An Extraordinary Day!
Today was another extraordinary day in Ghana. Our day began with our visit to the local clinic in Anloga. We had a big project ahead of us and got right to work chiseling and sanding the exterior of the building. After quickly prepping the walls, we were ready to paint. In just a few hours, we transformed the deteriorating medical center into a fun and inviting atmosphere, while also belting out the lyrics to many songs. We had a little too much fun with the paint, shown in our photo below. Living in America, sanitary and ample health care is something we take for granted, so seeing the conditions of the Ghanaians local clinic was really eye opening. We headed back covered in paint, dust, and sweat, feeling fulfilled with the work we accomplished.
After some food and rest, we put together a field day for the neighborhood kids that we have gotten to know over the past two weeks. We ran around on the beach, performed manicures, and acted as a jungle gym for the kids to climb all over. Even with the challenging language barrier, we were able to connect and put a smile on each other’s faces. The afternoon concluded with dinner and some free time to bond and relax. We debriefed about our service so far and got ready for our overnight trip. We are all really excited to head to Ho tomorrow, and experience a different part of Ghana that we have not seen yet. It is crazy to think that we have less than a week left here in Ghana!
-Alexa Steckler and Perri Sucoff
Hello parents, loved ones, and friends! Today we started out with a lovely breakfast with the options of crepes, fruit, and cereal. We then continued to service sites with brick building and our final day of teaching our brilliant students. After working hard, we came back to home base and ate lunch. Our next activity was the last rotation of Will’s group cooking, Kate’s group going to Father’s House, and Laura’s group going to the Island. We finished the night with a great talk about human rights and our visions for the rest of the trip! We’ll see you soon with our great new perspectives!
An Incredible Day
A Relaxing Sunday
A Day to Think
Beyond the service and schooling that occurs each day, today gave us a lot to think about. After lunch, we took a river tour and had time to relax on an island. Here, we witnessed a protest against white economic superiority. We were moved by the strength of the gathered community to stand up and rise to support a cause they believed in; the protection of their homes. A white Italian company was eager to build a hotel in this area and these people were not properly informed of this. This image later became the focus of our night activity. Not only did we focus on the dominance of races or economic power, but we also discussed the opportunities taken away from women or children worldwide. Together, we enacted scenes that represented different conflicts, such as abuse, education, and others. We discussed the issues and brainstormed solutions on how to improve these conditions. Coming to GLA has already opened our eyes to the severity of these dilemmas and allowed us to become problem solvers and supportive peers.
~Margi and Nikki
Bricks, Beach, & Reflections
The sixth day in Ghana was an eventful one. We went to the service site for the second time. Everyone worked hard building bricks. After hanging out with the children during their break we made our way to the classrooms to teach the students. Everyone had created lesson plans the night before, and felt prepared to teach a successful first class. We later on walked down to the beach, where we relaxed in the sun and enjoyed each other’s company. We then hopped in the tro-tros and headed to a nearby high school. There we partnered up with students from the school and learned about their families, school and lives in Ghana. Some of us discussed global issues and others wrote poems. After dinner, we watched the movie Girl Rising, which focused on girls in various developing countries and their attempts to gain access to an education. The movie was exceptionally inspiring and caused our day to end on a positive note. We are getting ready for an exciting day tomorrow. Stay tuned!
First Day of Service
Today was the first official day of community service at our schools. At eight am this morning, our members began their brick building experience. At first it may have proved difficult, but eventually the groups were able to find a rhythm and produce bricks effectively and efficiently. Every group produced close to sixty bricks throughout their two hour period. The members enjoyed the break-time by meeting their students and introducing themselves to the school. After playing games and having fun with the kids, the members began their day of teaching. The students were extremely excited to see our GLA members in their rooms, and the teachers were very welcoming and insightful. After finishing the observation period we returned for lunch. Splitting into two groups, some members traveled to Dream Big Ghana and swam in the lagoon, as others went to the local market and met the local bone-mender. At Dream Big Ghana, our GLA members learned about other programs within Ghana which focus on building latrines and improving sanitation. At the market our members bartered for food used in our kitchen and met with many interesting people. Meeting the local bone-mender, our students learned of different forms of medical treatment and recovery. After returning for dinner, members learned the history of Ghana from a local professor and also conversed with the Chief about culture and marriage in Ghana. Before bed, members planned their lesson for the following day and reviewed Ewe for their class. We are looking forward to the experiences these students will bring us and the muscles we will develop in brick building.
