all! The only adults near them during the day were us, the volunteers.
I have worked in the nursery since my first day, which is like a huge preschool group of 3-7 year olds. They do not have any kind of order for the kids which makes it nearly impossible to teach anything. They run around, kick and punch, go to the bathroom anywhere, throw chairs, and scream and cry! The kids do not really understand basic behavior skills at all.
For all the awfulness and constant work, when you know a kid just learned from you it makes it that much sweeter.
There really are a lot of kids that want to learn. Those kids usually end up at our house after school. What we do then is provide a place to come and learn reading, writing, basic math, and language skills. We have a lot of learning materials and basic things like letter flashcards that these kids really love to work with.
I have seen so many of the kids grow just in the 3 weeks I have spent here.
The after school program is very tough as well, because a lot of kids come to mess around. We usually have to send a bunch home. One of the biggest issues we have, especially with the very young children, is the language difference. They speak 3 or 4 different native languages here, and a lot of the kids don't have great English skills yet.
Overall, working with the kids is a lot of hard work, but the progress I can see is well worth every minute spent!
The waterfalls trip was amazing. We had to drive for about 10-12 hours packed into a van, but when we got to the far eastern side of Ghana it was a completely different world. We hiked to two separate waterfalls, and it was the most extreme hiking I have ever done. It was kind of freaky to me how similar the climb was to my experiences in Canada. I didn't have any trouble climbing up the little path sometimes it was straight up! We ended up hiking all through the jungle and even off of the path on our way back! There was a spot on the very, very top of the mountain, and I will never forget that moment when I could see for miles around and how I felt when I was standing on top of the world.
Besides going on adventures, we have been working on building a basketball court for the boys. I had no idea it would be this much work. The hoop is constructed and is actually very nice, but getting a court paved has proved to be nearly impossible. It is the rainy season right now and it has rained every day for the last 5 days! I am hoping that we will be able to finish the court by the end of June.
A bunch of the Fort Wayne people left this morning so it is going to be really different around here. I am excited that there will be more peace in the house, but I am definitely sad to see them go. I got the chance to really get to know some great people, and I look forward to seeing them all when I return!