Learning About Ghana
After an early wake-up call, everyone headed to the local secondary school to hang out with Ghanaian high school students. There, we played “football”, basketball, volleyball, and handball together. The students were incredibly welcoming and had high spirits when we were playing. After our several games, we cooled off in the shade with cookies and juice. This later led to a dance off with the Ghanaian students. After spending the morning at the school, we came home to a delicious lunch. We then prepared to visit our individual host families. We traveled to their homes and spent several hours conversing and learning about their average day to day life. Each experience was different for us, but we were able to connect with average Ghanaian people in their homes in a direct way. Later that evening, after a long stretch of free time with the local children, we were visited by speakers that told us about traditions, culture, and history of Ghana, which led to many discussions about the impact and relationships between our cultures on our lives. Now we’re off to bed… We’ll post updates later! Hedenyuie! (Goodbye!)
-Mari Odoy and Portia Mannix
A Full Day
Today began with a delicious breakfast followed by some quality time with the always enthusiastic children. We then broke into our mentoring groups and rotated between drums and dancing, group bonding on the beach, and an intensive Ewe lesson at a local school. The dancing was nothing less than amazing and differed completely from any other form of artistic expression we have ever witnessed. Local students performed and taught us their various types of dancing, drumming, and singing. It was such a unique insight into their culture that we could not have enjoyed anywhere else. Even the neighborhood children joined in the festivities!
Our mentor groups then gathered on the beach to discuss our experiences so far and play games in order to become better acquainted. It was a great way to become even more of a GLA community. Finally, we traveled via bus to a nearby high school in order to learn Ewe. The lesson was informative and will most definitely aide us in conversing with the locals.
After lunch, the entire group took a trip into the village to purchase fabric, which was then brought to a seamstress to make an article of our choice (don’t worry mom, I’m getting your skirt -Bri). The fabric was beautiful and covered in elaborate patterns you could only find here in Ghana. The seamstresses measured us and our garments are expected to arrive soon! We then returned to home base and played with the kids until dinner, which was followed by a viewing of a TED talk regarding hearing only one side of a story. The video showed us how not having all the information can lead to a misguided opinion of something. We related this to our experiences here in Anloga and how our ideas of Africa are evolving. Finally, we received a visit from a “Wise Old Man”, aka a mentor in a horned helmet, who gave us all Ghanaian names according to the day of the week on which we were born. It was amusing for all who participated!
We arrived around 8 pm last night, and were immediately welcomed with warm smiles and food. After gathering all of our luggage we headed off to our rooms where we set up camp. We awoke early this morning to a torrential downpour that fortunately ceased right before breakfast. After our breakfast, we were introduced to all of the basic standards and expectations for our trip. We were taught what not to do, and how to greet the villagers, followed by a walk around the premises of our home base. Around 10:30am we took a nice leisurely walk to the beach where most of us experienced some of the biggest waves we have ever seen, resulting in some wet clothing. When arriving back at the home base, a group of eager children greeted us at the doorway. We all played soccer and took numerous photos until it was time for lunch.
At lunch we all got to meet the head of our host families. We chatted and ate, until lunch came to an end and the host families returned to their homes. Afterwards, we all split up into 3 groups and headed off to the service sights where the schools are located. Some of us sat in on classes, while others played schoolyard games with the students. Visiting the schools was very eye opening for most, and it really helped remind us why we are here. We were given a brief introductory lesson to Ewe, but most of us were too tired to absorb the information. Afterwards we had some more free time, which most of us used to play with the neighborhood kids. After dinner we waited for some of the students that were arriving today, and then had a bonfire, to celebrate the 4th discussion about independence within our countries. We then ended the night off with a talk of why we are all here and a delicious ice cream treat. of July. At the bonfire we danced and had a
-Tavia Godfrey and Anneka Henry
P.S. Some late arrivals are not pictured.
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